Understanding The Toxic Cycles of Self-Sabotage: How To Rewire Your Brain To “Crave” Healthy Foods
Do you want to understand the toxic cycles of self-sabotage and never have to worry about “dieting” ever again?
First, let me ask you this…
Have you ever used foods dense in sugar and fat (or other compulsions) as a way to cope with difficult-to-handle emotions?
Or have you ever followed a new lifestyle change enthusiastically for the first few weeks, only to cave in back to old habits…?
Have you ever relapsed into old patterns because feeling “good” felt too good to be true…?
Some people have a really difficult time with crisis/or anxiety; they collapse, go into despair and eat to avoid their emotions.
It is called “boredom” or “emotional” eating for a reason.
Other people have a difficult time feeling “safe” being safe; their new habits might please the conscious mind, but may send a stress signal to the Limbic System to respond with anxiety and self-sabotage
The reason this vicious cycle occurs repeatedly can be explained with the way our brain is designed to operate.
As soon as we start to experience changes, the Critter Brain will sound the alarm bells and elevate the compulsion to slide back into old self-destructive habits.
Medicating with food might work for some temporarily because it numbs us out.
But usually it leaves us still wanting MORE.
Often, it’s some part of us that wants to be more expressed but feels suppressed.
Stuffing yourself with food when you are not hungry is OFTEN a sign that something else is wanting YOUR attention.
Perhaps you are working too much and creativity has been put on hold. Perhaps you`ve been home-bodying too much and you are craving more social time with friends.
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If instead of recognizing the message in this “hunger,” you use food to numb yourself, this is a compulsion. Compulsions are automated behaviors.
Any compulsion we have is a powerful healing opportunity. It is the body trying to communicate a need or desire, usually some place in our lives where we are under-expressed.
A Summary of The 3 Brains:
- The Critter Brain does not like change. Change = unknown = unsafe. The Critter Brain likes things to stay the same
- The conscious mind or Human Brain loves change
- The Limbic System is involved with the emotional responses to stress, fear and anxiety
Further read: how to create lasting change
If we beat ourselves with shame for “messing up” then of course we’ll self-sabotage.
Self-loathing, punishment and judgement are not the pathway of healing.
In fact, these will only make you more tired, anxious, and unmotivated to change.
When the Critter Brain senses change, self-sabotage occurs.
- Physiologically, it’s stored energy.
- Psychologically, it’s stored personal power.
- It’s potential energy for creation.
- It’s potential energy for self-expression.
- It’s life process that’s been put on hold—emotions, the digesting of past experiences, undelivered communication, undone actions wanting to happen…
- Un-owned Power—potential for claiming your gifts, your beauty, goodness,successes…
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Remember, every symptom, craving or behavior around food has a positive intention; therefore symptoms, cravings and behaviors are not the problem, they are the just the best solution you have come up with so far.
What are cravings?
- Cravings are not bad, they are simply messengers that something is wanting to be nourished
- When you trade in judgment for curiosity, you get to the root of the compulsion
- What is commonly healthy, may not be healthy for you! Pay attention to what gives you energy vs. taking energy away (not just food but also your environment)
- Being healthy doesn’t have to be tedious or taste-less
- Sometimes, your cravings mean you want to be “bad” and you can do that in a way that’s playful, adventurous and healthy
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