Inside information: making friends with your food.
13th October, 20140 Comments
Written by: Jayne Raven DHypPsych BA(Hons) MHA Cert.G.O.M.
Before I talk a little about hypnotherapy for attuned eating, I would like to share an important but frequently overlooked truth with you. It affects you personally - and it could even be a weight off your mind. The truth is simply this: you don't have to force yourself to conform to a certain size and shape.
You come with a once-in-a-universe genetic inheritance, the product of a million or so years of human survival. You alone are the latest representative of an intricate ancestral line that stretches back through centuries of struggle and triumph. Maybe your body shape resembles the models in Vogue. Maybe it doesn't. Whether you are short and square or tall and narrow, yours is the body-type that worked best in the circumstances your ancestors endured. That's no small feat and something to be honoured. And once you've absorbed this, you've taken step one on the path towards attuned eating.
Now, I'd also like you to lay aside - just for a few minutes (or maybe for good) - all those old conflict-based ideas about food. You don't have to fight with food. You just need to unmask the real enemy.The food industry and the world of advertising are not actually your friends.
We are all gradually getting wise to their tricks: how they hide sugar and fat in processed food to make us return to it again and again (like the lab rats they test it on); how they extract the fat along with the vitamin D and replace it with refined sugars and 'added vitamin D' in so-called diet foods; how they load fizzy drinks with salt to make us more thirsty; how they take a healthy food like oats and repackage it to become a sugar-high breakfast kit.
And how does the media make you feel about your body? They play on our fears and make us buy stuff we don't need, even though we know that none of it will make us prettier, slimmer, younger and richer. So, ignoring the flashy hype, treat yourself to substance not shadow: a real world with real friends, real communication, real effort and... real food. Get discerning and choose whole food, unprocessed food; the soundest advice I heard was 'never eat anything your great-grandmother would not have recognised'. Step two on the road to attuned eating.
And now, please allow me to introduce you to the extraordinary intelligence within your own body. Inside each and every one of us are self-aware systems which run themselves using the same kinds of neurons, proteins and biochemicals that you find in your brain. Your heart is a little system in itself, communicating with your body and the world around in sophisticated ways. Your gut too deals with far more than just eating, digesting and excreting. Trillions of microbacteria communicate with your brain and affect your mental health, while high stress and anxiety can disturb the quiet rhythms of digestion and peristalsis. So step three brings you to the realisation that you are so much more than the brain in your head.
As you get to know your Enteric Nervous System (that's your gut-brain), you become more and more tuned into how your body really feels about food.
- You feel fuller for longer, choosing foods which satisfy because they really do contain what your body craves.
- You enjoy food more, the adventure of gathering and preparing and cooking and sharing.
- You wake up to colour and texture: flavours come alive again as you free your palate.
- And many studies have shown that healthy eating improves your mood, so you start to feel better in every sense.
It's always interesting to see how intimately food is connected with comfort, reward, self-worth and autonomy: so of course a good hypnotherapist will help you work on gaining confidence in other areas of your life besides eating. And as hypnosis is the most versatile tool of any therapy, it can help you with almost anything you can (literally) imagine, from getting motivated to exercise more to dealing with stress in self-affirming ways rather than through emotional eating; from calming an irritable bowel to making you long for crispy carrots rather than chocs. Don't diet: just live respectfully with your inside information.
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