Phew and double phew! You made it through The Second Step. How does it feel? Are you still breathing? Is your heart still pumping blood? You’ve made it through the most challenging information in the book. Congratulations!
Many of us go “zombie” when we’re eating.
Nibbling calories count.
Nibbling while doing other things is not very satisfying because you can’t fully experience eating or whatever else you’re doing because your attention is divided.
Most people have a skewed idea about the size of the portion they can eat and still remain at their desired weight.
The “jeans test” is unreliable.
The bathroom scale is your friend again.
Hunger is your friend.
If people let themselves get hunger a few times every day, it would end the obesity problem in this country.
Hunger is not a reliable gauge for when to stop eating.
Any diet will work as long as you are consuming fewer calories than you’re using.
To Do List
Check off any tasks you’ve been able to complete. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect at these tasks before checking the boxes. Tick them off the list if you’ve made some strides or attempts. Even if you’ve only practiced something once, tick it. Remember, these behaviors are new and may take quite a long time to take hold. You’ve reinforced your old habits for years, so be gentle and patient with yourself as you establish new behaviors.
I was able tojust eat rather than doing other things at the same time.
I sat down to eat.
I avoided nibbling.
I put my fork down in between bites or walked around during a meal to interrupt my automatic food shoveling.
I used the Food Log to plan. I wrote down my food for the next day.
Using the Food Log, I checked the foods that I actually ate and added any additional foods that I hadn’t planned on eating (including nibbles).
If I deviated from the plan, I didn’t beat myself up.
I controlled my portion sizes.
I’ve been weighing myself regularly to help me manage my weight.
I wrote down my fears about hunger and took them to inquiry.
I’ve been waiting until my tummy is talking to me before eating.
I would like to lose weight, and I have been cutting out _____ calories per day.
Eating Guidelines and To Do List
When we’re listening to Essence, or the Wise Witness, we naturally adhere to the eating guidelines below. The objectivity and rationality of Essence counteracts the ego’s emotional or childish side.
How are you doing with incorporating the first three steps? Remember, you’ve been letting the Child call the shots for years, so be patient with yourself. As you check the To Do List below, be gentle. Let it be okay for you to have missed, forgotten, or been unable to put some aspects of the first three steps into practice. If, in your heart of hearts, you really want to be free of your eating and weight issues, you will be, on your own time schedule.
The First Step
* I’ve been paying attention to my thinking.
* I’ve been thinking pragmatically rather than romantically about food. This means that when I catch myself imagining how a certain food will taste, I stop it.
* I set the intention to have a practical, wise, and healthy relationship with food.
* I’ve been noticing when my Pleasure-Seeking Child comes on the scene.
* I’ve been deciding whether or not to give in to my Pleasure-Seeking Child rather than merging with her and doing whatever she wants.
* When the desire to overeat comfort food arises, I’ve been seeing it as my conditioning, as the Pleasure-Seeking Child.
* I’ve been using inquiry to help me see the whole truth about food–what it can offer me, and what it can’t.
* When I want food and my body’s not hungry, I’ve asked myself any or all of the following questions: What is it that’s aware of the thought, ‘I want food right now?’ Is that thought or craving, me? If I am aware of it, how can it be me?
* I used any or all of the following Powerful Craving Kung Fus:
** Powerful Craving Kung Fu #1: Put Your Attention on Something Else
** Powerful Craving Kung Fu #2: Seeing the Whole Picture About Food
* I used any or all of the following Powerful Kung Fus for Emotional Eating:
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #1: Dis-identifying with the Feeling
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #2: Dis-identifying with the Thought
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #3: Identifying the Need
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #4: Inquiry
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #5: Seeing the Whole Picture About Food
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #6: Put Your Attention on Something Else
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #7: I Do that Too
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #8: Think Something Positive Instead
** Powerful Emotional Eating Kung Fu #9: Allow the Feeling to Be There
* I’ve been devoting 5-10 minutes per day to recharging my batteries.
* To counteract romanticizing food, I’ve asked myself if my romantic projection is really true.
* I backslid and didn’t beat myself up about it.
The Second Step
* I’ve been eating mostly unprocessed foods.
* Most of my calories now come from food (that’s grown) rather than non-food (that’s made).
* If a food makes me feel out of control or if I’m addicted to it, I either created a strategy to limit it that I could stick to or I cut that food out of my life.
The Third Step
* I’ve been more aware while I’ve been eating.
* I either wrote down my food or decided what I was going to eat and stuck to it.
* I waited to eat until I was hungry.
* I checked in with my body to see whether I was truly hungry, to avoid mistaking thirst for hunger.
* I chose how much to eat based on portion size rather than satiety.
* I ate more slowly.
* I put down my fork in between bites or got up and walked around.
* I ate when I was eating. I ate by myself, concentrating on the sensual experience of eating.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking