It’s Not What You Eat

It’s not what you are eating: It’s what’s eating you up

One of my clients came out with this statement today. I love it as it sums up perfectly how we look in the wrong direction when trying to lose weight.

The dieting industry focuses on what we eat. There are numerous diets to choose from (many of which I have followed in the past).  As the science changes so the diets change. What was considered the best diet 35 years ago is no longer recommended.  Despite changes in dietary advise,  globally there are more than 1 billion overweight adults and that number is growing (World Health Organisation). We are also seeing more and more overweight and obese children. What we are taught is not working; in fact, it’s getting worse.

If we focus upon a problem we compound the problem; what we resist persists. Therefore hypervigilance around what we eat, how much we eat, when we eat, how we cook something, how we exercise to eat more, weighing on a weekly basis sets us on a stressful spiral of self-judgment whilst looking in the wrong direction.  

Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are those who have lost significant amounts of weight by following a diet, the trick though is to keep it off. Statistics show that the percentage of long term maintenance is as low as 5-10%.

It’s not what you are eating. It’s what’s eating you up.

My client came out with the statement above after an insight. She identified an instant reaction to a situation resulting in the need to eat (despite not being hungry). As she has become more aware of her behaviours she is recognising that food has been an instant crutch to numb many feelings.  

Food has been an instant crutch to numb many feelings.

We are a society of numbers, and we use many methods to numb: eating, drinking alcohol, drugs, shopping, and gambling for example. Focusing on controlling the crutch (eating) does not resolve the underlying need for it. It is only through awareness of our experience that we can identify situations that trigger our behaviour.

Our brains are very sophisticated; however like a computer we get out what we put in. Most of our behaviours are unconscious and a lot of those behaviours no longer serve us.  When we start to see how we experience life, we start to notice our behaviour, feelings and thinking. We remember that there is no solution to a feeling; feelings are transient and an indication of our thinking in the moment.  Thought is also transient unless we engage in thinking.

When we start to see that we are not our thoughts, that we do not have to take thought seriously that in turn changes the feeling which changes the behaviour, which in turn obliterates the crutch, naturally and easily.

We do not need to explore the reasons for the crutch, when it’s gone it’s gone.  Now you have increased awareness of your sophisticated body which knows when it needs food and what it wants you to eat.

So why would you need to follow a diet?

Published date: June 2, 2019

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