Wednesday, November 18, 2009
These mindBody exercises are a continuation from the last blog entry.
Relax as before and bring forth one of your cells. This time I want you to go inside, observing the manager fighting an invader. This one happens to be a bacteria delivered at the water cooler. Notice the manager is looking for supplies in the way of deliveries of food and beverage. You know what you delivered today, so notice this and how the manager responds to what is available. Notice the state of affairs in the cell based on the deliveries of the past week. Notice the response of the cell manager. Open the door and notice that healthy supplies have arrived. Observe the cell manager in action as the bacteria invasion is managed. Know how important your behaviors and habits are to outcomes. Take this moment to make a commitment to a better relationship with your body.
Food allergies and sensitivities are not uncommon especially in those with sugar addiction and eating disorders. Common ones include wheat, corn and dairy. If there is a history of alcohol problems in a family, even if that individual does not drink or is a child, it is not uncommon to have grain allergies. These often surface with accompanying personality or behavioral changes including compulsions, anxiety and depression.
You are working to be aware of how your mind and body react to what you eat and drink. As awareness develops connections may become clearer, an allergist may need to be consulted. Sometimes it is as simple as removing a particular food group and then reintroducing it later on. Other ties the food group may need to be removed permanently to manage the symptoms. In the long run, even though this may not be poplar, the end results will far outweigh the enjoyment of the offending food or food group.
The subconscious mind remembers and will pull information together for you. If you have lots of body communications, ask your subconscious mind to remind you to observe particular foods in relation to these outcomes. Ask to be alerted with flags. Sometimes we are so lost in automatic pilot that we simply forget about what happened the last time we had problems with a food. As you learn what you body has to say about something you eat or drink, you will be able to study it more carefully. It's amazing how common food sensitivities are. Relax for a moment and see yourself requesting this service offered by your own subconscious mind.
Now it is time to focus on eating patterns and behaviors. You will soon come to learn that these are just as important as food choices.
WAKING UP TO EATING PATTERNS
Waking up to eating habits is the first step in getting sugar and disorderly issues under control. This is also paramount in developing a nutritionally sound eating plan for your self. We live in a society filled with unhealthy food at every turn. Most of us walk around without any self-discipline. I know many children and adults who have never eaten a fresh vegetable or protein that hasn't been processed. People eat at all hours and often all day long. Few people know what a serving size looks like. Look around. It’s easy to find serving sizes that have multiplied to the point of being ridiculous. The next time you are in a restaurant focus on the plates that come out of the kitchen. The other day I spotted a plate of food that was taller than the woman who was eating it!
Then there are the people who don't eat at all. Many are addicted to nicotine and some to alcohol. They turn their backs on healthy breakfasts, often miss lunch and then have "whatever" for dinner. Addicted people tend to drink lots of caffeine in the form of coffee or soda. Thin people feel it is just fine to drink the regular versions. The more obese tend to drink diet versions, believing this is o.k. as the calorie count is low. Grazing behaviors have become the norm, often replacing regular meals while interfering with normal appetite levels.
Eating habits and the problems that plague them have an extraordinary number of facets. It will help you to observe those of others, even if you do not experience the same. As you collect more and more awareness, your own subconscious mind will feel confident in showing you additional facets of your own. This is key to self-improvement.
QUESTION FROM A READER
"I honestly don’t like “healthy food” and never have. Does this mean that I will never enjoy eating again if I choose to lick my sugar addiction? This doesn’t exactly motivate me to want to change!"
It’s not uncommon for those addicted to sugar to report not liking healthy foods, but this is more of a generalization that a fact-filled statement. If Pierce were asked to choose some foods that he enjoyed off of a table with a hundred or so choices, I will bet that some of the foods he would choose would fall in the healthy category. “Generalizing” is a common pitfall in the addictive personality, often used as an escape mechanism from dealing with the truth and making change. As you continue to explore this book you will find that managing sugar addiction is more about what you need to add to your nutritional intake and less about what needs to be taken out.
There is tremendous power in awareness and waking up from automatic pilot. As your awareness is heightened, new choices will appear almost magically. Change and lifestyle change in particular is often perceived as being difficult, if not impossible. While there may be some obstacles to overcome, if the new chosen behavior is imaged with powerful, positive emotional states and then placed hypnotically, the journey miles will be very different.
Lifestyle change means what it says. This is not something temporary, but permanent. This alone scares people who prefer to hang on to what they know, even if it is not working or is truly detrimental to their health. You can see examples of this without even looking very hard. In fact, why not look right inside yourself and find some very personal examples.
Earlier you learned about your family and personal medical history and how it connects to sugar and carbohydrate issues and how they connect to weight gain or yo-yoing. While it is important for everyone to pay attention to eating habits, it is paramount for those with sugar, carbohydrate or any other addiction. Not to do so is flirting with disaster in the present, as well as down the path. Make no mistake, every meal is important and can either take you towards chronic killer disease or towards a very high level of health and performance.
What time do you get up in the morning? Do you feel well rested? Do you dream? These are all-important questions and need awareness application. Some people are early risers and have a morning ritual. Others prefer to wait until the alarm rings for the third time and then find they rushing through their morning needs and often out the door without any nutrition at all. Smokers or those with a history of smoking often stop long enough for a morning coffee or grab this on their way to work.
I’m sure you have heard this before! Breakfast is a very important meal and must not be missed, especially if your goal is to manage a healthy weight and move away from addiction. While you don’t have to eat the minute your feet hit the floor, you must plan for breakfast. In the chapters that follow you will learn about healthy choices and what your body needs if you are sugar or carbohydrate addicted. These choices will also hold true if you have a problem with nicotine, caffeine, alcohol or drugs. In this work you are learning to observe and so do notice your appetite, determining if it is high, medium or low. You might also notice if you body sends communications about hunger such as tummy hunger, other physical signs and of course feeling shaky, lightheaded or weakness. At this point you haven’t learned about what you need to be eating and so make note of what you currently eat and drink. It’s important to set up a knowledge hook for this and later you will hang a motivation on it.
Review your past behaviors and notice if you ever skip breakfast and the reasons why you might do this. These are areas that will need correction in the future. You will learn how to defend the needs of your body from outside forces, such as schedules, business breakfasts, etc. Notice if you ever become hungry between breakfast and lunch and again make a note about this. If you do notice mid-morning hunger, determine the distance from breakfast and then think about what you tend to do about this, such as getting another cup of coffee, visiting the snack machine, or perhaps smoking. Later on in this work you will come to understand much more about why your body responds in this way and what needs correction.
Most of us live on auto-pilot and have little idea as to what we put in our mouths to care for our body cells. Water is a very important health drink and water consumption needs awareness work. Think for a moment about your water consumption in the early part of the day and make some mental notes about this. Few people consume sufficient water, instead filling the body with coffee, tea and soda, all of which take away from high level health.
QUESTION FROM A READER
" For some strange reason I gag on water. This is why I drink diet drinks instead. I can’t imagine ever being able to drink eight glasses of water a day for the rest of my life. I almost have to laugh thinking of it ! How can I manage this kind of change?"
You may or may not notice that you are building a new structure for your lifestyle behaviors. Your map is like a blueprint. When architects work with blueprints, they also have drawings of what the building will look like when it is completed. I'd like you to put together some inner pictures of what you will look like, as well as how you will feel physically when you are at 100% completion.
Perhaps you've been there before and so you know what images to bring forward. If you haven't any idea, simply make something up, just as if you had a photograph sitting in front of you, and you could sense the body communication. Look at the photograph through a mind-magnifying glass. While this may sound like a silly game, it is not. It is serious mind programming. You get what you think about. Later on you will find out more about the power of your thoughts, but right now go ahead and do this part of the work. Now hang those photographs on your new knowledge hooks.
Managing sugar addiction means working continually to correct insulin resistance. This work could be called disease prevention. You must eat correctly every day. No day is an exception. Remember the bank account. Each and every day you must work to manage your emotional states and stress levels. It will take hot desire, motivation, persistence and self-discipline to achieve correction. Most of us have little or no experience in self-manufacturing inner chemical states, but this is what is needed to make a permanent lifestyle change.
Do know you are not a beginner. You weren’t born yesterday. Throughout life you have been building resilience that has been stored in your subconscious mind, and you can retrieve it. You have all kinds of resilience, big and small. Resilience means that somewhere along the road of life you have survived through something. The longer the survival process, the more resilience you will find in the memory. People who have stopped drinking, smoking or lived through a life-threatening experience, challenged disease or a disability usually have good resilience. However, if you feel you are short in this department, you can also build role models for resilience and actually transfer from them hypnotically. Let's practice.
Let’s practice on the mind screen. Tilt your eyes up and locate it. Now take out your blueprint or map, placing a calendar of last month in the upper right hand corner. Tear off that calendar and place the calendar page for this month on the blueprint. Pick up the corner of this month's calendar and notice there is one under that for next month and one under that for the month after. In fact notice that there are unending calendars waiting to come to the top.
This is a mind program for understanding that the work you are doing is ongoing. It does not have a beginning or an end. Where did we ever get the idea that if we eat well this month, then next month we can eat whatever we want? It should be clear by now. The cell managers remain the same and need the same foods to stay healthy. That doesn't mean that you can't have certain treats, etc. and must live a rigid life. It does mean that you must be self-responsible and stay aware of what your body needs in order to function. Remember, you don't know how to be a cell yourself, so it is in your best interest that you stay in focus.
It’s not uncommon for women to have gynecological or hormonal issues related to sugar addiction or disorderly eating. While there are other reasons for irregular periods, pre and post-menopausal symptoms, sugar or imbalanced eating can be the culprit. Be sure to check things out with your gynecologist. Then, correct your nutritional intake. You might be pleasantly surprised at how many symptoms are connected to not providing your body with what it needs.
KIDS AND SUGAR ISSUES
The sugar culprit begins its destructive work early in life. Even small infants are treated to this substance by doting parents who often have no idea that they are setting up a life long addiction in their precious offspring. In fact, most parents would deny that they do this at all. Many would insist that they only provide the very best nutrition for their children. I hear this over and over in my office. Then the truth is uncovered as we discuss what truly goes into the mouth of the youngster over a twenty-four hour period. This is why knowledge, coupled with heightened awareness is so very important.
I’d like to share a patient history here with you. Sarah was only five when she came to my office. As she was fair skinned and blonde, I had to look closely to notice that she had no eyebrows or eyelashes. In fact, a good portion of the hair on her head was also missing. Her Mother had cleverly combed it so it wasn't so noticeable. Sarah suffers from trichotillomania, or compulsive hair pulling. Although there have been no epidemiological studies to identify the actual number of people with this condition yet, it is estimated that in the United States alone, there are probably between 6 to 8 million sufferers of trichotillomania.
According to Dr. Doris Rapp, the author of Is This Your Child, children with tricotillomania respond well to dietary change including reduced sugar intake. Sarah's mother maintained that her nutrition was healthy, but my assessment didn't agree. Over 85% of Sarah's intake was in the form of very high-glycemic or refined sugars. The first order of business to help Sarah was to redesign her eating plan and eliminate a good number of the sugar foods. While it's a true challenge to clean up a child's diet, it is possible. It helps to allow the child to participate in the planning and shopping. Self-hypnosis etches new mind programs and helps the child manage the left over stress, once the food stress is in control.
Learning to listen to your body is one of our most important holistic tools. The cell managers communicate with you through body sensations. The process of body listening is known by many names including mental biofeedback. We choose to take messages through the practice of body scanning. This technique is taught in the top stress reduction clinics of the world and is a way of re-training the body to release stress chemicals. The body and mind often have much to say about the food connection.
You will be learning more about working with body sensations later on in this program. For now let us focus on the food connection to body sensations. If you are not eating a balanced or sufficient diet, your body will produce stress hormones that will communicate with you through body sensations. These stress chemicals include insulin, adrenaline, nor-epinephrine and cortisol. Some corresponding body sensations could include headache, muscle spasms, weakness, lightheadedness, poor vision, nervousness, exhaustion, fatigue, mood swings, as well as a variety of tension related symptoms.
Most of us tend to eat on automatic pilot, without any concern for the resulting mind and body chemistry. As we travel through our day, we might have a tendency to pick up small snacks, cookies, candy, pretzels, coffee, soda or juice. Perhaps a coffee mug lives on your desk. Each time you eat or drink, your body must perform its chemical balancing act, making special effort to keep the body in balance. If you continue along in this way, day after day, the body often develops food stress, or the inability to manage, especially if the rest of the nutritional intake is poor or inadequate.
Take a moment to elicit your relaxation response. Tilt your eyes up slightly, placing one of your cells up on your mind screen. It doesn't matter where it comes from. Each and every time you eat something, the food rings the doorbell of the cell and the cell manager cannot say no to the delivery. If the delivery is healthy and timely, the manager is delighted, but if it is unhealthy and untimely, the manager is in trouble. Feel how good it is to know that you do know this now and that you have powers beyond what you thought before you had this knowledge. We are motivated towards and away from. This imagery exercise is a good example of both. Be sure to place it in a place of honor on your road map.
Boosting the immune system is another important focus of living holistically. The immune system is the defense system of the mind and body against microorganisms. One of the most negative results of excessive levels of stress, or poor body management is the effect on the immune response. This is often seen is someone who has frequent colds and other infections. There is much research in progress regarding how stress affects the immune system, and especially regarding autoimmune diseases including allergies and cancer. There is also the psychological aspect of seeing oneself as a frequently ill person. This can be potentially damaging to the self-image and self-esteem, thereby directing outcomes not in keeping with high level functioning.
How you choose to eat directly affects your immune system. There is little discussion about this fact of life. The problem is that we tend to be asleep to the needs of the body in the now, but more so in the needs of the body in the future. What you eat today has an outcome down the road as well. Imagery and self-hypnosis will help you to wake up and also to place permanent wellness programs into your subconscious mind. The work you are doing here is not difficult, but it is awake-work and this is where the difficulty lies for most people.
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?" This book is not published as yet, but you have the opportunity to read it in it's unpublished state. 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.
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.