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A lot of us are guilty of defeatist thinking when it comes to food. We just assume defeat is inevitable; that we’re powerless to its magnetic draw. What’s interesting is that this affliction appears to be no respecter of persons. Defeatist thinking with food takes down men and women, rich and poor, the corporate CEO and the suburban housewife.
Why is it such a struggle to gain control over food? The answer lies in what we think about the food we eat.
I am convinced that a person can never fully gain control over food until she gains control of her thoughts about food. It’s time to realize that it’s more than the food itself. Let’s look at 5 defeatist thoughts that make us powerless over food.
5 Defeatist Thoughts That Make Us Powerless Over Food
1. Food is just too good to resist.
Defeatist thinking says you might as well accept weight gain as inevitable because, after all, food really is just too irresistible. When allowed to flourish, this thought pattern can easily become an emotional scapegoat. If you approach food with zero planning…then, couple that with the foregone conclusion that food’s draw is too much for you to handle…you can definitely expect to gain weight.
It’s like a cheesy Sci Fi movie…the alien turns on the tractor beam as the helpless subject is unwilling drawn to the light.
How many of you have ever compared a bad eating episode to an “out-of-body” experience? You just lost your mind somewhere between the door and the buffet table, only to regain it hours later as you unbuttoned the top button of your jeans in the car.
It’s a lot easier to pass blame than to take personal responsibility for your actions. When you say a food is just too good to resist, you are actually passing the blame for overeating to the food. In so doing, you view your actions and food choices externally or separate from yourself…the food was so yummy, it made me eat it.
I write more of this in Excuses For Being Overweight – I Like The Taste Of Food.
2. I will just have to pay for it later.
Putting off the consequences of poor food choices typically leads to the situation where one pound quickly piles on top of another. Eventually, “later” is postponed so long that it will take a lot more than a few days at the gym to make up for the extra calories.
3. Food is part of the fun.
No one will deny that tasty food is fun. But, what happens when fun and entertainment become the norm instead of the exception?
Problems arise when we grow to expect food to consistently entertain us. This expectation causes us to gravitate toward foods that appeal to the pleasure centers of the brain. It’s natural to enjoy extra food when we attend a special party or celebration as long as we have eaten sensibly every other day.
However, things quickly spiral out of control when our mind tells us that EVERY MEAL should be a little party for one.
4. Eating food makes me feel better.
If you are hungry, food can make you feel better, physically. However, food cannot alleviate emotional pain. In fact, a lot of foods, like sugar and fatty foods, actually cause your mood to spike before it comes crashing down.
Long-term exposure to sugar and processed foods has actually been linked to depression.
Long-term exposure to an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression, according to the findings of a 2014 study in the online journal PLoS One that looked at diet and depression in 3,663 people. What constituted an unhealthy diet, for purposes of the study, was one that was high in sugar and processed foods.
5. I am supposed to gain weight.
If you tell yourself that you will gain weight over a holiday, vacation or business trip away from home; chances are you will do exactly that! Why?…because our behavior follows our beliefs.
Are you guilty of any of these flawed thoughts? Maybe it’s time to target your eating habits at the thought level. Weight gain is not inevitable unless you tell yourself it is. You always have a choice, so why not choose to focus your thinking on positive, proactive steps toward a healthier you.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
If you would like to read more about the excuses we often use when it comes to food, check out my post on the problem with focusing only on the symptom of weight. A list of excuses is provided at the end of the post…you can also type any of those titles into the search bar to learn more about each excuse.
Remember, your thoughts can make you feel powerless over food. But, you are only truly powerless when you allow yourself to be!
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