Food Addictions: What Lies Beneath and How to Break the Cycle
Addictions are a common topic of conversation with my clients, particularly around food addictions, and how to break the cycle?
Here I offer you ways in which you can start to understand why you do addictions, what lies beneath and how you can take back control.
So, what is an addiction anyway?
Addictions are behaviours that you do that you can’t stop even if you want to. They help you avoid feelings you don’t want to feel and instead provide safety, comfort and relief in a moment when you may be feeling anxious, uncertain or uneasy.
Essentially, addictions suppress, cover up or hide your true feelings.
Did you know you can be addicted to almost anything? It could be chocolate, coffee, lollies, shopping, exercise and even drama?
Although you say you want to stop these behaviours because they bother or annoy you, this behaviour gives you something. The pleasure and the reward the behaviour gives you outweighs the pain and difficulty it takes to stop.
Some of those rewards you may be getting include relief, happiness, relaxation, energy, excitement, satisfaction…
Or, maybe you just get an overall sense that you feel better!
You’ve likely had some success in beating your addiction, but only for a short time? Kicking the habit long-term is the challenge, right?
You’ve probably tried the diet, you’ve removed the chocolate or temptations from the house, you tell yourself you’ll do better tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.
To overcome addictions, you need to find out what’s underlying the addiction and resolve that. When you heal on a deeper level you no longer need the addiction because you are no longer avoiding how you really feel.
So, how do you do that?
Firstly, it’s important to build awareness by noticing when the addiction is triggered.
That means being aware of what starts the behaviour?
A word of warning though, the addiction can be triggered in many different ways.
For example, you could reach for chocolate when you’re bored, when you’re stressed or overwhelmed, or even when you’re relaxed. It could be at work, at home or in social settings.
The common thread though is that what’s underlying the addiction to the chocolate is the same, even though the triggers may be wide and varied.
So, how do you build awareness?
Start by noticing what is happening right before you reach for the chocolate or do the undesirable behaviour.
Look at your environment…
Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing?
Notice how you’re feeling…
Notice where you’re feeling that in your body…
Listen to what the voice is saying in your head…
Make notes in a diary or on your phone on what you’re observing.
This simple act of awareness will bring to your attention the pattern and the triggers in the moment it’s happening.
What you’re aware of, you can change. What you’re not aware of, you can’t.
With this information you can create a more supportive environment to avoid certain triggers altogether. You could remove temptation, certain people from your life, and create a healthy work and home environment.
With awareness you can choose to do a different behaviour when you notice the thoughts and feelings coming over you. You could go for a walk, play with the kids, go for a shower, meditate, put on some music, call a friend or loved one to talk about how you’re feeling…
You can then change your thoughts to more empowering thoughts in the moment.
By changing your old behaviour with a new behaviour and combining that new behaviour with a new thought you create a new belief.
Without a new action, words and affirmations alone do not change the underlying belief or subconscious pattern because you need the action to prove the old belief wrong.
By combining words with a new action, the old subconscious belief gets updated, upgraded and eventually overwritten.
While you’re setting up the best possible environment for success it’s time to express the feelings that you’ve been avoiding for so long, in a functional and healthy way with someone you trust.
This is when the deeper change happens. When you can communicate in the moment and express your true nature and who you really are, any behaviours that do not serve you will fade because you’re allowing yourself to be you.
To create permanent change it takes commitment, self-reflection and consistent action. For many years you’ve believed a story about who you are. Now it’s time to rewrite your story and create the life you dream of.
Ready to learn more about how you can change your thinking and unlock your true potential?
Learn more about my coaching program and rediscover you!
"Love your body to health"