One of the drawbacks of dieting for me was that it caused me to obsess over food – what I could eat, what I couldn’t eat, when I could eat, when I couldn’t eat, how long til my next meal, how long since my last meal … shopping and avoiding certain aisles, shopping and averting my eyes from all the forbidden foods … and it can take quite some time for that obsession with food to diminish once we are no longer dieting and are working with the Beyond Chocolate principles and the Psychology of Weight Loss.
So if you are wondering, how do I stop thinking about food ALL THE TIME?
I don’t know, is the short answer.
But that’s a bit disingenuous, because I do know – at least, I know how I worked through this issue in my life and I can share that with you to start you thinking on how you might respond to this challenge and arrive at a conclusion that works for you in your life.
Because you see that’s one of the very great things about Beyond Chocolate – it isn’t a one-size-fits- nobody programme. It’s like one of those stretchy garments which will cover anybody of any size, shape and weight – and once it’s been stretched to fit your particular circumstances, it will feel comfortable and familiar and workable in your life.
So how do I stop thinking about food all the time?
I don’t attempt to stop myself thinking about food. It’s the pink rhinocerous conundrum. If someone tells you to stop thinking about a pink rhinocerous, it’s the only thing you can think about – the human brain plays tricks like that. So, attempting to stop ourselves thinking about food will simply increase the thinking about food.
I do a bit of planning
I like thinking about and planning what I’m going to eat. That helps prevent me reaching for easy, less nourishing options because I’m tired or don’t have enough time to provide myself with what I really want. So, I find that a certain amount of preventative shopping and menu planning works for me – as long as I accept that there will be days when something will happen to disrupt any plans I may have made. So, flexible, adaptable thinking about food can be a powerful tool for me.
I tune in
If I find myself thinking about food to the detriment of what I am supposed to be doing, I take a moment to tune in and see whether I am actually hungry or whether there is an emotion or thought which is prompting the focus on food. Whatever I discover gives me information with which to work – do I want to eat right now? Can I eat right now? Would it help to stop what I’m doing and really focus on eating something right now?
I get excited about food
Food is a very enjoyable and important part of my life – I don’t want to take a bath or phone a friend or clean my teeth or drink two cans of diet fizzy in order to distract me from food. I want to eat nourishing food which I enjoy on a daily basis – I dieted for 20 years and now I want to eat guilt free food that I really love. And I can’t do that if I never think about food. I enjoy researching new food on the internet, I enjoy shopping for new ingredients, I enjoy cooking meals and I look forward to my next eating opportunity.
Maybe the difference between eating the Beyond Chocolate way and eating while on a diet is that I have absolute food rights. I can eat anything I want at any time I want in any way I want. The latest diets may claim to do this but they don’t, not when you really get down to it – all diets operate on reducing our calorific intake one way or another.
So I would encourage you to embrace food. Enjoy food. Enjoy the freedom that Beyond Chocolate offers around food and don’t attempt to stop thinking about it!