When you eat, and you know your body doesn’t need fuel, what is it you are feeding? You are starving for something. Are you expecting a fake substitute to cure the true hunger?
What are you REALLY hungry for?
Hunger, like a hole in the wall, needs to be filled with the right fix. You wouldn’t patch a hole in the wall with mayonnaise because you had some, the color matched and you saw your neighbor do it. If you did, you would have a smelly and bigger problem to fix. Fill the holes in your life with what they need and you thrive. Anything else is a fake substitute that spins you into troubling feedback loops.
Hunger may be physiological. A body with nutrient deficiency from poor food choices may keep asking for food in the hopes you eat something of honest quality it can use. The domino consequences of one inappropriate choice, no matter how small, can last a day or a whole week as you ride a blood sugar or sugar addiction roller coaster. And caffeine, bitters, herbs or certain supplements open the digestive fluid flood gates. It is easier to eliminate the cause than it is to counterbalance its negative effect. It is like throwing a boomerang and expecting to catch it.
“Snaccidents” are not accidents
They’re fake substitutes
What is asking to be fulfilled, but showing up as a hungry tummy? Are you hungering for a thrilling, fun or playful time, but get a pizza delivery instead? Do you go to happy hour when what you really want is a satisfying spiritual connection? Are you using your courage for a no regrets fast food experience when your heart wants you to use your courage to break free from a destructive or dead end situation? You don’t become fearless by eating a box of cookies, you become fearless by doing what scares you. Self-worth grows when you take your high road, you won’t find it at the bottom of a family size bag of chips.
False associations drive decision making and take root from experiences, exposures, culture, family, upbringing and affiliations. They are like hidden Easter eggs, you have to go out and look to find them. Growing up my mom had house rules that were not to be broken. No eating while watching TV or a movie, and no junk dishonest food except on special occasions. One was designed to keep the house esthetically clean while the other was because the only way she could keep herself from eating processed snacks and deserts was if it wasn’t in the house. She would even eat junk food she thought tasted horrible. To this day I don’t associate a satisfying screen experience with eating, nor do I believe a happy home is one with junk food in the pantry. While her reasons had nothing to do with creating healthy lifestyle food habits the end result was that it did, and it had the same effect on each of us. Unhealthy associations happen just as automatically and erroneously.
♦ Have you associated eating and certain types of foods with activities? Emotions? Events? People? Or Places?
♦ Are food buying patterns and kitchen habits connected to a sense of security? Emotions? Or Upbringing?
♦ Is your belonging and acceptance conditional on conformity, rather than who you are and your needs?
♦ Will you be punished or exiled, or do you fear that consequence, if you don’t conform?
Your psyche is secretly hijacked by media, marketing and movies on a daily basis. The schemes are created, refined and tested on real people to be effective, and is a calculated and very controlled combination of what is said, not said, with thee perfect emotional snag and visual. When you know the secret behind a magic trick you can never be fooled again, but there are a lot of publicity tricks.
Nike’s “Just Do It” is a legend. When it was hot off the griddle it was daring people to take risks and live life. People wanted the courage to “just do it” and Nike silently promised you’d have that courage if you were sporting Nike. How many men were roped into Marlboro cigarettes from wanting to be exude the same essence as the Marlboro’s stud icon? Mr. Clean and his bare chested strength seduced a whole lot of women back in the day with his smile, wink and assured prowess. His timing was impeccable like a genie, always when she needed him most, and without fail, unlike the mortal men in her life. Who wouldn’t want to drink or offer the all-time classic Coca-Cola?… Ice cold sunshine, Things go better with coke, Pure as sunlight, Where there is coke there is hospitality, Enjoy thirst, The real thing. And Catch the Wave will fly under the radar to capture anyone who may fear being left behind or missing an opportunity.
A friend of mine made the unpleasant realization that his evening drinking habit originated from an alcohol advert! He remembered it vividly. It was a repetitive advert that ran over many years with the same seemingly innocent and simple message “you deserve it”. The images behind the words were filled with attractive healthy looking adults. All of whom were smiling, happy, upbeat and experiencing social success, at a social event, in a beautiful setting. He had just finished raising 2 boys on his own and was embarking on a new phase of his life. He knew he deserved all that too. Alcohol is rarely the happy ending it is advertised to be, but you’d never know if you based your opinion on the advertising alone without attending an AA or Alanon meeting. Rosetta Stone guarantees you will speak a foreign language in 30 days. I moved to France at age 21 to study French. The kicker? I didn’t speak a word of it on arrival. The only things I was saying comfortably at 30 days were s’il vous plait, merci, pardon, une demi-baguette and Ou est la toilette? (Where is the toilet?). When I asked for the toilet I simultaneously prayed they would use a hand gesture and point me in the right direction because a reply in French would go straight over my head.
What does all this talk about advertising have to do with discovering what you are really hungry for so you can reach your weight loss finish line easily, comfortably and permanently? Or how you are feeding your hunger… fake substitutes? Everything. Media, marketing, movie and screen exposures are deliberately moving things around in your secret garden. Your deep desires, dreams, wants and fears keep your gaze fixated on only one side of the coin. People don’t get stuck because they are failures, worthless or crazy. They get stuck because they keep crashing into invisible barriers standing between them and their goal. These barriers are real. Unraveling the riddles gets you back in the driver’s seat of your car, and paying attention to your exposures keeps you there.
Now for the simple easy to remember closing tip:
Be Like A Cat
If you have had cats, you know you don’t “have” a cat, you are simply along for the ride. And as I have learned over the years, each cat offers a different ride. Cats know what they need and accept no fake substitutes. If the couch fabric is a better scratching experience than the scratching post, the cat will keep using the couch. They are patient, persistent and loyal to their needs. When a cat wants wet food or a second helping you are only guaranteed peace when it’s been served. Even if a cat has committed a crime in your absence, you are likely to find it snoozing soundly on your arrival with not a speck of guilt or shame. A cat is not embarrassed to show you all its colors and lives its person in living color. They follow their calling with independent pride and courage, and trust their gut feeling to lead the way without the need for approval, permission, nor a validating opinion. Cats demonstrate the art of living authentically and no apology for who they are nor their methods for self-care.
Even if you are a dog person, be like a cat
As insights trickle in remember each is information. You can judge it as this or that, or you can use the new discovery to create better outcomes. It takes courage to hear, accept and feed a true hunger, but it makes for a person who is more accepting, respectful and tolerant of self, others and life. If you aren’t getting a better handle on your invisible barriers and need personal help to make them visible than get in touch with me. I would love to be helpful.