I am amazed.
I was feeling so addicted.
And now I am so completely not.
Here’s what I think….
2. Lucky tooth-ache and cold
4. Raw Foods
5. Green Juice
6. EBT (Emotional Brain Training)
I think I was sincerely seeking to be free of my addiction (to certain cooked foods), and therefore many factors converged to assist me. I will give you more details on how the above factors worked together to help me….
I have been learning/practicing Emotional Brain Training (EBT not to be confused with EFT/Tapping) for 6 months. That is about how long it said it would take for me to rewire my brain to process stress better and be able to start changing the addictive behaviors. It worked.
For the last week I have been 100% raw easily. It started with a prayer, uttered many times over the years, for true healing, inner and outer in harmony.
This time it was set in motion with a lucky toothe-ache and cold that made me not able to eat anything. That re-set my brain after a very addicted season.
But, I have been exercising more regularly more often more of the time.
Also, Storm has been making meals more regularly, and they are better and better. He focuses on the really filling meals for the sake of the kids. This is helping me too. Being out-and-about where there are temptations it really helps to have a tummy full of satisfying raw food.
Through EBT I learned to see that I go to food for relaxation, and then I learned to really have compassion for the fact that I go to food for relaxation. I learned to watch myself with compassion even in the moment of eating addictive foods.
Then I found that I wasn’t worried about what I was eating. It was almost frightening to be so “OK” with eating badly. But I had truly accepted myself eating anything I wanted to. I didn’t fight my addictive cravings. I just compassionately observed myself doing my addiction, knowing that it was a “Survival Circuit” that existed for a good reason.
What happened almost immediately after I did this is that the addiction wires in my brain softened and I found myself not going to food for relaxation any more.
I was concurrently learning to process stress better, by taking 2-minute time-outs for deep belly breathing and checking in with my emotions hourly.
Also I was using the EBT tools which create new wires in your brain that process stress in a normal, healthy way rather than by reaching for external solutions.
The tools are simple, short, fun and easy, and I learn more about myself each time I practice them, which might be three times a day or three times a week, depending. It is a flexible and elegant system.
I do have to pray too. EBT doesn’t include prayer. But for EBT to work for me, I had to continue my prayer practice and my gratitude practice too.
Anyway, I was very excited after I found that I was having more 100% raw days without really trying to, and when I did cheat it was less frequent, less food and with better food choices. And I didn’t beat myself up for any of it either.
Then I had a few “bad” days, made some not-so-good choices, and really started beating up on myself because I thought I was past all that. After this I was feeling pretty sure that I was never going to be free of food addiction.
But I kept working EBT, the tools, exercising, eating raw food, and that cold / toothache happened, and I thought – let’s use this to re-set myself to 100% raw. I guess maybe I finally realized I really do want to be 100% raw and all this experimenting with high-raw is just costing a whole bunch of time, for me.
And then I noticed the new voice. The prefrontal cortex, the logical brain gaining power and talking to the impulsive reptilian brain saying “Yes, you could go and buy that food, and it is a nice feeling to know you can do that if you choose to, but you really don’t have to actually do it”.
See, one of my “Survival Circuits” was “I go to food for power”. It was the power/freedom to call my own shots, to drive somewhere and spend money, to know that I can eat a certain thing at a certain time, to have a feeling of being in complete control over some small area of my life.
Here’s where the green juice came in. I know I do better with green juice, although nobody else in my family drinks it, so I don’t usually bother to get the ingredients and make it. But once I saw that I needed to have some control over my food, I started to do more green juices and green smoothies. Now I felt in control and also was adding nutrients that kept my cravings in check.
I believe this new voice of reason was able to come to the forefront of running the show because I had “seen” and understood why I was going to food! (one of the reasons, anyway).
Now, even when I get cravings, which I see are mostly habits such as going in to a certain store, a certain person stressing me out a certain way, a certain time of day, or completing a certain task — all things that I would indulge after, I can notice the craving but not react to it.
That is when the voice of reason comes in and says things like “I don’t really want that”, “why would I want to eat something that hurts me”, “I don’t really need it”, “I can wait until later”, or “I can do something else, eat something else, etc..”
Part of it might be that I’ve gone back and forth enough now, experimented enough now, that I am pretty sure that cooked foods are hurting me and that 100% raw food heals me. I’ve looked at this part of life from both sides now. From the possibility that I’m being dogmatic and perfectionistic or orthorexic and from the possibility that I might really need to or as it turns out prefer to be 100% raw.
However, the feeling I have inside is totally different now. Before, I think there was a lot of “static” energy, confused energy, around food. EBT helped me to organize my experience, understand what I was doing and why, and how to get my needs met without going to external solutions, in a way that is much deeper and feels much better.
I am not counting on this lasting forever this time; just enjoying it while it does, and holding on to it as long as I can. And I will try to stay conscious and compassionate if ‘n when I fall off the wagon again for whatever reason. I understand that learning proper self-care is a slow process with ups and downs. Patience and love are required.
I am sharing my EBT experiences in my 21 and 28 Day Programs now, and will be sharing a Teleclass with you in which my EBT coach Barbara Gabriel teaches how to do an hourly 2-minute check-in to but a brake on our automatic stress response and also how to use the Damage-Control Tool to help you minimize harm during a compulsive brain state.
Our next 21 Day Cleanse session starts Monday March 18th (tomorrow). You can click here for more information: http://21DaysRaw.com
Our EBT/RAW Program The Joy Foods Diet starts in April. Click here for more information: http://JoyFoodsDiet.com