We all know that eating junk food is not good, sugar is not the best, that overeating or binging is not good for our body and our weight.
Yet we do it.
We are intelligent people. We have the facts, we have the data, we’ve listened to podcasts telling us that sugar drives inflammation and insulin. We know that if we want to lose weight, we need to eat better and less…
So what the heck is the problem?
I believe it’s self-awareness.
Self-awareness is from the Greek aphorism: Know Thyself.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines self-awareness as: an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality.
Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires. It’s the ability to understand ourselves.
Self-awareness is about learning to better understand why you feel what you feel and why you behave in a particular way.
With self-awareness, we can feel empowered to make changes in our lives. Self-awareness is a major mechanism of self-control.
We notice what is going on in our inside world.
Non judgement is essential
We notice. We do not judge. No color. No good. No bad.
No “I should” or “I shouldn’t.”
Example: “I shouldn’t have eaten this much…I did it again. Why do I always do this? What is wrong with me?”
Instead: “I don’t feel good right. My stomach is distended and my energy is low. I have overeaten during dinner. Isn’t it interesting that every time I go out with my friend X, I overeat?”
“I ate ice cream again.. I can’t resist the freaking ice cream when we go out with the kids. I know it’s full of sugar. I know it’s not good for me. I know this is going to send me on a roller coaster of cravings more sugar yet I do it! Why can’t I just have more willpower?”
Instead: “I ate ice cream. The ice cream tasted good. When I go out with the family at the ice cream parlor, it’s a difficult environment for me. I feel deprived because everyone else around me has ice cream, and I feel I can’t. When I feel deprived it makes it really hard for me to say no.”
The key here: We accept this as part of being human. Part of human experience.
Self-awareness is empowering
Self-awareness will lead us to act consciously rather than reactively. We are no longer victims of our thoughts.
We no longer react passively.
We are conscious of our choices. We are in power. We’re not victims.
Back to our example of overeating when you are with friend X: As you reflect without judgment that you are a bad person for overeating, you will discover that when you are with you friend X, you feel unheard, un- recognized, that you never get to share about your life. She takes all the space. So next time you go out with friend X, first you will be aware of your tendency to react to your relationship by overeating. You will express yourself more during your time together and gently yet firmly share your own stories and be heard.
Instead of stuffing your feeling of frustration on the state of your relationship with food, you will attempt to improve the situation.
Same for the ice cream… you will go into the experience knowing what you feel deprived. Maybe what you will do is to invest the time to learn to make healthy ice cream at home. You will have healthy ice cream from time to time when you feel like it. When you get to the parlor, you won’t feel deprived because you “never have ice cream because of your crazy diet.” The feeling of deprivation will not be there and you will be able to enjoy the time with the family for what it is… not for the ice cream.
Once you begin to understand this concept, you then have the opportunity and freedom to change things about yourself, enabling you to create a life that you want.
Self-awareness begins in willingness
Being present, being self-aware is counterintuitive to today’s society. We are so busy all the time that we have little time left to be with ourselves, to reflect, and ultimately to be present.
We operate from the subconscious part of our mind most of the time. Being present and conscious is work.
Being aware and present require the willingness to be present and aware. Willingness, not willpower. Willingness means that you are now aware of the concept that we just learned and you believe that it will help you grow and advance in your journey, and you desire to take next steps. That’s willingness. You need that.
Being self-aware begins with being present
Self-awareness begins with being present in the moment. We need to develop the muscle of being in the moment. By being in the moment, we will be able to be self-aware and reflective without being judgmental. Otherwise, we will revert to the behavior we have repeated all of our lives — being reactive and judgmental.
Mindfulness is a psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal experience occurring in the present moment. Below are three mindfulness exercise you can choose to practice to cultivate awareness:
- Mindfulness eating: Begin with one meal a day. Sit with no distractions and eat.
- Create space for you: Is there time in your schedule for you to be with yourself? No interruptions, no kids, no friends, no TV, no music — just you being with yourself. Start at 5 mins a day.
- Journal: Write about the things that you’re grateful for. If you’re a writer, write one page a day. Use a pre-written question to start the process of introspection.
The next steps…
Are you ready to work on your relationship to food?
Are you ready to understand why you crave and, most importantly, what you need to do to free yourself from cravings and emotional eating?
The Crave Cure guide will show you the next steps. This is my free guide to you in your journey of transforming your relationship to food. From nutrition to mindset, it will prepare you to take the next steps. Can’t wait to see you on the other side!
Last episode, I had Dr. Bruce Lipton on the show. We talked about the Biology of Belief — how beliefs impact our health and how the subconscious mind is the key to lasting change. It’s an episode packed with insights and helpful tips. I recommend that you listen to it. Just go to this link.
Next episode, Sean Croxton will be on my show and we’re going to talk about how to get anything we want. It’s an exciting episode, so stay tuned!
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