Do you sometimes go happily through your day until suddenly you can’t stop thinking about food it and spoils your day? If this is so, this post can change your life. Pay close attention.
I have suffered this problem with many habits, I know how it feels. I know how hard is to have stuck thought about something you don’t want to do, and hurts your life.
Here I bring you key insights for dealing with this issue and how to change the way you think about food forever.
How thoughts control your behavior
When you were a child, the world moved your behavior. If something scared you, you ran, if your parents appeared after being absent, you went and hug them… As you grew your experience impressed thoughts in your mind, until you formed a little world within you, your ego.
As your ego became the dominant force in your psyche, then it became more about interpreting things rather than the things themselves. For example, when you look at tempting food and get cravings or even scared, that it’s all about your interpretation according to your previous experience. Your food obsession is the past being remember in the present. I talk more about the ego or self image here.
Why we do some things and not others?
How some people are so disciplined, hardworking and committed? Because of the content of they’re minds. Content is composed of images, words, goals, expectations… Thought determines behavior, what you’re aware of is what you do.
Changing behavior is about cultivating the ideas you want to live by until they’re take more mental space rather than fighting the past. Remember the past is your obstacle to creating a new future, attention is the currency that rules in the mind, if you try to deal with your past, you’re giving attention thus “life” to the past. This is why most people keep doing old habits, the mind is counterintuitive.
How thought manipulates you into thinking about food all the time.
Thoughts have many characteristics, also known as submodalities.
Usually thoughts come subtle and weak, but because of a problem I will talk later they get strong. Through these characteristics they become very strong, as if they were real. They change our state of mind to one where we can’t resist to eat. If you observe this in yourself from a 3rd person view, like I say to see in my post on meditation, you will notice a ramp up they start subtle, then through these modalities they go from manageable to out of control. In the next point we see the cause.
thoughts make you fat
During food cravings, all thoughts get focused on food, to the exclusion of everything else, and deprivation cause more thought and the thoughts to be highly tempting.
As we’ve seen thoughts are most responsible for getting us overweight rather than any food. Food, any of it, has people who eat it and don’t feel the need to indulge. But anyone who “overeats thoughts of food”, it has no control over his eating because he will be thinking about food all the time. Luckily this is an unconscious counterresponse to the way you react to this. If you become aware of this process, you can respond in a way which doesn’t cause this issue.
What do I mean?
We unconsciously nurture these thoughts as they happen, which strengthens them and makes them compulsive.
Through pressuring them. When these thoughts come to us, we want them to go away and experience compulsive thinking because of it. We could avoid this if we had a clearer, more flexible mind, which we can develop.
Obstacles to thinking clearly
How can your mind be flexible and not get stuck thinking about food all the time, or if you’ve eaten a lot.
Lack of self compassion, beating yourself up.
Every time you overeat and beat yourself up, you prevent yourself from having the ability to focus on your goal. And your goal is the only reason why you would change your behaviors. You’re going to keep overeating until you can shift the direction of your thoughts. So what you need is more self compassion, which comes from understanding your behavior and where you come from. Now that you understand the power of your thoughts, you can have compassion and acceptance for yourself and your behavior, for having had the thoughts you’ve had before.
Meditation and self-compassion are identical by being mindful of our sensations and thoughts, were living them, and the very act of going to something is compassion and love which heals us, and uncloggs our thinking. Blocked thinking is based on not wanting to experience something, and the avoidance of that experience is the block.
You become what you think. All you need is to release thoughts you’re holding on and think about what you want, self compassion is one key to free your mind of past thoughts.
Starting to high
If you try to make changes that are too high you will get tired quickly and relapse. You will get more food obsessive thoughts and more intense ones when you’re exhausted. Also, starting too high instead of gradually means you feel ashamed of yourself and want to escape your situation fast. Change is more difficult then because by wanting to escape yourself fast, you’re telling yourself this is who you are and you must be tamed, and not that is just content in your mind which you can choose to change. This causes you to feel bad about yourself and beat yourself up everytime obsessive thoughts about food come.
This is called experiential avoidance. It’s when you try to avoid sensation or thoughts. This makes sensations or thoughts out of control.
The problem is that avoidance attracts what is being avoided because the mind imagines every word we use. If you think “I don’t want to overeat” the fact that overeat is in the phrase will cause you to imagine overeating and influence your state, triggering fear. After that you would obsess with the food or feel helpless thus give into it.
The solution to this is to stay present with the sensations we feel. Because all language emerges from sensations, so by staying present with the sensation you will be able to see how your mind creates interpretations that cause negative emotions. Seeing that process rips thoughts from all they’re believability, you would think if this sensation was different I would be telling myself something different. You will come to know that is about your thoughts and you will focus on your goals.
How you cause strong negative emotions
Negative beliefs and patterns with food come from how you interpret your relationship with food. All beliefs are based on the language from which you interpret situations and sensations. Here’s how it goes, something happens in your world, you have a sensation, and according if you’re feeling good or bad in that moment, you interpret what happens. And the words you use the make it go from bodily sensation to negative emotion.
Bodily sensations are temporal, and negative emotion because of language keep repeating every time they’re triggered. Language also distorts what we’re observing, because of the modalities we saw before and interpretations, It can make responses that are out of proportion. If you can see the sensation, and see how it’s talking on your behalf, and by you talking also you make it keep happen, then you’re free you don’t give it more power and they die from lack of attention.
You are not aware of your values and goals.
The mind is composed by these parts, beliefs, values, rules, references, and states of mind.
Beliefs are what you think of the world yourself or what you’re doing, it’s a thought has been repeated many times until the body responds in agreement with it.
Values are the things you care and matter to you. They’re the patterns of things we spend more time on.
Goals and intentions. These are the things we want to accomplish, there are long-term ones and short-term ones.
Rules are what we think we should do in specific situations or should happen.
References and memories and thoughts active at the moment.
These factors create your state.
The problem most people who are obsessed with food have is that because they’re failed a lot in their attempts to stop overeating, they don’t focus on their values or goals. They spend most of the time trying to fix there a problem, they’re only aware of the problem and the surrounding words. Because they do this, they don’t access the energy they need to solve, accomplish their goals, and eliminate all problems. The issue comes from keeping the problem in mind.
You need to spend more of your time focus on your goals, your intention, vision and values. The goal is that they will be the strongest references when you need them, and they will control your state of mind. When this happens, you’ve won, you will stop thinking about food all the time.
Being obsessed with food and having thoughts about food all the time is a problem in which we have more control that we believe. It starts with kindness, not being involved too much on where thoughts are, but setting the sails to go into where we want to go. It’s the awareness of our values and goals that changes the trajectory of our lives. Ideas are competing for your attention in your mind, the ideas that get more of your focus are the ones that become behavior and results. So you must relax, don’t fight your situation, be aware of where you are now, and knowing that you’re there but you’re going somewhere else you value more.