If you have read any of my other blogs, you know that I am a big fan of bringing more flexibility into brain retraining and the healing process in general. Many of us were taught that the way to add new things into our life, or expand our habit zone, is with plan, measure and repeat. This approach can be super effective at times, and too rigid at other times.
When plan, measure and repeat isn’t a good fit, I find that clients often unconsciously fall into what I see as the Screw It Approach. The Screw It Approach is basically "I’m going to do whatever I want and deal with the consequences later. I haven’t trained on adding this in, I’m frustrated with not having it and I know I’m going to react, but I don’t care". I see this pattern show up all the time with food.
While the Screw It approach brings in more flexibility, it isn’t a recipe for success. The energy underneath the Screw It Approach isn’t positive or empowered. The Screw It Approach is often fueled by frustration and feeling hopeless when it comes to adding in new foods. Neither one of those things sends a message of safety to the brain and nervous system. Taking this approach often reinforces the exact patterns in the brain that we are trying to steer out of. It continues the cycle of I eat this and get these symptoms.
So then what? Does that mean the only option is to embrace plan, measure and repeat with food? No. For many of us we have been planning, measuring and repeating with food for decades and we actually need to step out of that pattern. Many clients have successfully added foods back in with a less structured approach that may look like the Screw It Approach from the surface, but has very different energy and preparation underneath it.
Part of the preparation is the underlying script about eating/the food we are wanting to add in. Trying to eat something with an underlying belief system that this food causes inflammation, is bad or high in a certain substance, is probably not going to go well. That belief system needs to be addressed and worked on first. That helps to lay the foundation for positive change.
The energy piece is being aware of the underlying energy when we are deciding to have something that we haven’t done a lot of training on. I find it goes much better when clients feel empowered and good about the choice to have the food. There is an underlying sense of “I can do this” and a positive and uplifted feeling to the whole thing. There is often an expectation or inner sense that it will go well and calm/empowered knowing that there are tools to use if some symptoms come up. Very, very different from the energy underlying Screw It, I’m going to eat this.
Want to learn more about adding things in from an empowered place instead of continuing to feed the old pathways with the Screw It Approach? Come join one of my upcoming Recovering Together groups.
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