Building a New Relationship With Food: Bonus! - Using the Six Steps to Freedom to Heal Your Relationship with Food
Welcome to the Bonus Post in the series on Building a New Relationship with Food. (You can find Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, and Part 3 HERE)
The Choose Again Six Step Process is an effective tool to help heal your relationship with food and the body. It is really just another aspect of your relationship with Self that you are healing. A relationship with food and the body that is a source of struggle comes from mistaken beliefs you've made up about yourself and corresponding ways of acting out those beliefs to get more evidence for them.
Let's take a closer look......
You start by going to:
Step 1: I'm upset. At first you may not be aware that you are upset because it may just feel like an irresistible urge to eat, or to binge. This is how you've trained your mind to deal with upset and with patience and persistence this can be undone. In the meantime, you can use the urge to eat as a cue to recognize that you have an upset going on. It's ok that you don't know what you're upset about....that's what the next 5 steps are for!
Step 2: It's about me. Again, taking this step means that you are acknowledging that there is an upset going on due to errors in your thinking and that this can be corrected. It is also an acknowledgement and commitment to yourself that you want genuine healing and are not willing to eat over this opportunity for healing.
Step 3: Sit down, or find few minutes privacy as soon as you can and do an inventory of the feelings that are up. You can use a feelings sheet to check and name the feelings, or simply close your eyes and check internally. In this step, just inventory the feelings and do not add justifications for them by repeating the story. It is necessary to step away from the story to proceed through the Six Steps. Then identify the biggest feeling from your list, and make it really big.
Step 4: Let the feeling guide you back to the very first time you felt this way
Step 5: In the memory, how are you judging yourself? What did you make it mean about you that someone said or did something?
Step 6: Release the mistaken belief and embrace the Truth about yourself. It can sound like this:
Forgive me for believing I am guilty (as an example). Some other common beliefs are unlovable, shameful, alone, to name a few.
And then embrace the ultimate Truth about yourself:
Forgive me for forgetting that my innocence is guaranteed by the love that created me.
There may be 2 or 3 beliefs that come up in the memory, so check after each completed forgiveness to see how you are feeling now in the memory. Once you feel calm and can feel the internal shift, you have released the belief. If you can take a couple of minutes more, finish this process by revisiting a time where you felt flooded with joy and well-being and let that experience flood your mind and body. Anchor it as an experience rather than a concept.
Here are two more things to note:
1) Sometimes people don't want to use the Six Step process instead of binging or over-eating because they know they'll feel way better afterwards and won't feel the need to binge.... and they want to binge! An effective way through this resistance is to reassure yourself that you can still eat afterwards if you really want to. I found that sometimes I still wanted to eat, but I was able then to pick exactly what I wanted to eat, to eat it slowly and to enjoy it. And to stop when I'd have enough. It became an act of love. Or else, more often, I just forgot about the food as I rejoined the flow of my life, freshly inspired, to engage in the next loving thing for me to do.
2) If you binge and then think about the Six Steps later, it's still the perfect time to do the process on the feelings that triggered your habit. In this way you are releasing old beliefs, building awareness for the next time you want to eat over feelings and reinforcing the habit of dealing with feelings in a new way. You are making it is easier to remember to help yourself the next time.
Patience, persistence. And love. Over and over. What better way to use your time?
Love to you,
(Dawn is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor, and has worked with Choose Again for many years. She is currently at our centre in Costa Rica, and is available for Online sessions. Contact Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.dawngreen.org
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