A common thread among clients who come to me for self-empowerment counseling is “Why do people use me?” And they groan, “Why me?” And they whine, “I’ll never get what I want because of _____.” I tell them to fill in that blank with, “because I allow myself to be a victim.” People don’t make […]
I’m delighted to have Rena Greenberg as a guest blogger. Rena is President of Wellness Seminars, Inc. and the author of several books about diet and weight loss (more at the end of the article). I believe that part of developing self-empowerment is learning to control your eating habits. Rena has some great suggestions for doing that! I had some serious cravings as I began this, tried some of Rena’s suggestions, and I’m no longer needing to eat.?
Break the Binge Habit
by Rena Greenberg
There is a magic question that you can ask yourself when you are about to reach for the last cookie in the box, finish the macaroni and cheese on your son’s plate, make a beeline for the refrigerator mindlessly, or pick at the desert that your husband is indulging in. This inquiry can help you to break the binge habit instantly. It is very simple, but extremely effective. The question is: “What is it that I am truly needing?”
In most cases, when you stop to ask yourself, “What am I needing? “ you will discover that it is not chocolate, cheese or pasta that you are craving, but rather a quality, such as peace, safety, comfort, love or even energy—a greater connection to your own life force. Just stopping whatever you are doing, taking a deep breath, and asking yourself, “What am I needing?” can be a tremendous gift you can give to yourself. First of all, it gives you an opportunity to PAUSE and take a moment for yourself. A deep breath not only gives all the cells of your body much needed oxygen, but a chance for you to break the momentum of mindless, automatic, stress-induced eating behaviors.
Then, you can go inside and determine what you are feeling. Do a quick scan of your body and notice any areas of tightness or tension. Without any judgment, give these areas some attention. Take a moment to pay attention to the feelings in your belly, jaw, pelvis and neck and shoulders. These are areas where you may be holding tension. Put your hand over the area that feels tight and send yourself some love. Ask yourself again, “What am I needing?” If you hear any voices coming up, telling you a story about why you are feeling the way you are, let them go, and stay with the feeling. It is through staying with the feeling and assessing what you are needing—and then giving it to yourself—that you can receive the true healing and free yourself from the mindless binge eating, of the past.
Perhaps when you take a moment to go inside and feel the sensations in your body, you realize that you have a strong need for some peace and relaxation. Even if your outer environment is chaotic and stressful in the moment, you can still breathe in peace and relaxation to the parts of yourself that need it the most. Put some space around the area of your body that feels tight, and imagine surrounding that place inside your self with a white or golden healing light. Let the quality of peace fill all the cells of your body, with a particular focus on the area that needs the most attention. Then imagine that you can put some space, and light, around your entire body. Take in this new feeling of peace. Allow the relaxation to infiltrate your entire being, and imagine any tension you are holding melting away.
Before you dip your fork into that rich, sugary cake on your husband’s plate—only to feel disgust with yourself moments later—just take a moment to inquire what is really going on for you. When you take the time to look within, you may get a sense that you are feeling anxious, and are reaching for carbohydrates as a familiar and habitual way to soothe yourself.
Instead, try this. Ask yourself “what am I needing,” and take a moment to let the answer come to you. If you get the answer, “peace” for example, ask yourself if there is anything else that you also need. Let the answer come from deep inside yourself. Perhaps it’s not just peace that you are longing for, but also a feeling of safety. Take the time to breathe in both peace and safety. Then imagine with all your senses that these qualities are flowing into you and filling you.
Visualize and sense a blanket of safety and relaxation being wrapped around you. Allow a light of protection to surround you, and imagine that this protection comes from a higher plane of existence, where you can have access to a deeper peace and connection with all of life, than you may have conscious awareness of, here in this world. It is by setting your intention to connect to this higher plane of existence, that you can begin to access it. Allow the higher light to literally feed and transform your cells. Notice if your true hunger is perhaps a longing for greater love and connection to your deeper self.
Look at the food you were about to reach for and ask yourself, “Do I really want this?” “How is this food going to make me feel?” Project yourself forward in time and imagine that you just ate the offending food. Witness yourself stuffing the cookies in your mouth, or inhaling your son’s left over pasta, as you may have done so many times in the past, and then let yourself experience your typical feelings after the predictable binge. Feel the familiar feelings of guilt and regret, and with joy, realize that you are making a new choice. Allow yourself to feel the sense of empowerment that accompanies your decision to act in a new way.
Each time you STOP, breathe, and ask yourself the magic question, “What am I really needing?” and then take a moment to give yourself that quality that your being is longing for—instead of mindlessly stuffing food into your mouth—you are creating momentum for a new, more positive set of behaviors to become natural to you. One day, in the not too distant future, you’ll find yourself automatically throwing the leftover macaroni in the trash, or putting the cookies in the freezer, or not even paying attention to what your husband is eating, and realize that at a very deep level your entire relationship to food has changed. Remember to celebrate by giving yourself what you are truly needing!
Rena Greenberg is the author of The Right Weigh: Six Steps to Permanent Weight Loss used by over 100,000 People (Hay House Publishing 2006) and The Craving Cure: Break the Hold Carbs and Sweets Have on Your Life (McGraw-Hill 2007). She conducts weight loss seminars using hypnosis at hospitals throughout the country on a regular basis. Rena’s unique weight loss program has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Body & Soul Magazine, Quick and Simple Magazine and in over 30 television stories, including nationally on FOX TV. Check out her website at EasyWillpower.com
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