Yesterday, I was tempted by the granola balls I made. However, I allowed myself to have some and was cautious at night. It feels good to say no, but I still feel guilty about having them. I will have to work on that. It feels good to say no! Not allowing myself to eat tons of food at night makes me feel free and more independent.. like I have detached myself from a ball and chain. I think the temptation I am facing really isn’t the food, its the temptation to be overly critical. I definitely have a perfectionist tendency that leads me to have unrealistic expectations about my diet and exercise. Here is a great article by a psychologist Lisa Firestone
People with eating disorders, both overeaters and anorexics, disregard their own values and personal goals in relation to their health, looks, and lifestyle. They use food to feel bad about themselves, to punish themselves, or to gain a sense of control. Instead of using it to fuel their bodies, they use food to fuel a cycle of self-hatred and self-protection. All of us have an inner coach, or “critical inner voice,” that lures us into destructive behavior then pounces on us the minute we mess up. The critical inner voice is a driving force behind an eating disorder, and to challenge an unhealthy relationship with food, a person must deal with this internal enemy.
We live in a society that supports being slim, sometimes to the extreme. This unrealistic ideal can be used in the service of our inner critic to put ourselves down, to feel inadequate , or to isolate us from the world around us. Failing to identify our critical voices as they come up, leaves us more at risk for falling off the wagon. However, we can challenge our voices by not engaging in the behaviors they are supporting. And even though they may initially become louder, enticing us and telling us we will fail, the more we ignore them, the more they lose their hold on us, and the stronger we become.
To have a healthy body, it is necessary for us to take action on a physical level with diet and exercise; but to have a healthy relationship with food, it is necessary for us to understand ourselves on a deeper emotional level, or to uncover why we eat the way we eat. If we challenge the behaviors alone through diet and exercise, the emotions we were using eating to cover up won’t just go away. Once we identify the feelings and inner voices that perpetuate the cycle of self-hatred and the insensitivity to our body, we can gain control of self-destructive eating habits and not react adversely to pressure and triggers that lead us to abuse food. By taking action on a physical level and taking interest on an emotional level, we can re-establish our relationship with food, with our bodies, with our past, and with ourselves as a whole. We can uncover who we really are, our real wants, desires, and goals, and we can stop engaging in the patterns.
Challenge: To develop a healthy perception on what balanced day of eating should look like. (Long-term goal)