What Beliefs Do You Have When It Comes to Food and Body?
Food is the enemy! My appetite is bad! I hate my body!
For many years I lived my life being guided with these negative, limiting and toxic beliefs around my body and the food I eat. I would not say it out loud, because I was ashamed, but I constantly was accompanied with the thoughts.
These thoughts were limiting my life to a degree I was not aware of at the time. It sounds very hard, but it’s true:
I secretly wished I would not have a sense of taste, because then I would not crave for so much food. I truly believed my appetite was the reason for my binge eating, comfort eating…
It was very clear to me, if I did not know how something tastes I could not have the cravings for it, which means I would eat less, which means I would lose weight and losing weight was the only way to reach happiness.
And in my reality everything would be ok if only I would have the perfect body. I would find peace and ease in life, as soon as I reached a certain weight and fitted in a certain size.
“If only I would have the perfect body, everything would be ok forever!”
That was a very toxic belief!
The trick with our belief system is, the more power we give them, the more they become our reality. So in order to change the relationship with food we first have to become aware of our toxic beliefs.
So ask yourself on this point:
- What beliefs do I have when it comes to food and body?
- Do they lead to a relaxed relationship, to freedom?
- Or do they always bring me to a point where I restrict eating?
How Toxic Beliefs Can Affect Our Body:
Here’s a little secret: Toxic negative beliefs can cause greater damage to body, mind and soul than any low quality food!!!
Despite the fact that our beliefs become our reality, they do affect our body on a physiological level. Whenever we fear, get anxious, angry or fulfilled with hate our body reacts in a stress response and the sympathetic nervous system gets activated and dominates. We breathe more shallowly and faster (oftentimes without being consciously aware of it), our heart rate gets faster, blood pressure rises and insulin and cortisol in our body increases.
When the body is in this survival mode the metabolism shuts down.
When you’re being chased by a lion, you don’t have time to think about rest and digestion.
- The majority of the blood gets pumped into the limbs, because they need to be ready and active in case we need to run away or fight.
- Cortisol inhibits muscle growth and high insulin can cause dysregulation of the appetite,
- and because the body fears for life it strongly holds on to every single calorie.
Imagine now you are eating/ not eating/ training/ resting in a constant fight or flight (survival response) mode.
No wonder why it seems so hard to lose weight, why we think we have a slow metabolism and an appetite which is out of control… It’s NOT your fault, it’s not because you are weak, or have less willpower than others. No, it’s the constant stress response you are in BECAUSE OF the toxic beliefs you have about your body and the food you eat.
“I am learning to take care and nourish
my body in a loving way.”
What Can We Do Now in Order To Change?
Simple. Get out of the stress response, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest & digest” mode of the body. When the body does not have to fear for survival, it can relax.
The heart rate and blood pressure regulate themselves, the breath is deep and slow and the metabolism runs at full speed. The body happily uses the calories and nutrients because it does not have to fear starving.
Using the BREATHE is the easiest way to get your body into a relaxed mode and out of stress response. Once you breathe like a relaxed person your body will notice and your brain will think “Oh I am breathing like a relaxed person I must be relaxed then”, and switches into relaxed mode, the parasympathetic nervous system dominates and your whole body physiology changes.
As mentioned before, first you have to become aware of this pattern, then catch yourself in these moments and decide to breathe deep and slow as long as you can/want/need.
BUT this has not yet solved the root cause of the stress response: the toxic negative beliefs.
Again, become aware of the beliefs, and then CHANGE them.
On a certain point, when we have ingrained some beliefs for many years, it is hard to just swap them into a positive statement. For example, if you have told yourself your whole life: “I hate my body”, it will be tricky to just change from one day to another into: “I love my body.” Because you just won’t BELIEVE it.
BUT you can start with a step in between and change “I hate my body” to ”I am learning to take care and nourish my body in a loving way.”
Instead of “Food is the enemy” let’s say: “Food is nourishing me” and instead of “My appetite is bad”, let’s try: “I am learning to regulate my appetite.”
And always remember: if you don’t change anything – nothing will change.
It’s a practice and you just can not fail.
Thank yourself for taking the time to read, as I do.
Love & Light, yours Grace.