Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The cookie aisle is my favorite place in the supermarket, or at least it used to be. When I was very ill & knocking at the door of diabetes, I realized that I had to stop eating certain foods, cookies being one of them. But, I was not to be left in peace, for whenever I wnet down that aisle, my immature childSelf began screaming & begging. "Why me? Can't I have just one? How come other people can have these & I can't?" Then came the bargaining & creative manipulation, "If we get one package, we can share it. I only want to look at the packages. Some of these are healthier than others. How about getting some that are not chocolate?" And then, the tears, "This is so unfair! How long do I have to wait until I can have cookies?" On & on....to be repeated in the cereal & ice cream aisles, making shopping a very exhausing experience. If you recognize these scenarios, then you know what it is to have an addictive childSelf.
The mature part of me did understand the seriousness of my health issues, but the immature part would not leave me in peace, especially during certain times of day. The ride home from work was one of those, the reason being that it was old binge pattern time for me. Then, came the cleaning of the plates after dinner. I was the human garbage can & of course, that had to stop. Once out of the kitchen, the addictive childSelf left me alone until I sat down to relax. Then, it started all over again. There were times when I simply went to bed early because I could no longer deal with the compulsive thoughts that ran around in my head. But, even on those nights, it was not uncommon for me to wake up around 2 AM with the demands all over again. These were especially difficult to manage because I was half-asleep & the desires to binge seemed bigger in the dark.
All compulsive/emotional eaters have their own very specific "patterns of difficulty." Over the years I've been able to disengage a good number of these, some with more ease than others. I was able to reason with my childSelf in some regards, but not in others. I also began to notice that the unrelenting childSelf carried these behaviors into other areas of my life, for example in the area of alcohol consumption, shopping & exercise aversion. Once you begin to observe this part of yourSelf & we all have it to some degree, it's very interesting to watch the level of cunningness & creativity of this part of the mindSelf. In a way, it has to be admired, because it never, ever seems to give up & never backing down no matter what. Once I realized the overwhelming power of this part of mySelf & the seriousness of not getting it under control, I knew that I had to design some subconscious mind programs that would become new automatic pilot discipline programs. I'm going to tell you about some of them here, but first...
A NOTE TO NEW READERS:
This experiential blog/workshop is based on my new book, "How Many Cookies Will It Take to Make Me Happy?" If you are new to my writing, you might want to read the earlier mini-chapters. They are available on FaceBook, The PublishersMarketPlace & at the following link. Remember to scan down to find the earliest chapters & work your way up. http://beyonddisorderlyeating.blogspot.com/
A bit of background.... we are working with creative Interactive Self-Hypnosis imagery, planting suggestions directly into the creative subconscious mind as you read along. What appears like a story is a series of self-hypnotic sessions, designed to bring about desired lifestyle changes. The inner mind is creative & rather child-like, loving to play with images, especially when they are emotionalized. Just like the saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words", well-planted mind images, can be worth hours of therapy. We can actually change or motivate in 1/200th of a second. So come along & look forward to some lifestyle-changing events.
MIND SPEAK - SOMETIMES IT IS IN YOUR HEAD
Once the body physiology is in balance, then the rest of the problems sit with the mind programs or habits, as we know them. But, what I'm describing here is more than a habit. It's an ongoing mind-debate between the precocious immature childSelf & the mature, Therapeutic Self. The only reason this is going on is because the Therapeutic Self has allowed it & this is a sign of weakness. When the Therapeutic Self is weak, then the immature childSelf is stronger. A weak Therapeutic Self will never win a debate with a strong-willed childSelf. So, the object of the exercise is to strengthen the Therapeutic Self & this is accomplished through the development of a specific discipline program.
Once the discipline program is designed, the most important thing is to be consistent & persistent. If this sounds like training a child or even a dog, you are right. There is little difference. Let's talk for a moment about what the mature Self knows about the disorderly eating issues & this business of "unfairness." Now, I'm not talking to the immature Self. That part doesn't care a hoot about any of this, but the mature Self does. The Mature Self knows in the depths of it's soul that every time a bad habit is practiced, the habit not only becomes stronger, but another step is taken towards a killer disease. Please underline that truth. Once again, do know that the immature childSelf doesn't care, so don't waste your time arguing your point.
Here's the simple KEY. You must decide what you are not going to discuss with your immature Self. For me, there is never, ever a cookie discussion. Not one word. When the idea/thought appears in the mind, it is X'd out...completely disallowed. I utilize the image of a white screen. It's "as if" I never heard the comments. Whiting out is not the same as ignoring. Whiting out is making something disappear without any consideration or emotion. Again, underline this. No emotion; none whatsoever. Here are some other areas I don't "entertain." Discussions about cake, cookies, candy, going to the gym, buying pizza on the way home from work, car bingeing, night bingeing, ice cream purchasing, or choosing restaurants with an unhealthy menu. I also don't allow any thoughts regarding wishing for bigger portion sizes or heavy-handed bartenders. Not one bit of a thought about any of those subjects...As for "unfairness", my mature Self knows that no one gets away "free" & sad, but true, the piper will always be paid. As for my immature Self, other people's choices are not our business. Period.
Copyright 2009 Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
May not be copied or reproduced without permission of the author.
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is author of Sugar...the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It. She is also the writer/producer of over 350 mp3/CD programs in the areas of medicine, health, prevention, addictions, self-development & sports for adults & children.