Ten Eating and Food Beliefs to Live By
If your beliefs about eating and food are unhealthy, your attitudes and behaviors will be too. That’s a fact. This means that if you want to be a “normal” eater, you have to think like one which involves sorting through your beliefs about food/eating/weight to make sure that they’re rational and healthy. Ten or so healthy core beliefs will do you just fine.
To create a new belief system, read my book, THE RULES OF “NORMAL” EATING, which teaches you how to distinguish between rational and irrational beliefs and turn the former into the latter. Use the beliefs in the book to create your own set of 10 for eating. If you already know how to reframe beliefs, make a list of your own about eating/food/weight to form the operating system for your relationship with food and your body. Look for beliefs which underlie others, ones that program you to do what you do around food and the scale whether you’re always conscious of them or not.
Assess what’s irrational about your beliefs by seeking evidence to prove or disprove them. If your belief is “Diets make me thin,” compare it to your experience. Has chronic dieting kept weight off you? If not, then the belief goes against what you know as truth based on the evidence of your history. Test each belief against what you know through experience, not what you wish or hope for, what seems true for others, or what you’ve been told. Then reframe each belief by using “I” statements in the present tense with active verbs. After you’ve written what you consider a rational belief, weigh it against the evidence and see if it holds true, e.g., “Diets are a disappointment to me.”
This entire exercise is one that will prompt you to think—really think—about your beliefs about food. In my experience, many of you say you want one thing while believing another. You won’t love your body, whatever its shape, if you believe it’s only lovable at one size or weight. You won’t become a “normal” eater if you are convinced that you can never say no to sweets and treats. In order to recover from eating problems, you need rock solid, rational, sensible, sane beliefs.
When you’ve created your new system of 10 rational beliefs, read them over daily, especially upon awakening and before going to sleep. Post them on the dashboard of your car, computer, refrigerator, and bathroom mirror—anywhere you can read them easily and often. Say them aloud in front of a mirror three times a day with conviction. Recite them before every eating experience. You’ll see, over time, that these new beliefs will supplant your old ones and you’ll find eating “normally” a great deal easier.