Tag Archives: Skinny Thinking

More on Emotional Eating – The Quest for Intimacy

My last few posts have touched on the emotional side of over-eating. I’ve mentioned more than once that eating can be a substitute for the people you wish were there for you.

If you’ve over-eaten, you also know eating can be a substitute for physical intimacy with another person. People may be hesitant to admit it but, let’s be honest here, when you’re eating alone, you’re not just wishing some other folks were around. You’re looking for physical as well as emotional pleasure. When you’re eating in large groups, that eating is your substitute for actually being close to someone in that group.
Continue reading

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health

Get to Where Tony Is, Not Where I Am

Tony wrote a great post over the weekend about incorporating exercise into your life.

All great advice, but to make it all work as he does, you first have to get to an emotional place where you can let go of food as your only friend, the struggle I’ve been writing about.

I contend the vast majority of overweight people, myself included, do not overeat because of hunger but rather because of emotional pain. I think at some level we all know we’re somehow shortening our lives with bad eating habits, but at that same deep level we’re saying ‘so what?’ Why live longer, miserably lives, lives when everyone and everything let’s you down, except for that junk food that’s always so easy to get?
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health

Laura’s Day 65 – Inquiry

List a Disturbing Belief About What Eating Emotionally Means About You:

Inquiry:
1. Can I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true?
2. What is the opposite of this belief?

Could this new belief be as true or truer than your original belief? What is your evidence? List three reasons or pieces of evidence for this:

1.
2.
3.

By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, portion size

Laura’s Day 64 – Uncovering Negative Beliefs About Emotional Eating

DAY 64 – Uncovering Negative Beliefs About Emotional Eating (Five Minutes)

In the next section, we’ll examine the stressful things we may be telling ourselves when we eat to satisfy emotional needs. For example, you might be telling yourself the following when you eat because you’re feeling down:

I’m weak.
I’ll never get the body I want.
I can’t get on the right track in my life, and I won’t attract the kind of partner I have always dreamed of.

To help you uncover your beliefs, read the lists in the next section and circle the ones that apply to you. Hold onto them because a few pages from now you’ll have a chance to question them in the section called “Inquiry for Resistance to Wise Responding, Expressing, and Emotional Eating.”

The more you question stressful beliefs, the less power they have over you, because you get to see that they don’t tell the whole story, the whole truth. When you see this, you can’t believe in them in the same way, and if and when they arise again, you won’t give them a second thought!

What Your Beliefs About Food and Eating Mean About You

We all have so many beliefs about food and eating that it might be hard to know where to start. In addition, these beliefs affect how we feel about ourselves. For example, you might think any or all of the following at different times in your life or even at different times during the day. Food…

Is my Achilles heal
Is heavenly
Is my only source of pleasure
Has to be governed with an iron fist
Makes me fat
Is not safe because I have to control myself when I’m around it
Is my curse

Ultimately, no matter how much you dress it up, food is fuel. It’s the stuff we stick in our tanks to keep the body moving, thinking, working, playing, and breathing. However, as we’ve seen, this basic truth about food has done little to prevent us from forming wildly romantic beliefs, and creating an overblown relationship with it. In this section, circle all of the beliefs about what it means to eat emotionally that cause you stress so that you can question them later.

Eating to Satisfy Emotional Needs Means… (Negative)

What It Means About My Character

I’m weak.
I have no willpower.
I’m a hopeless failure.
I’m unlovable.

What It Means to Others (friends, family, colleagues)

Others will judge me as:

A loser because I can’t get my eating under control
An emotional wreck
Not living up to my potential
Someone to look down upon
Gluttonous
Disgusting
An example of how not to live
Others think my eating is:
Immoral
Repulsive
A turn off
Pathetic

What It Means About How I Live My Life

I eat emotionally and that means:
I’ll never stay in a stable weight range and that means:
I’ll stop socializing.
I’ll stop trying to find a partner.
I’ll feel like a failure.
I’ll always be on a diet, trying to get a handle on my weight, and that means:
I’ll always be unhappy.
I’ll always struggle.
My weight will always yo-yo, so I’ll never be able to maintain a normal weight.

What It Means About My Ability to Be in Relationships

My emotional eating means that:

I’ll always be fat, and that means:
I won’t be loved.
I’ll end up alone.
No one will want me.
I won’t be able to attract the kind of partner I want because I’ll be judged for not being more together and in control of myself.
No one will want to be in relationship with me because I’m always in a bad mood when I eat emotionally.

I’ll never be able to reveal this shameful practice to my partner, so I’ll always have to hide my munching.

What It Means About My Career

My emotional eating means that:
*I won’t have the respect of my subordinates, peers, or superiors.
*People at work will think I’m weak-willed and lacking in self-esteem.
*I’ll lose out on promotions.
*I’ll talk out my bad moods on my co-workers
*I’ll never live up to my potential.
* If I can’t do a simple thing like manage my weight, I’ll never amount to much.

If you have other stressful beliefs that weren’t listed, take a moment to list them here:

The next few days of Inquiry will help to uncover and regain power over these stressful beliefs.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health

Laura’s Day 63 – Wise Self-Expression: Healing Low Self-Esteem

An important part of expressing ourselves wisely rather than using food for comfort is learning wise self-talk. Years of negative self-talk and believing those negative thoughts creates low self-esteem. Despite everything we’ve achieved, thoughts like “I’m no good,” may still plague us and will continue to do so until we begin to question, see through, and detach from them.

To create a new habit of wise self-expression, it’s important to become aware of what you’re saying to yourself. Set the intention to notice the way you habitually talk to yourself. If you say negative things, either replace those thoughts with positive thoughts or question the negative thoughts using self- inquiry.

If you’re feeling bad about yourself, it can drive you to comfort yourself by eating. However, if you can set the intention to notice when you’re feeling bad about yourself and ask, “What am I telling myself that is making me feel this way?” you interrupt the pattern. Then, you can replace your negative self-talk with positive self-talk. But if you eat to feel better, it adds to the problem, causing you to feel less attractive and bad about yourself. It’s a vicious circle.

1. What you’re saying to yourself that caused you to feel bad, and replace the negative thought with a positive thought,
2. Come up with three pieces of supporting evidence and become free of the negative belief that caused the negative feeling.

List the negative belief that is causing you to feel bad about yourself:

Replace the negative thought with a positive belief:

List three supporting examples:
1.
2.
3.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

1 Comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, portion size

Laura’s Day 62 – What Am I Repressing?

Eating compulsively and bingeing both come from repressed emotions, particularly repressed anger, and may require therapy to heal. Everyone has repressed emotions and it’s usually not a problem. It only becomes a problem when the anger causes us to hurt others or become self-destructive by eating to medicate ourselves.

We often repress the anger that we feel when we don’t go after what we want, when we aren’t true to ourselves, or when we don’t express or stand up for ourselves. We let our negative thinking stop us. When this happens, not only aren’t we following our hearts, we’re not following the dictates of the ego either. Because we haven’t learned to be assertive, we’re not taking action in our lives, and we’re stuck and depressed about it.

Many of us aren’t following our passions because we let our conditioning stop us. For instance, if you want to be an artist, you may not pursue that for fear (conditioning) of not being able to make a living at it. If you aren’t cut out for parenthood, you may end up having children because of conditioning that says you should.

If you follow your conditioning instead of your heart, you may be unhappy, living a life that doesn’t fit for you. And if you don’t do something to change that, you’ll continue to feel unhappy and depressed.

To do some work on this on your own, ask yourself these questions: Is there anything I’m keeping myself from doing? Is there anything I’m keeping myself from saying? How do I avoid asserting myself? Even if you discover an ego-based desire that you’re not following, it’s not healthy to repress it. Instead, let it see the light of day, acknowledge it, and then follow it or not. Record your responses below:

By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, portion size

Laura’s Day 61 – Your 5 Minute Exercise

DAY 61 – Doing Something I Love (Five Minute to Unlimited; write down something for what follows)
Here Is what I did:

By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health

Laura’s Day 60 – Becoming More Assertive and Saying “No”

One way to change this pattern is to become more assertive. If we feel that we’re not entitled to get angry or say “no,” instead of standing up for ourselves, we get angry in our minds and either repress or feed our feelings. When this happens, we’re likely to be eating at the same time that we’re having an angry conversation in our head that we could have dealt with another way.

If you’re doing this, you need to attend to the emotional issue that’s come up rather than feeding it with food and more thoughts. You can learn to heal it rather than feed it.

Today, pay attention to how you relate to other people. Make a point of asking for what you want and saying “no,” when it feels authentic.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health

Laura’s Day 59 – Self Assessment

If you’re not happy, it’s because you’re telling yourself something negative or because you’ve made choices that are not aligned with what you love to do or with your life purpose. Our mind can cause us to be unhappy because minds are, by their very nature, negative.

For example, the mind could be telling you that what you’re doing isn’t meaningful or that you’re not doing it well enough. So, it’s possible to be living a life that supports your life purpose but not be happy because your negative mind saps the joy out of it. The mind declares: “This is how things should be and how you should be,” and it quickly follows that with, “and you’re not.” “You’re not the way you should be; you’re not doing it right.”

In our culture we associate eating with celebration and parties and so when we think our lives lack enjoyment, we try to create fun through food. Yet, life often lacks fun because we’ve made it that way, either by creating lives that don’t suit us, doing too many things, or engaging in negative thinking.

Begin by discovering what created the emotion in the first place. Start by examining the structures in your life. For example, if you’re angry or resentful about the way your life is set up, you may need to make some changes. It’s best to stop doing things that you don’t want to do, within reason, or at least take steps in that direction. Even though you may feel locked into your life, you don’t have to spend most of your time doing things you don’t want to do. To become empowered and stop repressing or eating your feelings, you have to begin to listen to your heart and redirect your life so that you’re doing what you want to do.

Unless you realize that you are choosing how you spend your time, you will feel victimized, angry, and resentful and find yourself eating emotionally. There are always tasks that people would rather not do, but no one has to work at a job that just doesn’t fit. Eliminate as many unpleasant tasks and activities as possible so that you can be happy. You’re not meant to live a life that you don’t want to live.

Often we get going in the wrong direction because our mind or other people’s minds tell us we have to do this, that, or the other thing to survive or to attain a certain standard of living. If you’re doing what you want to do, you won’t need to get happiness from things. If you’re happy and fulfilled doing what you’re doing, life will feel good and you won’t feel the need to eat emotionally.

There’s the ego’s version of happiness, and then there’s real happiness. These two versions of happiness look very different. If living your heart’s truth or following your passions doesn’t include the money, success, or admiration the ego desires, then it can take courage to see that you can be happy living simply and doing what you love instead of having all the niceties that other people think you need.

In exchange for doing the things you hate, the ego offers you a nice car or nice house as a reward so that you can feel good about yourself. That’s the trade-off. But you don’t have to get happiness from feeling good about yourself on an egoic level. When you’re being true to yourself, you feel good about yourself because you genuinely like what you’re doing. Then feeling good isn’t conditional. You won’t need to be famous, sexy, or rich to feel good about yourself.

Ask yourself: Am I spending most of my time doing things I enjoy? If not, how can I reorganize my life to be able to do what I love?

Here are the things I love to do:

Here is how I will reorganize my life to be able to spend more time doing what I love:

By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, portion size

Laura’s Day 58 – Making Time to Be

Because our culture tells us that happiness is something to be attained rather than something to be noticed, we’ve become a society of doers. We do rather than be because we’ve been taught that doing will get us what we need to have a meaningful and happy life.

Once we’ve gathered the external trappings of a successful life, we think we’ll be happy. Yet, when we’re too focused on doing, we miss out on our natural happiness. In addition, because we do too much and don’t value feeding our souls enough–going within, resting, being quiet, listening, and meditating–many of us are perpetually stressed out. As a result, we find ourselves trying to get pleasure and satisfaction from tasting something good.

Our relationship with food is a spiritual issue. Ask yourself, “Is there a part of me that feels happy and at peace in this moment?” How connected do you feel with that part of you? This is your own Essence. The more we are connected with our own Essence, the part of us which is always happy and content, the less we are connected with the ego and its drives and the less we will look to things outside ourselves for happiness.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, portion size

Laura’s Day 57 – Speaking Your Truth Instead of Stuffing It

Today, if the opportunity arises to speak your truth from Essence rather than the ego, go for it!

Expressing negative emotions and reacting negatively to others is hurtful, but sharing truthfully what we’re feeling, experiencing, or thinking, from a place of balance and calm can gives others helpful information and aligns everyone with Essence. In this way, it can be positive and useful. Here’s an example from my life:

A friend and I had plans to meet. I arrived at the prearranged time and place, but my friend was nowhere to be seen. I waited for ten minutes, and still no friend. When I called to ask her what happened, she responded that she’d had a change of plans. This response upset me because:

1. She changed our plans without letting me know ahead of time.

2. Ten minutes after our meeting time she still hadn’t called, and I had to call her to find out what was going on.

3. If I had known that she wasn’t planning to come, I could have called someone else.

Here are two possible responses, one that could lead to compulsive eating, and one that represents a more balanced response:

Stuffing my feelings and pretending there is no problem:
I can pretend that it’s not a problem and stuff my feelings. After all, I don’t want to make her mad or make her think that I disapprove of her. If I tell her the truth, she may not want to be my friend anymore.

“No problem. These things happen. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

Expressing myself in a balanced way (after any anger has subsided):

1. I can factually express the truth: “Sarah we had plans, remember?”
2. I can express my feelings and how her behavior impacted me: “I feel disappointed that you didn’t tell me sooner because I could have invited someone else.”
3. I can tell her what I want. I can let her know what I’d like her to do in the future:
“Next time, please let me know ahead of time if you need to make a change.”
4. I can let her know how her behavior has affected my feelings about the relationship: “Sarah, when you do things like this, it makes it hard for me to stay open to you, and I want to let you know that I will be doing my own work on this as well.” Including this depends on the nature of the relationship. For instance, this might not be appropriate to say to someone in a work situation.

Speaking Essence’s truth is cathartic and healing, diffuses conflict, and actually brings us closer to others, while speaking the ego’s truth separates, inflames, and escalates conflict. We know we are speaking the ego’s truth when we find ourselves blaming, name-calling, making generalizations, and judging. In speaking the ego’s truth, we act out and defend our conditioning; in speaking Essence’s truth, we take responsibility for it.

To be clear, by expressing how we feel, we’re not asking the other person to change. Sometimes, to be able to be with and our anger or some other emotion rather than repress it, we need to express ourselves from Essence. This could take the form of asking for what we want in the future (e.g., “I’d appreciate it if….”). This isn’t the same thing as telling someone he or she has to change, which can sound judgmental and angry. How we say things and where the words are coming from make all the difference.

When we acknowledge our weaknesses or admit we’re having trouble releasing something, this is coming from Essence, since the ego doesn’t admit to its failings. You might say, “This is going on for me, and it’s interfering with my ability to feel close to you, and I’m working on it.”

When we’re stuck in an unresolved feeling and having difficulty moving on, asking the other person for an apology can help. You can simply say, “It would really make a difference to me to have an apology. If that’s something you feel you could do, I think that would help me feel better.” Apologies move both parties into Essence, whether we’re on the giving or receiving end.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, portion size

DAY 56 – Emotional Eating Mini-Review

Because emotional eating is perhaps the biggest hurdle we face in healing our food issues, a mini review can’t hurt. Here goes:

1. When you notice that impulse to stuff yourself with food, you can simply acknowledge it and take yourself away from the trough.

2.When you are able to notice the impulse, you are no longer identified with it. You’ve weakened it and become more conscious. At that point, you can ask yourself, “What story was I telling myself? Why do I need comfort right now?”

3.Next, you can use inquiry to debunk the story. This helps you see that your thinking is false. Once you do that, its hold over you weakens, and you are less likely to seek solace in comfort food.

Once you notice that gnawing, empty feeling that’s about to lead you away from yourself and into acting out your addiction, ask yourself any one of the following questions:

Am I physically hungry right now? Or am I looking for comfort?
In this moment, what stressful thought am I believing?
What am I believing that’s not true?
Is there something that I’m trying to avoid with food?
Would food satisfy me completely right now? Would it satisfy me forever?

Another helpful approach is telling the Child, “Not now, maybe later.” If you can put off the indulgence, you’re more likely to be able to find something more satisfying to do. Instead, take care of yourself in a way that supports and nourishes your soul rather than doing something you’re likely to regret later.

Feeling the impulse to eat when you’re not hungry is a fail safe sign of being in reaction and a great opportunity to ask yourself the previous questions. It doesn’t really matter which questions or techniques you use. Whatever you can do before or in the midst of emotional eating to slow down the action and interrupt the pattern is the “right” thing.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, portion size

Laura’s Day 55: Noticing Conditioning

Today, make a point to notice when conditioning has been triggered, either ours or someone else’s, and see if you can sidestep your emotional eating response. If you are able to do this, miracles can happen! You catch an emotion before it’s been created!

When people are criticizing us, it’s just their ego, their conditioning talking–not who they are. Although there may be a sliver of truth in what they’re saying (this is what hooks us), because they’re speaking from conditioning, we know that their words can’t contain the whole truth. When people criticize, judge, attack, or blame, in that moment, they believe their conditioning and they’re suffering. The best relationship we can have to them is one of compassion for their suffering.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, men and healthy eating, portion size

Laura’s Day 54: Inquiry About Other People’s Criticism and Aggression

Eating was my answer to everything, especially when people were critical of me or when I was belligerent with them. Thinking I needed comfort food to get me through those situations, I’d be reaching for the pint of Ben & Jerry’s so fast that heads would spin. Negativity (which is from the ego) in others created more negativity in me and vice versa.

There is no such thing as a nice ego. Whether it’s ours or someone else’s, egos are mean and ruthless. Some egos can put on a nice face to get what they want, but they’re never purely altruistic. When the ego acts or speaks, it is always about “me,” “my life,” and “what you can do for me.”
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, men and healthy eating, portion size

Laura’s Day 52: Another Inquiry Exercise

List a Disturbing Belief About a “Should” or Argument with Reality:

Inquiry:
1. Can I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true?_____________________
2, What is the opposite of this belief?

Could this new belief be as true or truer than your original belief? What is your evidence? List three reasons or pieces of evidence for this:

1.
2.
3.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, men and healthy eating, portion size

Laura’s Day 51: Inquiry

List a Disturbing Belief About a “Should” or Argument with Reality

Inquiry:

1. Can I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true?_____________________
2. What is the opposite of this belief?

Could this new belief be as true or truer than your original belief? What is your evidence? List three reasons or pieces of evidence for this:

1.
2.
3.

By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, men and healthy eating, portion size