So many of us eaters are expertly committed to this strange phenomenon called “control.” I’m not always sure exactly what control is supposed to mean, but I do know that a bunch of us seem to want lots of it, and when we don’t have it, we become, well – more controlling. Those of us who prefer to have strict control over our appetite, our weight, our calorie intake, our fat grams, usually discover that the wild side of us will most often have it’s way. Are you the type of person who is controlling when comes to food – yet you find yourself binge eating, or overeating, or constantly obsessing about food? The best thing about being a control freak is the discovery that you can’t really do it. Note the word “freak”. It means aberration, distortion, deformity. Ouch. When it comes to food, artificially tight control is anything but sexy. And it’s anything but effective.
Many people have the “toxic dietary belief” called – “I must be in control.”
By the way, a toxic dietary belief is a thought or concept that lives in the mind which is as toxic and poisonous to the body as any toxin in our food could ever be. I’m not kidding about this. Our toxic beliefs live inside us, and instruct us to act in ways that are anti-science, anti-good nutrition, and wage a silent war against mental health.
So, when people walk around with the false and toxic belief called “I must control my appetite, I must control my food intake, I must control my need for pleasure, I must tightly control the amount of fat in my diet” – we inevitably freefall into constant anxiety, ceaseless hunger, ongoing self attack, and a likely diminishment in nutritional status. On the other side of tight control is generally a nice helping of self abuse. We cannot mount an attack against the natural inborn need to eat, to nourish, to experience pleasure, and to require nutrition. Artificially controlling appetite is like trying to limit breathing. It’s a silly pastime that we’ve imbued with gobs of seriousness.
Chances are, if you are into tight control around food, you’re probably tightly controlling in other parts of life as well. Is it working for you? Is it getting you where you truly want to go? Letting go of the need to control things doesn’t mean letting go of responsibility. It means embracing life. It means relaxing into the natural flow of your biology, and your destiny, and trusting that a greater wisdom is taking care of details of operating the universe, and your life.
Check out the video below.
I spend several minutes on this same topic. I think you’ll benefit from some well chosen words about control and toxic dietary beliefs. We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences around this topic. What have been some of your persistent “toxic dietary beliefs”?
My warmest regards,
Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014
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