“I want freedom to eat sugar, but when I eat it I’m not free at all. It takes over and I can’t stop!”
A patient said this to me once and spoke for so many people. With Thursday being July 4th, freedom is a fitting topic to focus on. When it comes to food and eating, some of us feel anything but free. This is because certain foods and ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat and starch change our brain cells and result in the experience of cravings. The experience of cravings feels the opposite of freedom. Certain eating behaviors can do this too, such as mindless munching or binging. The paradox is that in order to be free FROM these foods, ingredients and eating behaviors, we have to be free OF the foods, ingredients and behaviors. The price we pay to be free FROM them is we need to be free OF them.
Most people find in 5 days they are 80% free, after 21 days about 90% free and after 90 days, 100% free. This is true for the cravings caused by the food. There are also cravings caused by mood. For those, we need to face our stuff so we don’t stuff our face. The price we pay for freedom from stress eating is to either go to counseling, learn mindfulness coping skills, follow the twelve steps, or some path that helps you find peace of mind that protects you from piece of cake. So as you celebrate freedom this holiday week, I hope that You experience freedom as well. Freedom from the pain of out of control eating that results in freedom from excess weight, freedom from medical problems, freedom from fear of your clothes not fitting, freedom from the regrets of having eaten too much.