If you’ve ever had the thought, “This is just a part of my personality. Food is my drug of choice and it always will be…” then you’re in the right place. These involuntary thoughts are keeping you stuck, so we’re taking a deep look at these beliefs, so we can correct them and create permanent change in our brains and on the scale.
Tune in this week to discover the tool that’s going to help you understand food addiction, and then I’m teaching you the top four learning processes for how to reprogram your brain so you can overcome your food addiction once and for all.
Are you feeling like food is an addiction, you just can’t seem to kick that you don’t have the grit, or the determination required, that you are past the point of success? I am here to tell you that you, you aren’t alone but that there is hope because overcoming these troubles is a lot easier than you can imagine when you have the tools necessary to overcome them.
I am Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters, episode 51, Food Addiction and The Cure.
Did you know you could lose weight and keep it off for good? After 25 years of hiding behind my quilts, I have finally cracked the code for permanent weight loss, and I’ve lost 50 pounds without exercise or counting calories. I’m Dara Tomasson, professional quilter turned weight and life coach, where I help quilters just like you create a life they love by losing weight and keeping it off for good. Let’s jump into today’s episode.
So, this episode you can expect to learn the one tool that’s going to help you understand about food addiction and then I’m going to teach you the top four learning processes of how to overcome it, to reprogram your brain. So, if you have the thought, it’s my personality, food is just my drug of choice, it’s just who I am, I have always done this, I am powerless to change because I have been doing this for so long, I’m past my prime. Whatever those thoughts are these are keeping you stuck.
And the tool that we’re going to talk about, and I have talked about this in previous episodes. But I’m going to be showing you the four steps of taking something involuntary to learning what was going on, being able to correct it and being able to make permanent change. And so, desire is something that we learn. Most of us think about desire as being innate. People feel like desire isn’t a choice, that it’s something we either have or I don’t have. So, we either desire peaches or we don’t. We think we have no control over desire.
We think that desire is one of those program things that we seem to experience involuntarily. It’s because of the way that the brain works. So, before I go into that I want to share with you the success of one of my clients. And she took one of my master courses, the one on using weight, not losing weight. And she went on vacation and did a wine tour. And she decided that she was going to drink the wine. And so, in five weeks she’s lost 24 pounds, but she gained five pounds back in the wine tour.
So, to date she’s lost 19 pounds. And the thing that is so amazing about this experience for her is that it’s exactly what I’m talking about in today’s podcast. That she thought, it’s just my personality. It’s just the way that I am. I’ve always just done this. I’m just overweight. That’s just who I am. And it’s been very interesting to watch. And I asked her last week, I said, “So what created these incredible results?”
So, the thoughts that she had was, I’m going to use the weight that I already have on my body, I’m not trying to lose weight. I’m trying to use my weight. Another thought she had was she’s not able to go without the sugar and flour. She still is needing that at some point. But she says to herself, her thought is, I will just eat when I’m hungry and I’ll stop when I’m done. And then with the sugar and flour I will just eat less of these things and pay attention to what’s happening in my body.
So, isn’t that fascinating? Especially as you listen to the episode 50, when I talked about the essentials, the necessaries and the nice to-do’s. And just how impactful our thoughts are on weight loss. So, for all of you who are listening to this podcast, you’re seeing okay, I can see that my thoughts have this. And you’re struggling throughout the week or feeling like you’re not able to implement these things, it’s only because when you have a coach that helps you.
It’s like watching a YouTube video on layups. And then going to the gym and practicing layups. If you don’t have someone observing you doing the layups you might be learning how to do the layups in the wrong way. I just bring layups because my kids, I spend a lot of time at the gym with my kids in basketball. So having a coach, being in a program, that’s what helps them be able to – they have that follow-up. They have that person watching them. They have that implementation, that practice. So that is why they are able to have the success that they have.
They have the same tools as I’m teaching you in the podcast, but they have the application, and they have that reinforcement and that guidance interaction. So that’s one of the shifts. So, let’s look over the four steps, the learning process. When you repeat a newly learned behavior the brain recognizes it as a pattern, this is called a habit. The pattern has now moved into the lower brain and becomes automatic. When a behavior is automatic it requires less energy, no conscious thought.
So, for example, picking up a glass and drinking, pouring water, those all have become very automatic. Desire is the same thing. You’ve created a pattern that when you are sad you turn to peanut butter, or chocolate, or sugary coffee. In fact, today in our thread in the Facebook group I asked, “What is the food that you go to when you’re sad?” And so, the members were sharing.
And one of the ladies said that if she was good at the end of the day her parents would reward her with a bowl of ice-cream. So, she’s 60 some years old and that’s just what she does. If she’s been a good girl or even a bad girl, if she wants to feel good, she wants to feel like she’s good, all she needs to do is eat some ice-cream and then she can have that feeling. So, do you see how we have created that desire for ourselves? And if we don’t dig it up and don’t realize why then we’re kind of fighting against ourselves.
You learn through repetition and the more you do something the more automatic or autopilot it has become. It’s natural, it becomes who you are. So just like I said at the beginning of the episode, this is just who I am. This is just my personality. It seems involuntary because it’s something you’ve programmed into your mind. You have created that yourself.
I have such a silly example. So, when I was a little girl my dad would get the newspaper. And they would wrap the newspaper with an elastic. And my dad just would get the newspaper in his vehicle, and he would just put the elastic on the signal light. And so, growing up I just always saw elastics on the left side of the steering wheel of the signal light, or whatever, that was your windshield wiper or whatever that was. And so ever since I started driving I would always every time I had an elastic I just put it right there. And it just seems like that’s what you do, that’s just part of it.
And I asked my dad once about it and he said, “Well, I just didn’t want to have a messy car. So, I thought well, it’s just hanging there, I’ll just put it there.” And then that just became automatic for him and then after a while it got too many elastics and he’d throw them away or he’d use them somewhere. So, we don’t think about it.
So, if you want to change you need to reprogram your mind. Now, the key with desire is desire grows with being rewarded. So, depending on how intense the reward is will determine the level of action. So, brushing your teeth does not have a huge immediate reward. Eating a chocolate chip does but eating an entire chocolate bar is even more of an intense reward. So first there is an unconscious habit, and then there is the emotion that is created.
So, when you can slow down long enough to see that you have a habit and allow for the emotion you can stop the habit. Don’t get mad at your brain. You are the one who programmed it to respond this way. Your brain wants to survive so it has figured out that if you eat a beet or a berry, you won’t get as much dopamine as a chocolate chip or drink pop. So, our brain is always prioritizing having that reward over anything else. So, what do you think is the process of working with desire instead of fighting against it?
So, every episode I have a worksheet, or something to help you with that. So, in this episode you’re going to have a worksheet that’s going to help you discover the roots of your desire. So just like my client who said when at the end of the day if she was a good girl she got a bowl of ice-cream. And I’m going to give you some questions to ask yourself on that.
And I want you to as you’re working through that worksheet and as you’re thinking about your life and your experiences, I want you to imagine you being in an airplane. And you’re sitting in the airplane, and you need to put the seatbelt on. And the seatbelt is really tight and maybe you might have to ask for a seatbelt extender. So, I want you to think about how that feels in your body. I want you to think about if you’re embarrassed or if you’re really uncomfortable if you’re exhausted. I want you to really think about that situation.
And then I want you to ask yourself, how did I get into a body that is really uncomfortable on an airplane seat. And I want you to think of all the nights where you were frustrated or scared, I mean everyone is different. Did you overeat? Remember, there’s only two reasons we’re overweight. One is over-desire, which is the sugar and the flour. Or is it over-hunger, which is eating more often than you need and overeating? So, I want you to think back, do an inventory of all the different times that you just put more food in your mouth than you needed.
And then I want you to slow all of that down. So, what was the thought right before I put that food in my mouth? What was the thought when I was just sitting on the couch mindlessly eating that popcorn or those nuts, or whatever that is? Was it I’m not worth it? Life’s too hard? I can’t handle this? This is too much? I’m not worth the struggle? You might as well just give up, you’ve already failed? It’s just who I am, I’ve always done this, I’m powerless to change? Are those the thoughts you had?
Because as soon as you realize those thoughts then you can call your own bluff. You can say, “Hey, is that even true?” And so, let’s go back to the airplane analogy, so you’re sitting in the airplane, and I want you to think, okay, how do I feel right now? And then how do I want to feel? What is my best version of me in an airplane? What size of pants am I wearing, what size of dress or how much do I weigh? How would that feel if it was just effortless for me? What would it take for me to get to that size?
So, the next time you go to have the popcorn, and you’re feeling frustrated at night, or you want to go through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen because you’re so irritated with your neighbor mowing their lawn, or the dogs barking, or somebody at the guild making a comment. Instead of you eating that Blizzard to get back at them or to feel better, what would it be like just to say, “Hey, I kind of want to eat this, I kind of want to escape these feelings but I also really want to be comfortable on an airplane.
So do I have these chips right now or do I just allow myself to feel that negative emotion and maybe I’ll go for a walk, or maybe I’ll have a drink of water, or maybe I’ll shout and scream. But I’m done with beating myself up. I’m done with adding more calories to my body. I am done with – it’s not helping me. And I’m actually learning to prioritize myself and my own mental and physical health and putting all of this extra stuff in my mouth and my body, doesn’t do that for me.”
Alright, so this has been really helpful and in fact within the program there’s been a theme last week where one of the ladies shared that she had heard me say, “Do I want to sit in an airplane and feel comfortable or I’d rather have a momentary pleasure of this donut? Would I rather hold this baby and walk around with this baby for two hours and have that strength to do that or am I going to just keep having all these extra nuts all the time? What would I rather?” And the more that you can do that you’re going to reprogram your brain.
Just to conclude this episode, the learning process is one, you repeat a newly learned behavior, the brain recognizes there’s a pattern, this is called a habit. Number two, the pattern has now moved into the lower brain and becomes automatic. Number three, when a behavior is automatic it requires less energy, no conscious thought. So, then desire is the same thing, you created that pattern. So, when you’re sad you turn to peanut butter.
Number four, you learn through repetition and the more you do something the more autopilot it has become. So that is the how we have the learning process. So why not that use that learning process for your good? And this is what we’re doing in Love Yourself Thin. We’re learning how to use it for good. I would love to hear what comes up for you in the worksheet of discovering the roots of your desires. And when you see what you really want and you start interrupting, I really want to feel comfortable in an airplane.
But then you start seeing that having popcorn every night is just hiding from an uncomfortable feeling. Because you can’t argue with the results of what happens when you have popcorn all the time. So, when your brain wants to survive it has figured out that having more chocolate or pop can give you more energy, so it starts to prioritize it. But when you do this worksheet and when you learn that what you really want is to feel comfortable in an airplane. And what you really want is to feel calm and you really want is to feel peace.
And you really want is to have freedom. What you really want is to have energy. Then you’re going to learn how to reprogram your brain to not put as much credence on the chocolate, or on the popcorn, or on the cinnamon buns. And you can reprogram your brain for that. It is so much fun to watch my clients as they learn to do this. And I know that as you apply this tool you too can have that success. I would love to hear your feedback from the podcast. And so please DM me, direct message me and let me know what you’re thinking.
And of course, it means so much to me when you share my podcast with your friends and when you give it a review. It makes such a difference so that other people who are struggling with the same things can find my podcast and they can get the relief that they need. Thank you so much for this time. Take care everyone. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.