In this episode of How to Live a Life of Peace with Food, I talk about one of the barriers to meeting your needs and that is the beliefs that you’re holding about yourself, your needs, giving yourself what you need or asking others for what you need. This is the third of 3 videos about meeting your needs without resorting to food by default.
FREE worksheet available to download here.
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Welcome to this bite-size video series on How to Live a Life of Peace with Food. This is the third and last video about meeting your needs without resorting to food by default. In this video, I’m going to talk to you about one of the barriers to meeting your needs – and that is the beliefs you’re holding about yourself, your needs, giving yourself what you need, or asking others for what you need.
My name is Vania Phitidis and I am the founder of Peaceful Eating, where I help people stop obsessing about their bodies and what, when and how much to eat, so they feel relaxed around food, at ease in their bodies, and use all that freed up energy to do the things that really matter to them. I’m a certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor, a qualified mindful eating coach and I’ve been mentoring and coaching people for over two decades.
In the last episode, I talked about how to identify the needs you’re attempting to meet with food when you’re not hungry. I suggested that once you’ve identified which needs you most consistently attempt to meet with food, that you take some time to think of alternative ways to truly meet those needs and then practice, on purpose, with kindness and flexibility.
You might find that simply knowing which needs you’re attempting to meet with food isn’t enough to change your behaviour.
Part of this is habit. Our brains like to be efficient, so if we’ve done something one way, and we’ve received a benefit from it, then we’re likely to repeat that behaviour. Having a consistent mindfulness practice can help with this, because what mindfulness does is help you to act more out of choice and less out of automaticity.
When you’re practising mindfulness, you’ll tune in to your body and know you’re not hungry; you’ll observe yourself walking to the cupboard to get something to eat; and you’ll have the space in which you can pause and check in with yourself so that you can choose one of the alternatives.
What if you’re doing this and you still don’t seem able to consistently choose the alternative behaviours that will more fully meet these needs?
I would say this is where you have some unhelpful beliefs about meeting your needs or asking for them to be met. You will have developed these beliefs mostly in childhood, either through direct experience or by witnessing others.
I have had quite a few clients over the years who have had the belief that they have to be productive all the time… They weren’t given permission as children to be bored, to day dream, to potter about or to sleep in as teenagers. If this is one of your beliefs, you’ll probably find that being able to meet your need for rest is incredibly difficult if not impossible – and that is just not sustainable.
If you had a parent who was always busy doing for others, you might have a belief that it’s selfish to put your needs first and that you should always be giving, protecting no time or energy just for you.
Do you believe that some needs are valid or more important than other needs? Which ones? How did you learn that?
For example, perhaps you believe that spending time with your children is a valid need (meeting your needs for belonging, contribution and love), but resting isn’t.
Do you believe you’re worthy of meeting your needs?
If not – why not?
Why wouldn’t you be worthy?
Taking the time to explore what you believe about meeting your own needs, and also, what you believe about asking others to help you to meet your needs is immensely valuable – because once you know what beliefs you’ve taken on, you can do something about it!
I encourage you to download the worksheet I’ve prepared for you with prompts to help you uncover which beliefs about meeting your needs, you’ve internalised, and then how to challenge them. YOU get to decide what you’re going to believe from now on and what to do next! The link to the worksheet is here.
Once you’ve done that – decide which needs you’re going to prioritise – and do whatever it takes to meet those needs ON PURPOSE, so you teach your brain 3 things:
- The first is that you ARE worthy of meeting your needs
- Secondly, that your needs DO matter and
- the third is that you ARE capable of meeting your needs or asking for support to meet them.
It takes practice.
I’d love to know if this was useful to you. Please leave your questions and comments below and I will do my best to reply to them personally. If you found this video helpful, please do share it. It might help someone else.
You can change the course of your relationship with food. I’m here for you. And I can’t wait to support you to do just that.
Visit my website where you’ll find hundreds of helpful blogs and links to my free eBook and Facebook Community. If you want tailored, expert and compassionate support in making peace with food, eating and your body – book a free Discovery Session to explore working 1:1.
Until then, bye from me. I hope you have enjoyed watching this 3-part video series on how to meet your needs without resorting to food. Keep your eye out for more bite-size videos on How to Live a Life of Peace with Food.