For us Jews, we’re moving into our busiest season.
Lots of holidays.
Which means lots of food.
Sitting around lots of food for long, festive, communal meals.
If you’re not Jewish, stay with me.
This wisdom will apply to any food-related event.
I asked my Jewish Summer Grads (we’re having such fun we’ve extended into fall!)
whether they believe it’s possible to feast without gaining weight.
They want to believe it.
But they’re sceptical. Scared.
It’s important to find out what they believe.
Because they will prove themselves right.
Karen* told me she knew she was going to binge her way through the holidays.
She didn’t believe there was any other possibility.
Her mind was made up.
Problem is, until our session, she didn’t even know that she had made this decision.
She’d been hiding it from herself. From her consciousness.
It’s what she always does.
Then, after, she’s filled with regret (about her weight gain)
and surprise (that she did this once again).
It’s no surprise to me.
Believing we’re going to overeat guarantees that we’ll overeat.
Even if we fight, criticize and shame ourselves while we’re eating.
Once we think we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it.
Luckily, for Karen, and me and you.
This also works in reverse.
If you decide, in advance, that you’re going to have a wonderful time
while you enjoy the exact amount of food your body requires,
You will do exactly that.
There’s one requirement.
You must feel peaceful and solid while you imagine this.
This decision must bring you joy, pride, excitement.
You can’t pretend to yourself about yourself.
You’ll lose that battle.
Take the time to uncover your beliefs that are hiding inside your mind,
preventing you from feeling optimistic about your ability to do
what you are completely capable of doing.
And then question them to expose them for the lies they are.
If you need some help with this, thought-finding and lie-detecting are my specialties!
Here’s how I do it:
- I decide beforehand that I won’t eat every course. I’m planning my menu tonight, and even though I love every dish I’m making, I know what I won’t eat. It’s as if these foods have nothing to do with me already.
- Cake for breakfast. I know I’ll be too full for dessert. And I love honey cake, which we only serve at this time of year. Easy solution. I’ll have it for breakfast. I know if I eat only when I’m hungry, and stop before I’m full, I won’t gain any weight. Even if breakfast is honey cake (:
- I put Karen’s trick to work for me. I decide beforehand that I will enjoy myself, my family, my friends, and the food. In order to do this, I will remain fully conscious and aware every moment. This includes what I eat, what I say, and, most importantly, what I’m thinking and feeling.
- I use the power of advance visualization to program my brain. I watch myself behaving how I want to behave, as if it’s a movie in my mind. I see myself putting the fork down between mouthsful. Conversing. Laughing. Easily skipping courses. Effortlessly stopping when I my body is satisfied. I feel how calm and centred I am. I feel how satisfied my stomach is, how comfortable my body is with the amount of food I have eaten, how easy it has all been. Then, when I get to the meal, it’s like this is my default now. I simply play out my role that I have deliberately chosen for myself. And that becomes my reality.
Prove yourself wrong this New Year.
Eat like you love it.
And don’t gain a pound.
Shana Tova to all my Jewish readers
*not her real name, of course