What a few weeks I have had! I don’t know about anyone else, but to me it always seems like you need copious amounts of time to be healthy. That is probably just me making excuses for myself but being busy always seems to impede my progress to being a healthy human being. The fact that I have terrible organisational skills when it comes to my personal life probably doesn’t help.
In my last post “Hildy’s Health Adventure: Psychotherapy with The Good Nature Company, what I’ve learnt so far.” I wrote about rewarding myself with food and how I had been advised by Julie my psychotherapist from The Good Nature Company to create another way to reward myself. She mentioned how prominent my inner child seems, as if that was a surprise to anyone, so suggested that a good way of keeping on top of rewarding myself without food would be to make a sticker chart! So that is exactly what I did. Now everyone who has seen this chart doesn’t really get it, basically because the chart doesn’t reward anything good in particular, I use it to stick a sticker on when I feel like I have done something that deserves one. So for example if I get a good chunk of my to do list done for the day I would usually treat myself later that day to some crisps or something I would consider to be a treat, now I have my chart I have tried to exchange that for a sticker on my chart. I also have a section for being upset or sad, so if I’m having a bit of a bad day instead of drowning my sorrows in cake I will put a sticker in that section ( this section needs enlarged!).
If I feel like the reward needs to be bigger than a sticker I have written some other bigger rewards on the back of my chart which I can dish out to myself where/when I feel I need to! I have definitely treated myself with quite a few small treats already and one or two medium treats too! I hadn’t realised it until writing this piece but this also shows you all how un-rock ‘n’ roll my life is. Yes Gardening is a treat! One of the fall backs of this chart is that in no way does putting a sticker on a chart feel as good as eating cake, I think getting used to that change will be very hard, which is why I have been dishing out the small treats from the back of my chart like there is no tomorrow.
One of the issues I have really struggled with in this reward swap is time. I don’t know about anyone else, but eating a packet of crisps for me takes no time whereas most of the non-food treats I have thought of and put into practice tend to take up a lot more time. I already struggle with not having enough time in the day as it is, so with these little things on top of that has taken it’s toll on my work load and I really can’t say they are as convenient as cake. This is something I suppose I just need to make time for and accept but over the past couple of weeks been so busy that I have still used food as a reward.
I know that this is not going to be an overnight change, the temptation is high and the rewards at the moment don’t quite fill the gaps of the old ones (food). I have rewarded myself with food since creating the chart, I know that this habit is so ingrained inm e it will take a long time and lot’s of effort to make the shift.
But I’m working on it and have tried to at least do half and half over the past couple of very busy weeks. Let’s see if I can keep it up!
Anyone reading this in the same position as me I would really suggest giving this a go it certainly gives you a better idea of when/where and why you reward yourself with food.
Well the past few weeks have been an interesting few! I have been seeing Julie a psychotherapist from The Good Nature Company. (If you want to catch up then visit my previous blog HERE). Our first session was great we discussed lot’s, mostly about me, and got to know each other a little bit better. I was expecting these sessions to be quite emotionally charged with me being such an emotional person, but somehow I was calm and collected. Speaking to someone like Julie was kind of like seeing myself from an outside perspective which was quite refreshing. I often get bogged down in the should have, would have, could have scenario and I think addressing my issues from the root cause is what is going to help me accept myself further. From all of the soul searching i have done over the past year or too I know that eating healthily and exercising just isn’t enough! I don’t just have a fat body, I have a fat brain! If I can’t accept my fat self how am I ever going to A/get to a healthy weight and B/ accept myself when I get there. Won’t I just want more and more and the acceptance will never be there?
In this first session we set some, I’m going to call them “Goals of Discovery”, meaning certain things I wanted to find out and understand about me/yself. As I have discussed in previous blogs, I am an emotional eater and it’s not just when I’m sad or upset, but when I’m happy, when I have achieved something etc. I use food as a reward. If I have had a really good day I feel I deserve something “delicious” and if I have a terrible day or something bad happens or I’m just generally feeling a bit sad or out of sorts I think something “delicious” will cheer me up. Which is why I am on a mission to break this cycle and finally start moving forward with a healthier way of thinking about food.
Baby Hildy age 4
Julie and I discussed a lot about my family, who else had weight problems and where/when these emotional eating habits started to kick in. We worked through from being a very small child to my teenage years. We discussed life events and why these habits may have come into my way of coping. We also decided that I have a very strong inner child which came as no surprise to me. We got talking about how my inner child is basically my emotions and my adult self is my practical mind. My emotions need acknowledged they can not be ignored and when they are not satisfied they throw a tantrum and end up being all controlling. What I need to do is satisfy both and find a balance between them in order to take complete control responsibility for myself or “Own It” as the kids say.
Baby Hildy age 3
So I was given a bit of homework to start weaning myself off rewarding with food and satisfying the creative child within (and out) by making an amazing sticker chart with small and large rewards for achievements and emotions I would usually cope with or reward with food.
I know I have been slightly quiet for a while, but it is mainly because I have really had to delve inside myself over the past few weeks and that can take it’s toll mentally which hasn’t left much time for blogging at the same time which I really never expected to happen. I felt like I needed some time to come to terms with what at the moment feels like a rather large job ahead!
There are a few issues which I just need to put my whole heart and mind into solving, which I will tell you all about later.
But for now here is an introduction to the lovely Julie from The Good Nature Company who will be giving me some Psychotherapy sessions we will be looking at the reasons I have emotional eating patterns and how I can take control of that.
Here is a little video from our first session and an introduction to what we will be exploring over the coming weeks.