I'm feeling fine and dandy this chilly Philly morning! How are you??
The breakawayprogram.com that i've been working on has been down for the past week or so, so i'm glad it's back and running and i'm happy to share with you the next teaching. below in blue. My homework response and comments are in red below.
Just as the leaves are changing....so must we. It's a process that we must go through in order for change to actually take place. Read on!
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The word change scares the heck out of people! Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes it is difficult to make changes because we’re not sure of the outcome or not sure of how to go about making the change.
I was discussing with my client Lori making some changes in her life regarding her eating/binging habits because she has struggled for many years with diets and eating disorders. She repeats the same procedure to make changes but as you will read it just doesn’t work.
“… but I have binged, purged and I still over eat. I KNOW how to lose the weight. I lost 50 lbs last year but have put back on 25 of them. I really want to get back to exercising and I know I need to eat healthier again. The thing is, I have to be in the right frame of mind, I need the motivation. Just writing to you is giving me motivation I haven't felt in months but it’s another thing to write about it then to get on that damn bike, throw out the ice cream and enchiladas and get my apples and grapefruits and veggies and other healthy foods back in my body.”
We all make assumptions about how we can make changes. Lori thinks she needs sheer willpower to stop her binging and lose the extra weight she has put back on but time and again it hasn’t worked. I go back to the statement I made earlier that if what you did in the past to try to change or solve a problem hasn’t worked, why wouldn’t you try a different approach? If what you have done in the past has not worked then it is time to try something else!
We need a new strategy to make lasting changes. The ‘model of change’ will greatly help secure your success in the BreakAway Program™ or any other avenue of change you are seeking help with. By following the stages of change outlined below you can finally understand how your brain works when it comes to change.
In 1983 two scientists by the names of Prochaska & DiClemente researched how people change and developed a theoretical model of change. They discovered that when people followed certain stages success was certain.
Basically the model showed that people who want to have lasting change need to follow certain stages for the changes to be effective. Take, for example, a program like Weight Watchers. When you join a diet program you attend weekly meetings so you can be weighed to chart your progress and also to listen to others motivate you to sticking to a meal plan. You go straight to the action of food restriction in one jump without having slowly worked through the first three stages of the model as you’ll see below. Jumping right into the action stage of any plan will not work. This is why clients typically put the weight back on and begin their old food consumption habits and eventually go back to binging, if applicable. They didn’t allow their mind the time needed to make the change.
The original model consisted of 5 stages. There have since been two additional stages added which I include in the model because we use six of the seven stages in The BreakAway Program™. The reason we don’t use the first step is because you have already done that stage. We can begin with stage 2.
These are the Stages of Change:
- Precontemplation is the stage in which people are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future.
- Contemplation is the stage in which people are thinking about making a change.
- Preparation is the stage in which people are getting ready to take action in the immediate future.
- Action is the stage in which people are making a change.
- Maintenance is the stage in which people are working to prevent relapse but they do not apply change processes as frequently as do people in action.
- Relapse is the stage that can happen when people digress or fall off the proverbial wagon.
- Celebration is the stage in which we know we have done a great job in making life-long lasting changes and our work is complete.
We will be using the Stages of Change model in such a way that will come naturally to you. The activities we do together will follow right along with the model of change so that everything you do will create lasting change for you. That’s the beauty of this program, it’s all figured out for you.
· 8,000,000 or more people in the United States have an eating disorder
· 90% are women
· Victims may be rich or poor
· Eating disorders usually start in the teens but may begin as early as age 8
1. Continue to practice observing yourself for 5-10 minutes at a time 3 times per day if possible.
2. Think of what you want; not what you don’t want and make a list of them. Try to word your sentences and your feelings to what you do want. Turn the negative sentence into a positive sentence like this: instead of “I don’t want to fail this test.” change it to “I know I will give my best to this test.” It’s that easy. Do it all day long, everyday. When you catch yourself saying something negative try to turn it around and be proud of yourself for catching it!
MY HOMEWORK RESPONSE
1. I will continue to observe myself today.
In fact, during yesterday's lunch, i was observing myself the entire time and what i saw was interesting! I'd like to talk about it.
I was hungry and desiring something tasty, I had only eaten 5 tiny sickle pears for breakfast and it was nearly 1p.m. I headed over to Whole Foods as i was in a celebratory mood and was hungry. I had just had a very successful raw cooking class with a client and honestly wanted something tasty. If i could make HER up all of these wonderful raw foods, why could I not indulge? The salad bar at Whole Foods is divine. I made up a wonderful salad of seaweed salad covered with fresh tomatoes, sliced onion, carrot, crisp cucumber, celery. Man, it looked good. I felt happy. I headed to the raw food 'Awesome Foods' brand section and chose 2 bags of their flax crackers which i love, 2 bags of their dill daikon chips which are killer and remind me of eating ranch potato chips, 1 fudge and 1 meatball sandwhich.
I felt happy and determined to only eat enough for a meal and that this little shopping spree was not a binge at all, but would offer selections for lunch as well as leftovers. I was feeling good, positive, and only wanted a yummy happy joyfilled meal. I headed over to the raw cheese and selected an 8oz pack. My instinct first said not to get it, then i decided that since i enjoy it with flax crackers and i'm sick of denying myself all of the time, i wanted it because i just want to learn to enjoy food and stop feeling so guilty all of the time. I grabbed a pack and was determined not to eat the entire thing as i have so many times in the past.
In the car, i dug into my salad...DELISH!! and opened the raw cheese, slicing off about 3/4 of an ounce and set it atop two flax crackers. This is what i initially intended to eat as a meal, along with 2 bites of fudge, and that would have been that. My 'mind' told me that would be enough.
The only problem was - i was still hungry and still desiring food. This is the clincher. And this is where things got hairy. Do i learn to trust my body and my desire? Or my intellectual mind?
Am i fearful of my body and my desires and frightened by food?
I continued to eat, but felt scared. Was i binging? Or was i just filling my hunger and appeasing my appetite?
Later i recognized what the issue may have been. VOLUME. When i drink green smoothies, i typically have at least 2-3 glasses, sometimes more, quite a volume of food. But since it is fat free, i figure i should fill myself til my belly is good 'n full and not interested in food anymore.
And when i make myself a salad, it's usually huge. I eat guiltlessly until i'm well satisfied, never questioning it, never feeling guilty or like i overate.
So, in eating yesterday, why was filling myself such a scary proposition? Why do flax crackers or 'Awesome Foods' score differently on the guilt meter? Why are they any different than smoothies or salads? Why wasn't eating until i was satisfied an easy thing to do?
Gourmet foods still register to me in the FEAR zone. They're 'fattening, beware!'
But, when i DENY myself them, i binge on them, so what's the use of denying myself any longer???? Why can't i just ENJOY decadent pleasurable food like NIGELLA LAWSON does. She's not afraid of food. She embraces indulgence.
So, i continued to eat lunch. But more frantically. It wasn't so much that i lost 'control,' it was that i was still HUNGRY!!! Looking back now, i can see that. I just wasn't allowing that to be OKAY.
As it turned out, I ate more than i intended, but WAY WAY less than a binge. And that meal lasted me until 9 p.m. at night, when i was hungry again and drank green smoothie.
Why did i select green smoothie and not something ultra fattening? I really WANTED it. I WANTED and DESIRED green smoothie.
I'm coming to terms with the fact that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
I am determined to make peace with food and learn to trust my body.
I have leftover 'Awesome Foods' in the fridge and my plan is to happily eat them when i am hungry and enjoy them to my hearts content and not stop until i've had my fill and no longer want any.
If i have a big appetite, so be it for today. I accept myself, look and feel good, and I'd rather enjoy eating these days than do it anyway feeling remorseful and guiltridden about it.
When i started my meal yesterday, i was blissed out, so happy and so hopeful, but it ended in a fearful frantic emotional space, and i'm determined to ALLOW myself to enjoy food from now on. Why not? I'm going to eat it, anyway!
I think it's a proven fact that people actually eat LESS when they allow themselves to savor and enjoy it! Like Nigella says on the interview, "it's people who deny themselves that are the ones who end up eating tubs and tubs of icecream."
2. Write down what i WANT, not what i don't want:
- i want to enjoy food.
- i want to eat until i'm full and have that be okay.
- i see anything i eat, heavy or light, as all the 'same'.
- i allow myself to feel pleasure and satisfaction the entire time of eating regardless of what i select.
- i listen to my body.
- i view food as friendly, happy, and acceptable no matter how heavy or light.
- i accept my weight as good enough for today.
- i see myself as beautiful and successful. i love me. i love my figure.
- i feel positively about how food affects me.
- i love my appetite totally and completely. i'm a sensual woman who loves food. i make peace with this part of myself. i 'wallow in the pleasure' as Nigella says!
- i eat when i'm hungry and eat what i want, heavy or light.
- i am becoming an intuitive eater. I listen to myself and my desires. I view all of my food selections as equal.
- i trust my body to release weight when it is ready.
- i live in the moment. i watch myself. i'm aware.
“The winds of change have picked me up, lifting me to new experiences and challenges.”
This is all about you. Don’t worry about anyone else in your circle right now. We are focusing on healing you from the inside out and it will take time. You must be patient and give yourself the time and space to recover from a destructive disease. Please don’t try to ‘fix’ anything just yet; instead go with the flow and really read the words on these pages. They are for you and only you.
Change is amazing if you know how to go about it correctly to get the results you want. Today you can go about your day knowing you are thinking about what you want. All you need to do today is just think about it.
WHERE ARE YOU WITH CHANGE TODAY?
I speak to many fine ladies at Arnolds Way who tell me they read the blog and that it helps them. They still struggle, yet they are gratified to realize they are NOT the only ones who still struggle. It can help so much to know that we are ALL in this together.
It is good to know that mentally we have to be ready first for change. If our change hasn't stuck, it's probably because we are "white knuckling" it or trying to change with "will power" instead of ALLOWING the change to just develop within us.
Since i've joined 'breakawayprogram' i feel very much as if there is a change happening TO ME, instead of something that i am forcing. I feel very much as if i'm going through a process, instead of making something happen. This is exciting and every day seems different, with new awarenesses.
Where are you today?
xoxoxo michelle joy