To make any big change with our eating challenges – and indeed health
– there is a fundamental mindshift that has to take place.
This is to move from struggle to adventure.
The struggle mindset says “To shed this weight I need to punish and deprive myself. I don’t have the necessary willpower to make this change a natural part of my life. Therefore I must be my own drill sergeant/prison guard/irate headteacher, and constantly watch myself.”
The adventure mindset says “This will not be a smooth ride. I have built up habits around food over years, and they take time and patience to dismantle. While part of me really wants this change, another part will fight it. And that’s OK. I am going to pull out all the stops to navigate the challenges that I will create myself. I need to be creative, crafty and most of all curious on this journey.”
This is all very well, but how exactly do you move from the comfortable and familiar misery of the struggle mindset to the new and strange land of the adventure mindset?
You start with your DVD collection.
Do it now, if you are at home.
Pick out your favorite Hollywood blockbuster. The main character is going to be one of your guides on your eating change adventure. Let’s use Harry Potter as an example.
Harry has one big problem – Voldemort, the most evil wizard in the world. Harry’s mission is to defeat his enemy. Defeat him he does (I’m sure you’d have worked that out even if you had never seen the series), but along the way Harry changes as a person. He learns to trust others, navigate his rebel energy so it serves him, and most of all to become a true leader.
This basic story – hero has a challenge, and in overcoming it becomes a better person – was identified years ago by Joseph Campbell. Google ‘The Hero’s Story’ if you are interested. It is the basis for every movie you will ever see.
For our purposes, we can draw inspiration from Harry Potter and other films. How boring would it be if Harry defeats Voldemort in his first year at Hogwarts? Where’s the story in that, the opportunity for change, the adventure?
And it is the ways you need to change to achieve these outer goals of weight loss and lowering blood pressure and giving up sugar (or whatever your challenge is) that is the real prize. It is never about the food. The food is merely a tool that you can use to diminish or reclaim your life.
So turn your goals into quests. Use your favorite stories to elevate your journey from one of struggle into adventure.
Inquisitive. Playful. Non-conformist.
At the age of 40, Harriet Morris turned her food compulsion, binge eating and sugar addiction on its head, which allowed her to reclaim her life, as well as drop 3 dress sizes permanently. As well as an Eating Psychology Coach, she is an author, speaker and video blogger. Find out more about her and get your free video course at TheShiftInside.com/gift