You Need a
Have you ever accomplished a
goal without a set of steps towards
its achievement? Maybe if you've
won a lottery, but regular folk,
like you and me, may find that
a systematic approach works better.
What won't work is simply saying,
"I'm not going to do that
anymore." Ha, like fun you
won't. Your brain is constantly
striving to provide you with what
you tell it you want. If you say,
"I won't eat ice cream,"
but you really do want ice cream,
then your brain isn't fooled.
It will make every effort to get
you some ice cream.
the way we are wired, but you
can short-circuit that wiring
by sending your brain a different
End Crazy Eating Habits: Help I Can't Stop Eating Ice Cream
Of course you change overeating habits by first changing the belief that you can't stop eating ice cream. It's a process. Here's how I change habits by first creating ...
Addicted to Nuts
Janet (name changed) came to
me with only one "issue."
She said she was addicted to mixed
nuts and couldn't help but eat
a whole jar every single day.
(Substitute your favorite food
in this example). Since nuts are
so high in calories, I knew this
one change would help her to release
15 pounds or more, so here is
what we did.
First I had Janet
keep a food diary for one week,
with a goal of discovering her
triggers for nuts, if any, and
also determining how often she
really wanted to eat them. When
we started she said, "Oh,
that'll be easy! I want them all
the time," but when she returned
after one week she said, "It
was amazing, but there really
were very specific times when
I wanted them."
She discovered that on Mondays
and Tuesdays while she ate them
(out of habit), she didn't really
seem to have the same frantic
desire. She said, perhaps it was
because she'd already bought seven
jars on Sunday (it's our nature
to try to figure it all out, isn't
it?). On Wednesday she started
to think about the nuts while
at work, "I sometimes get
bored at work, and start to daydream
about going home and what I'll
do that night." Thinking
about a pleasurable activity to
come was one way Janet escaped
boredom, while at the same time
she was setting herself up for
a full-blown craving that night.
What you put your attention on,
you'll achieve, and she was achieving
her goal of eating nuts quite
By Thursday, she noticed she
didn't start to think about nuts
as early, probably because she
attended a meeting every Thursday
that lasted from morning until
noon and she was too busy with
other things. She also met with
employees and did more problem
solving on Thursdays which left
her anxious, in fact, she started
to nibble between meetings right
at her desk with the jar of nuts
she kept handy.
Fridays were another story entirely
and this was what surprised her.
Janet and her husband had started
a tradition of dinner-and-a-movie
the first Friday of every month.
Here they would wine and dine,
pretend they were dating and generally
have a good time together. She
noticed on that Friday (a date
night) she thought about her "date"
and not about nuts at all. Interestingly
she was beginning to see
the pattern, when she was busy or occupied or
doing things she enjoyed she
didn't even think about eating those nuts,
but when she was bored or anxious,
thoughts quickly turned to her
Saturdays and Sundays Janet puttered
around the house. She didn't have
children and her husband worked
weekends so she was able to do
what she wanted, but she found
most often that she'd lay on the
couch reading magazines and nibbling
most the day, while it didn't
have to be nuts, that was what
she ate most often. She didn't
think there was any particular
reason for eating while reading
except that she'd done it for
so long that it was now a habit,
and wouldn't be easy to change.
to Change First
Now she had a list and she rated
the intensity of which days were
the easiest (low cravings) to
the greatest (high cravings):
this may take a little time
and effort. Big deal! How
long have you struggled
with your weight up until
now? Decide if you
are willing to do what it
takes, and IF that answer
is YES, read on ...
out with husband)
Choose One Day or One Eating Event to Modify
Step 1: Pick one thing. Don't try to tackle
it all at once. I've written about
how I did this with my once-a-week
cheeseburger and fries habit which
at one point I would have said
I could never change, but today
if I have a burger and fries a
couple of times a year, it seems
like a lot. I couldn't even drive
past the Dairy Queen without starting
to crave my weekly burger (tomorrow
I'm going to have ...), but not
any more. That old association
is simply gone. This can work
for you too.
This method is included in detail
2, Patterns and Habits, of the One More Bite 8-Week Workshop.
So what happened with Janet? ...
Start with the Easiest Habits
Step 2: Rate the events
based on most probable to least
likely, in other words, which
event would be the most difficult
for you to change, and which would
be the easiest. Another mistake
we make is to try to change our
most firmly ingrained habits first
- better to work on the easily
changed first. Small successes
build on each other until the
more difficult become the easiest
Janet decided to work on Monday
first. She didn't really think
about eating nuts on Mondays anyway,
it was just something she did
out of habit, so for week one
she decided she would simply not
eat nuts on Monday nights.
used EFT for any desire as it
came up, because though
she didn't think about it in advance,
as soon as she sat down on the
couch, the idea of eating nuts
came to her, and she felt a desire
to get up and go get the jar.
This time (and every time thereafter
that night), she first did a round
of EFT on that desire, "Even
though I really want to eat some
nuts, I deeply and completely
accept myself, and I choose to
wait." She also had decided
that this Monday she was simply
going to wait out the cravings,
so no matter how intense they
became, she told herself, "I
can have them tomorrow. Today
I'm going to wait." (She
reported they never really got
Knowing she wasn't giving them
up forever made it much less difficult
to ride it out that first Monday,
and Janet called me Tuesday morning
laughing, "I couldn't believe
how easy it was." That made
week one a success all ready,
no matter what else transpired.
Since Monday was so easy, and
Tuesday was a similar situation,
she decided to also tackle Tuesday,
knowing, if she faltered, she
was still a success, because she
followed through on Monday.
You could work
first on a Wednesday habit,
doesn't make the process any different.
Just make your plan and follow-through.
Tuesday was a repeat of Monday,
and though she never ate any nuts,
by Wednesday, she was starting
to notice the strong desire. Wednesday
had been a day of high desire
all along, and she decided to
let it go - in other words she
wasn't going to deal with Wednesday's
just now, but go ahead and enjoy
her habit. Eventually maybe she'd
tackle Wednesday. In this manner
you work yourself from a daily
habit, to a few days a week habit,
to a once a month habit, and eventually
to no habit at all, but rather
eating something you enjoy because
you choose to enjoy it.
Step 3, Keep doing what's working. For some it will take longer,
and others it will go quickly,
but no matter how long it takes,
if you make a plan, and then stick
to that plan, you'll find success.
You'll also want to consider what
you'll do instead.
For instance, simply sitting in
the same place and doing the same
thing often leads to the same
outcome. Stand up, stamp your
feet, move around (try this next
time you're watching TV and notice
the desire for food). When the
first thoughts of eating pop into
your mind (and you know you're
not hungry of course), jump up
- do something different. Anything
at all will shake up the pattern.
Couple this with EFT and you've
got a winning plan.
Eventually Janet worked through
the rest of the week, taking it
one day at a time. After six weeks
she said that she rarely ate nuts
during the week at all, and her
desire was changing somewhat on
the weekends without her consciously
putting effort on it. She said,
"I'm only buying two jars
of nuts a week now, down from
seven, if you can believe it.
That's saving me some money too,
which is nice." Expect some
of your food habits to take time
to change, while others will be
zapped quite easily.
This week, make your list of
what you do most often and when.
If you're telling yourself, "That
won't work for me. I could never
do that." Then fine. For
you this isn't a good plan. What
is? Think about it. What might
work better for you? Can you modify
this idea? What if you
used EFT on the idea that EFT
won't work for you, "Even
though I can't do this and I don't
think it will work anyway, I deeply
and completely accept myself."
"Even though I like all these
ideas, but I know nothing will
work for me, I deeply and completely
Use these tools and you may find
yourself surprised at the result.
Here are recent comments from
a workshop participants:
wrote is what I was looking for.
:) I think I just have to literally
stop myself in those times and
make myself do EFT. I really wanted
that chocolate... and I didn't
want to find out that I wasn't
hungry at all (I know I wasn't)
and therefore, didn't need to
eat the chocolate. EFT would have
been a barrier to me getting what
I wanted in an impulsive moment
:) EFT works if you work! That's
my mantra to myself."
"I have been using
EFT at least 3 times a day and
more like 5 or 6 most days. I
am going to work on drinking more
water for another week and then
tackle a bigger vice: double cheeseburgers
and fries (although I have only
had one of those combos since
I began the program... a major
victory in my book for me!)."