I just finished up chapter 4: Challenge the Food Police. It was quite revealing. I really enjoyed what I learned about it. I had a couple of ah-ha moments during it.
I realized I do still have quite a few distorted beliefs surrounding food, my body and exercise. Things like, protein is the best food group, too many carbs are bad/dangerous, I have to exercise everyday to be healthy, and I can't trust my body's hunger and fullness. At the beginning of the chapter I though these beliefs just came from the fitness/diet industry and my PCOS misdiagnosis. As I continued along, I realized there were other influences in their development as well.
I liked the process of practicing how to re-frame distorted thoughts by questioning them, re-framing with facts or approaching them with curious awareness.
I absolutely loved the Spiral of Healing. It reminded me of this graphic about success:
I really need to work on seeing my loops as times to reflect and learn rather than beat myself up over them - which I do often!
I know I have a very bad habit of thinking and talking in absolutes - "never", "always", "only", "have to", "every day". I frequently make statements about the way I eat and exercise using these terms. It's something that I know I've picked up from my family where black and white thinking is VERY prevalent. I have actually reduced my use of absolutes, but they are still there and I often need to make a conscious effort not to use them. The problem with using absolutes, for me, is that if I go against what I've said (such as I'm not going to exercise anymore) then I end up feeling like I can't trust myself or have self control. This just sets me up for more self doubt and lowered self confidence.
The Food Rules section was interesting. I do still loosely apply each of the food rules, but I realized I'm not as bad at holding on to them as "law". The section on Family Food Rules and Expectations really opened my eyes to how much my family influenced my beliefs about food, my body and exercise. I won't give too many details, but now I can really see how deeply rooted they are and why changing them has been so difficult.
I don't really deal alot with rebellious behaviour based on critical self thought. If I over eat I don't usually decide to just keep on eating and if I tell myself I can't/shouldn't eat something, I don't turn around and eat it or eat more of it anyway.
There was a quote in this chapter I REALLY related to. I not only highlighted it, but wrote it in my notebook and drew stars all around it:
"I might feel sad when I realize that my body had enough to eat but that my tongue wants more, but I know that this sadness will pass quickly and that I can eat whatever I want when I get hungry again".
This was something I said to myself ALL THE TIME in university as well as when I was recovering from HA. It's still something I experience - the sadness that my body is full but my brain/tongue wants more because it tastes so good! I need to get back to reminding myself that I can always have more later (if I want).
Practicing the Intuitive Eater Voice was also a great section, but I had trouble with the first situation and was hoping I could hear other's responses to it.
The situation was: "I know that I would like some dessert after my meal"
The IE voice response that I had was: "I can eat dessert if I want to or don't want to. The choice is up to me. If I eat until I'm "neutral" at supper, then I will be able to enjoy both supper and dessert. If I taste the dessert and it's not appealing or if I get full after 1 or 2 bites I can stop eating as I can always have more later".
Is eating "less" or just to "neutral" at dinner/a meal really and IE way of approaching that?? I feel like it might be a bit restrictive, but I don't know...