In our last article, we discussed how dieting does not work in the long term. It just brings more frustration. The reason- our mind ultimately rebels against restraints and resistance. We must enjoy our food. For long-term success willpower never works what works is a change of 'will'. The key is not to suppress our desires but to change them.
We must fall in love with healthy food.
How can we do it?
By understanding our mind and how it works. Our mind works on two basic emotions. Yes, it is that simple- two basic emotions decide all our actions or inactions. Can you guess what are they?
You are right-Pain and Pleasure. Everything we do or we don’t do is consciously or subconsciously driven by the desire to gain more pleasure or to avoid any pain. Changing our desires, our temptations are difficult but not impossible if we can use these two emotions to our advantage.
Let's say you get very tempted to eat some particular kind of unhealthy food. Ask yourself why? Because right now your mind has associated that food with lots of pleasure. If you want to break that association then you have to consciously associate it with a lot of pain. How do you do this? By conscious visualization.
Let's say you crave pizza. Every time you get tempted to eat it, wait for a few seconds. Imagine and visualize yourself in worse health condition. See yourself having a lot of pain. Or associate that pizza with something very gross. The key is to associate it with enough pain and disgust to surpass the pleasure threshold that your brain now has for pizza.
One of my participants in our wellness class told me that she was addicted to white bread and someone showed her a picture of white bread with a dead rodent on it. She told me that she never touched white bread again. Every time she got tempted to eat white bread that particular image popped up in her mind and she felt nauseous even at the thought of eating it. You may say that this is extreme but we must train our mind to start seeing unhealthy food as a poison to oneself.
The same time we associate a lot of pain to unhealthy foods we must also foster a lot of love and pleasure to healthy foods. How do we do this?
For that we must ask our-self what is the importance of food in our life? Food should not be a source of comfort or convenience but rather a source of our own existence, our health, our well-being.
Food is our medicine. Food is a fuel that keeps us going. Suppose you own a beautiful car that you love the most, what kind of fuel will you be putting in it? Contaminated or clean? Clean, right! The same way why do we want to put any substance in our body that even can be remotely harmful.
Our body is the temple of our soul and it is the only one that we have. Remember the moment our heart stops beating the whole world ceases to exist for us. Our heart is the gateway to our beautiful existence. We must take care of it first if we want to enjoy life to its fullest extent. I am not saying that we should never ever touch unhealthy food in our life as it is impractical in a society we live in.
But remember that our body is amazing and if we give it what it needs 80% of the time 20% of the time it forgives us and heals itself.
Love yourself and your body, promise it that you will never neglect or abuse the very core of you. Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle will then become your prayers and your solace.
And then you will love what you eat and you will eat what you love!