Success Story #1:
My Life-Changing Experience (Excerpt from Lose Weight Now…Stay Slim Forever)
How I learned to be kinder to myself, to purposely interrupt the cycle, to take myself out of the power struggle, to give myself permission.
I had a number of “food fears”. I was terrified to walk down the candy aisle of a supermarket for fear of buying all the candy and then consuming it. I felt out of control and didn’t think I could trust myself not to overeat. So I avoided and actively steered myself away from the candy aisle whenever I was in a supermarket. I tried to keep a tight rein on myself thinking it was the only way to stay in control.
But it wasn’t working.
The tighter I held the reins, the more I would rebel and fight myself. I would go on a binge, which only reinforced my vision of being out of control. It was a vicious circle.
I had a special affinity for Snickers-probably because my mother had a reputation for hiding them from us as kids. I used to eat Snickers on occasion and thought it was such an indulgence that I probably didn’t even taste them. I felt too guilty to really enjoy them.
At some point, I decided to break the cycle.
I decided to face my fear and to do exactly what I was most afraid of.
I went to the candy aisle purposely and bought 2 bags of Snickers. I carried them everywhere-in the car, at home and at work. Snickers were my new best friend. I gave myself permission to eat them whenever I wanted them. It was one big experiment. I had no idea what the results would be. I only knew that I couldn’t keep going on the way things were. And avoiding the problem was only making things worse.
Having that permission made me feel a lot more relaxed. I no longer had to fight myself. I went through the 2 bags and bought 2 more bags. I ate them whenever I wanted. I ate them slowly. I tasted them fully. I enjoyed them. I kept buying more bags until one day, something strange happened. I didn’t want them anymore. I had finished a bag and had no urge to go and buy more. The Snickers magic was gone. They weren’t charged for me any more. I didn’t dislike them. They had just lost their power. They were neutral.
I haven’t been afraid to walk down a candy aisle since-in fact, I don’t think I’ve had a Snickers bar since then.
What happened? What made the difference? Did I just satiate myself to the point of not wanting them anymore? It’s possible, but I think it was something more than that. It was something about being able to be kinder to myself, to purposely interrupt the cycle, to take myself out of the power struggle, to give myself permission. The result was like a temper tantrum without an audience-it just doesn’t have the same impact. It can’t be maintained without something to push up against.
I knew I had given myself a life-changing experience. It felt different. There was no vicious cycle. The life was gone out of it-I had crossed a threshold. Unfortunately, despite the victory of sorts, I had to wait a long time to fully understand the experience and how to apply what I already knew to my whole life… [ Continued in the book]