Sunday, July 10, 2005

Exploring Dieting & Nutritional History

I came to understand that many of my disorderly eating habits started very long ago.....some as far as infancy. In the beginning denied that these far away patterns or habits had anything to do with my adult habits, but now I'm absolutely convinced. As I work with patients and students of different ages, I can see how they came to where they are. It is very clear indeed and the stronger the pattern, the more it is etched into the subconscious mind.

While I remember my food connection to the death of my father and what transpired after that, I stand convinced that my issues began even earlier than that. On that particular day, I can truly remember feeling happy that I was given so many cookies without even having to ask for a single one. There is a remembered level of joy attached to that particular memory that then attached itself to my isolation and sadness. I suggest that you begin to work with active imagery as you self-examine your own memories and attached emotional states. For example, imagine a pot on the stove where you are adding ingredients. As I disassemble my own disorderly patterns, I need to place my newly found ingredients in some sort of a self-hypnotic container. The pot works!

In my book Beyond Disorderly Eating - The Truth About Sugar and Bingeing and How to Stop the reader gets to explore hundreds of working images designed for managing lifestyle change, as well as optimum health and performance. Interactive Self-Hypnosis is a very powerful tool for dissecting behaviors or patterns, and then editing them.

The self-exploration of early childhood, teen years and those that follow does take time, but this is time well spent. It is imperative to uncover these links, so the child can heal. Then the mature adult-self has less problems in managing the old programs. Do know that when you hit a roadblock, it will be the child-self trying to hold on to the otherwise unwanted behavior or pattern. I see it in myself, as well as in my office practice. Some patterns are stuck with the early child-self, others with the teen-self, and some with the insecure adult self. True age is not the issue here. One can be 25 or even 50 years old and have a pattern that is child-self related. We can all identify with this, once we stop denying and fighting ourselves. Tell yourself that it is OK..... we are all the same. You have lots of company with these problems, but now you can find the way to a higher level of physical and/or emotional health, as they are both connected.

Each day, if I'm willing to look, I can identify child-self patterns that are related to my disorderly eating issues. It may be in the area of shopping, or snacking, or walk-by-eating, or emotional-craving management. Perhaps it is giving myself the bigger piece of cake, or hiding something just for me, or making the coffee stronger so the kick is bigger. Many times I'm not fully awake as these things are occurring, but the child-self knows that this is the best time to get her fix.

Here are some other examples. I often find things in my supermarket cart that I don't remember thinking about. This is an example of mindless shopping. My child-self loves that feeling. This kind of pattern doesn't only occur in the supermarket, but just about anywhere. Think if you have ever had a release-feeling when purchasing, especially with a credit card. The feeling is often lessened when using real cash. Start to pay attention and once you bring these patterns to awareness, you will begin to find more of them. They have a potential for being very destructive, mainly because the child-self is in charge, and not your mature adult-self.