Are you are now in your 60s and your weight is an issue that won’t budge?
Are you one of the original yo-yo dieters and you're tired of having food rule your life?
If you have struggled with weight over the years, you have likely been sabotaged by cravings. You get started on another diet. You're doing great, maybe even lose a pound. Then a craving hits, and you feel out of control.
One of the strategies I teach my clients is mindfulness. I don’t know about where you live, but being mindful is a concept that is pervasive in Northern California where I live.
Have you heard of mindful eating?
I tried mindful eating at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. I was given a raisin and asked to hold it in my hand, and to look it over. OK. Next, we were instructed to take a bite – yes, a bite of a raisin. I didn’t even know that that was possible. Then we were asked to described its taste and its texture. Cool. I didn’t see the usefulness of this exercise at the time.
I never ate mindfully at home. I was a compulsive, grab-it-and-eat-it-fast kind of eater.
I was a slave to dried figs. How is that even possible? I would purchase a large Costco size bag of dried figs, and my brain would light up and then go on autopilot. There was only the next one and the next one. Cookies owned my brain, too. I became a cookie robot. I'd reach for an Oreo, put it into my mouth; I'd reach for another Oreo, put it into my mouth. Again and again. Unconsciously filling my stomach with empty sugary calories. Yes, I kept gaining weight. Yes, I felt like crap.
Do you have this problem? The "Another and Another and Another" problem?
Stop the Robot!
This is where that mindfulness training comes into play. I have a worksheet called the "100 Allowed Urges." This is not mindful eating, yet it is using mindfulness of thought, feeling, and behavior to get to the heart of the matter.
As you start changing your food habits to get healthy, you will likely have cravings for a specific food. You STOP the robotic action between the urge to reach into the bag of figs, or cookies, or chips and the moment your arm is in the bag. Your brain will tell you that you MUST have this food. You don’t.
The 100 Allowed Urges Worksheet can help you to get out of this struggle. (Want a worksheet? email: firstname.lastname@example.org) You write about each urge. You must allow 100 urges. You must write about each one.
You are looking for a thought, but you may only find a feeling or a vibration in your body. You interrupt your habit of reaching mindlessly. Instead, describe that vibration you feel. What is going on in that moment? After you allow a bunch of urges, you will find a thought. Bingo! You will see why you are craving this particular food. You will uncover the anxious thought driving your craving.
This is the beginning of bringing unconscious thoughts to the surface.
What you are doing is instructing your brain to do something different. Learning creates new neuropathways which will assist you as you continue on your weight loss journey to an easily maintained natural weight.
This puts a gap between the thought, the urge and the action. It will create a different result.
You will stop unconsciously eating, take control of your brain and if you really want to, you will lose weight.