Here food psychology coach Laura Lloyd tackles a great coaching question from a reader – about our perverse nature and why we go against our greater desire for health and end up eating sugar anyway.
If you can relate, please let this anonymous reader know they aren’t alone! I have answered this on my Youtube channel, here’s a few pointers to think about.
1) When we are ‘scared’ of sugar, what thoughts create that feeling?
That sugar is ‘bad for us’? ‘Dangerous?’ ‘Life-threatening?’. Although you can argue for the truth within these thoughts, the reality is, it’s hard to motivate change from a place of fear.
We also easily slip into moral judgment – if the food is bad, then we must be bad, or stupid, for eating it – so we judge ourselves, and the cycle of decreasing self-confidence and self-esteem continues. Whereas for change, we need desire for growth, and self-compassion, and enthusiasm, and belief in our own potential.
2) When we know we ‘shouldn’t eat something… we want to.
Things that are off-limits have a certain contraband allure. That leads us to massively overeat them when the dam breaks. Which is how we end up binge eating.
There’s a world of difference between CHOOSING not to eat something and NOT BEING ALLOWED to eat it – the latter creates a mentality of deprivation, and a victimhood. The former creates self-responsibility and empowerment. How we talk to to ourselves about how we eat really matters, folks!
3) We have been culturally completely brainwashed to think it’s a pleasure, and that it’s doing something for us.
It’s a pleasure because you believe it’s a pleasure, just as a cigarette smoker believes they are enjoying a smelly disgusting cigarette. It’s a learned behaviour. It can be unlearned.
What if you didn’t think of sugar as being a reward any more? What if you saw through the illusion of pleasure, and just saw it as a fake, sham, rubbish idea you had been ‘sold’, like watching crap soap operas or convincing kids they need plastic toys?
You see, it’s how we think, not how we eat.
And that’s why when we coach together, we take apart your thinking patterns and your emotional reactions, so that behaving the way you WANT to want to act, becomes easier.