Hidden in Plain Sight: Food Addiction Reset - Issue 50

Hidden in Plain Sight: Food Addiction Reset - Issue 50

My Group Makes me feel calm, even when I'm not at Meetings. 

This week we asked our ARC members to tell us what they get out of being in a support group. Then, we asked our FB community to vote on which benefits are most important to them. Today we reveal the results so you can know if you’re getting the best out of your group or even if it would make sense to get into a support group. As always we are looking for how this information helps us keep control of our food.
 
Here we go in reverse order. Staying calm, no matter what is going on. Many people don’t know that staying calm no matter what is the core secret to maintaining control over food. Stress is very closely related to cravings. A good jolt of stress can so provoke the craving pathways in the brain that instant loss of control can result. Your support group should be teaching specific and easy exercises to stay calm in moments of stress. There are exercises to do to shift from excited to calm. There are lots of different ways to make ourselves calm at a moment of excitement.
 
Affirmations are a great way to help the brain find it's way out of a chaotic state. Repeating affirmations very often in calm circumstances means that they become a calming trigger.

An example is just, 'I am calm, no matter what.' Try repeating that to yourself over and over and see what happens. Another might be more specific, 'My brain is calm.' I use this one frequently. I catch myself sometimes thinking so hard about something or several things at the same time. I get that whirlpool feeling in my brain like thoughts are swirling around too fast. Just repeating, 'My brain is calm,' over and over will bring my thoughts back into order. I like being able to get back to a productive, happy life so easily.
 
Saying affirmations in a group seems to make their effect much stronger. It's almost like the group feeds positive reinforcement to me. I like that so much.  

 


 My Group Makes me feel Secure. 

Reason number 3 that people appreciate their support group is that the group makes them feel secure.

For thousands of years, groups have given people a sense of security. As we've reviewed so many times in this show, our ancestors survived because they lived in groups. Groups were the source of food and famine was the leading cause of death. Groups also found shelter from storms that would otherwise have killed. Groups also protected against predators by being alerted to their presence, by figuring out which way to run, by hiding wisely, and of course by banding together to fight off threats.

In modern days, groups perform similar life-saving functions. We live in a culture of predators. OK, they're not saber-toothed tigers, but they're still predators. Today, our worst predators are not muggers and burglars. They're neuro-marketers who know how to use advertising, availability, and addictive products to retrain our brains to crave intensely while also forgetting how toxic, addictive foods are to us. Neuro-marketers deliberately make us feel bad about ourselves so that we'll buy numbing processed food-like substances to dull the pain. Neuro-marketers earn doctorates in the psychology of marketing so they can persuade users to become addicted. We have no chance to beat neuro-marketers on our own. Our only chance is to be in a group.

Our group needs to be wise in the ways of neuro-marketing. We can only win against neuro-marketers and keep ourselves secure if we know their tactics. We need training on how to avoid food stimulation. We need quick, easy, budget-friendly ways to prepare and store foods.


Most importantly, we need to feel comfortable doing this for the rest of our lives. Food neuro-marketers are not going away. They're getting worse. Our brains are only really happy if we're doing what people around us are doing. So we need to be around people who avoid triggers, train to stay calm, and eat clean.

 


I work Through Issues when I talk About them with Others. 

Reason number 2 is that group members have a place to work through issues. This is crucial to gaining and retaining and maintaining control over food.  Research shows that relationships are a leading cause of relapse.  This makes sense.  We're already super sensitive to what people think of us because we're so hard on ourselves.  We beat ourselves up over anything.  We're afraid that other people might find out that we've lost control of our food.  We're embarrassed about our body shape.  And no one knows that none of this is our fault! We're told all the time that we should have more will power.  It's ridiculous!

All these factors make us afraid of other people.  We're so scared of disappointing others.  We're afraid of their judgment.  We're afraid they think we don't measure up.  We're just afraid.

However, other people may be abusing us even if they don't mean to.  They may be impatient of us.  They may have unreasonable expectations of us.  They may be ashamed of our body shape.  They may not realize that none of our problems are of our making. I'm sure they don't understand that they're making things worse.

So we have issues with people.  Galore.  We need to get them to stop the behavior that is hurting us.  We need to train them in how to behave helpfully.  We need ideas about how to do this.  We need a place where we can rehearse the things we need to say. We need reassurance that we're doing the right thing.

Many of us have never had the chance to learn how to manage other people skillfully.  We grew up in chaotic households where yelling and fighting were the methods used to settle disagreements.  Sitting down and constructively working out a creative solution is not something we've ever seen.  Groups are invaluable for trying out ideas and filling out plans for resolving issues joyfully and productively.  


I'm Inspired to grow and Realize new Things About Myself. 

The greatest reason that people enjoy being in a group is that they're inspired to grow and learn new things about themselves.


Why This is NOT Your Fault

We’re not going to join a group if we don’t know what we’re getting out of it what’s the value? So today we saw that the right group can shift a stressed life to a happy life. Working through problems means that we don’t eat over them. Staying calm is direct relapse prevention. Feeling secure has a wondrous impact on cravings. We spend our lives growing and being delightfully tickled at new found skills. Finding the right group and getting settled into it is the difference between thriving and struggling.


 

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