To become a social worker I had to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting or a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Before attending this meeting I never gave thought to people who were addicted to substances or bad lifestyle behaviors. I thought the AA group was interesting but it was just an assignment to me. When working in the therapy setting addicts would always try to challenge anything I said because I would not confirm or deny whether I was ever an addict. They worried if I could sympathize with what they were going through. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I was an Addict.
I have a food addiction that I like to call addictive eating behaviors. For example I eat when I’m not hungry, I can eat when I’m happy, sad, or bored that’s what people call emotional eating. Eating doesn’t have to be tied to an emotion for me. Food is and has been my best friend for years. My biggest issue, like others is breaking unhealthy patterns and food relationships. Life style changes only manifest one day at a time, therefore making the change is a one day at a time process as well.
To begin healthy habits, unhealthy habits have to be broken. I have learned that the breaking of these unhealthy habits start in the brain. The brain is a very powerful muscle and has to be exercised daily. So I meditate daily on my new habits and what I have to do to stick to them. Meditating and saying affirmations are not time consuming but they have to do be done consistently in order for them to work. For example one of my personal meditations is “This is not a diet it’s a lifestyle change.” I also ask myself questions before I indulge in foods that can sabotage my lifestyle. “Is this food worth sabotaging my whole day?” Another affirmation of mine is “I can do it I am a food addict over-comer”. Once I get my brain involved my body follows.
Action consists of making a meal plan ahead of time. I know my goal, which is to lose 20 pounds overall but my weekly goal is to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. So I take time at the beginning of the week to plan my meals as well as scheduling in exercise, which is time, that is non-negotiable. The time is allotted to me for the sole purpose of just working out. “I deserve it I am worth it” another affirmation to meditate on.
After working on my action plan, it’s time to implement the plan. Before implementation I pray because I need the added strength of God. When ice cream, cookies and cakes are calling me, I realize I can’t do this by myself, if I could I would have already done it.
Once my day is over I take time to reflect on my day and I ask myself;
1. How was it?
2. What worked?
3. What didn’t?
4. What do I have to tweak?
With all that in mind, I plan for the next day and I have a sense of control. I Reward myself for a job well done preferably not with food, although at times I do, I prefer non digestible rewards. Breaking addictions are not is easy but if you maintain your level of commitment to your eating habits and create daily plans. These positive behavioral changes will make it easier to set and maintain health and wellness goals
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