Cravings can be intense. Sometimes I’ve been successful with willpower to resist a craving. More often than not, I haven’t. That picture really says it all. When I want chocolate I want it now, I want a lot of it, and I have had fantasies of swimming in a vat of it. Join in with me while I use meridian tapping to address a strong craving for chocolate and a feeling of resistance about even doing the tapping – because I know it works.
OK. I’ll admit it. It was hard for me to read The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: a Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More by Jessica Ortner. It was even harder for me to like it. But honestly – its great. I feel the need to explain, I had just written and published a book on tapping and weight loss too when her’s came out called Don’t Diet: Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping. I was definitely feeling defensive and believed that the release of her book would have a negative impact on my book. Actually it might have, but that’s not really the point. I did what I try to always do when I have negative emotions – I started tapping.
Once I had tapped enough to feel comfortable that there is room enough in this world for two books on tapping and weight loss I dove in. You might even say that I “devoured” it. It is written in the same charismatic style that all of the materials from The Tapping Solution are written in. It would be hard to resist smiling at the all-too-honest accounts of self-doubt, overindulgence (food and guilt) and insecurity that Jessica shares. I definitely could relate.
The tapping examples were fantastic, although I would have preferred a few more. The book design and page layout are enviable. The quotes were inspirational and the stories of real women and their struggles were motivational. If there are any negatives (and I’m not sure that there are) one would be the title. There are so many words on the cover that it was difficult to know what the title was without turning to the copyright page. Also, the topic of self-sabotage or psychological reversal was not highlighted as much as I might have expected given the type of challenge being addressed.
Will I read it again? Already did.
Will I recommend it to others? Absolutely. Have even bought copies for gifts.
The book is attractive, informative, inspirational, and potentially life changing.
Have you ever eaten something you had decided you weren’t going to eat or eaten more of them than you had intended? Sadly, it happens to me more frequently than I would like. What usually happens next is the thought “I might as well eat whatever I want because I already blew it.” The tapping exercise below is a good way to help minimize the damage. These words will work for you, even if what you ate or when you ate it is slightly different. Or, you can substitute your own words.
Say this statement and rate the intensity or how true it feels to you on a 0-10 scale (10=very true). “I’m such a failure.” Now say this one and rate it “I already blew it.” Write down your numbers.
Tap on your karate chop point and use the setup statements. Even though I just ate 3 brownies, and they definitely weren’t on my food plan for this afternoon, I choose to love and accept myself anyway. Even though I ate 3 brownies while waiting for my lunch to cook, I choose to love and accept myself anyway. Even though I feel like a failure since I ate those brownies, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.
Side of Eye…I can’t believe it
Under the Eye…I had been doing so well
Nose…This seems like a huge setback
Chin…Its not like I was really hungry
Collarbone…I am actually cooking lunch right now
Under the Arm…I’m nervous that it won’t be good
Top of Head…I’ve made two dishes that I’ve never made before
Eyebrow…That always makes me anxious
Side of Eye…But I’m also excited to see what happens
Under the Eye…I know that I often eat when I am nervous
Nose…But I’ve already blown my food plan
Chin…So I might as well eat whatever I want
Collarbone…There’s no point in controlling my food now
Under the Arm…I’ve already pointed the finger of guilt my way
Top of Head…I’m already wallowing in blame
Eyebrow…So I might as well eat.
Side of Eye…I already blew it
Under the Eye…I already ate something that is on my forbidden list
Nose…I ate way too much of it too
Chin…I might as well go ahead and eat whatever I want
Collarbone…That’s what quitters to
Under the Arm…I’m a guilty and shameful quitter
Top of Head…Ouch! That hurts!
Eyebrow…Sometimes I do give up
Side of Eye…Sometimes I don’t
Under the Eye…I don’t have to give up just because I made a mistake
Nose…I have options
Chin…I have choices
Collarbone…I already blew it might not be totally accurate
Under the Arm…I wouldn’t tell anyone else to give up just because of a simple error
Top of Head…I’m not going to tell myself that right now either
Eyebrow…I can start back on my food plan whenever I choose
Side of Eye…Including now
Under the Eye…This is just a setback
Nose…I can get back on track right now
Chin…In fact,, I am back on track right now
Collarbone…And I can stay back on track if I choose to
Under the Arm…I’ve been back on track for several minutes now
Top of Head…I am feeling better already.
Take a deep breath and let it out gently. Say your original statements again and rate them. Notice any shift you may have made. If the intensity is still higher than a 3 or 4, keep tapping with the above examples or better yet, use your own words. For many people there will be a shift to a slightly different thought, feeling or belief. Feel free to continue tapping on the new thought or write it down for later work.
Start tapping on your karate chop point. Say these words aloud: Nothing calms me down better than food. Even though nothing calms me down better than food, I don’t like what it does to my body. I am open to learning new ways of calming down. I’m also open to learning more about the things that upset me so that I don’t even need to use food to calm myself.
Side of Eye…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Under the Eye…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Nose…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Chin…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Collarbone…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Under the Arm…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Top of Head…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food
Eyebrow…Food calms me down
Side of Eye…But it also is making me fat
Under the Eye…Food calms me down
Nose…And I often need to calm down
Chin…I get upset pretty often
Collarbone…And I use food to calm me down
Under the Arm…It is quick, easy, and painless
Top of Head…Well, maybe not painless
Eyebrow…Being overweight is definitely painful
Side of Eye…It is painful physically and emotionally
Under the Eye…I probably need to learn new ways to deal with my emotions
Nose…Food is quick, but the side effects are long
Chin…I can learn to manage my stress another way
Collarbone…I can learn to calm myself another way
Under the Arm…Even though I have used food to calm myself in the past
Top of Head…I am excited about the possibility of learning a new way
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. What do you notice in your body? Did anything shift or change? What do you notice in your emotions? If new thoughts and ideas popped up, keep tapping.
Anyone who knows me very well knows that I need to avoid many common food items because they make me very sick. It is not a casual “I think I’ll stop eating snails” kind of thing. Perhaps the hardest for me has been corn. Sure I like the taste of corn bread, corn on the cob, and creamed corn. Giving it up isn’t without some severe nostalgia; however, the real difficulty lies in the pervasiveness of corn in the American diet.
Because of my relative success, many people have asked me for the guildelines I follow in eliminating corn from my diet. Beward – purging your diet of corn is not for the lazy or faint of heart. It takes an abundance of dedication, research, and perseverence. I believe it is worth it. In response to the questions, I have prepared for you my short list of corn avoidance rules. While written with a bit of humor to counterbalance the bitterness of the task, I am also being serious about what can be involved.
- Do not eat processed foods – not ever. If you feel you absolutely must eat something that comes in a package, don’t eat it if it contains an ingredient you cannot read or do now know what it is.
- Make everything from scratch so that you know what is in it. Even your common spice containers may be suspect.
- If you don’t have to peel it, chop it, or core it – eat with great caution.
- Put manifacturer’s phone numbers on speed dial. Plan to call the company before using almost anything in a box, can, or frozen food section. Remember, corn does not have to be labeled. The fact that it isn’t listed as an allergen on the package doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
- Never assume you know what is in the product you are ready to eat. Even powdered sugar has corn starch.
- If it is something that could stick together, but isn’t sticking, it probably has corn starch to prevent the sticking.
- If it comes in a pill/tablet – assume it has corn in it until proven otherwise. It should be listed on all medication package inserts and your pharmacist should be able to check it out as well. Unfortunately all of the ingredients in your medications don’t simply say corn. They will be called something else most of the time.
- Only buy supplements or vitamins that specifically state NO CORN. “No corn added” is not sufficient and is a real give away that there is probably corn. If it is supposed to be chewable it has to be sweetened with something. That something is often corn.
- Bottled spiced and herbs, condiments, sauces, and gravy are all suspect. Call the company or make your own.
- Deli meats almost all contain corn. Roast your own turkey, beef, or chicken at home and slice it thin. Think like a pioneer woman. Convenience does not exist. You need to pre-plan everything. If you do the planning, it can almost feel like convenience on some days.
- Buy a very nice insulated cooler/lunchbox and carry most of your meals with you. This is a place to make a good investment. If you happen to go somewhere that is corn safe, count your blessings and take your food back home for another day.
- Always carry corn-free snacks in your car, purse, briefcase, or pocket. Don’t be caught unprepared.
- If you are going to eat out, skip the condiments that are on the table. Tell your server that you would like to speak to the kitchen manager because you cannot eat corn. I have found most places to be very knowledgable and willing to feed me safetly. I carry a laminated card with me that lists my food allergies so that the kitchen can have it while preparing my food.
For people with serious corn allergy it gets even worse from here since many other things are also made from corn products, including plastic bottles we drink from. I have not become sick from a plastic bottle yet, but do try to stay away from them.
I know it sounds like a lot, but my philosophy is that it is a small price to pay to keep me feeling healthy.
There has been a commercial on TV that makes me crazy. The first time I watched it I felt annoyed, but thought I was just having a bad day. The second time (and third time) I saw it I was still annoyed so decided I should look a little bit deeper. The basic story is that here is a child who wants and snack and he whines through the grocery store until mom gets him one. I think the message is supposed to be that this produce it a good choice that can satisfy moms and kids. Nutrition aside – I understand the message.
Unfortunately, there are some other messages contained within this commercial as well.
- It is acceptable for children to whine to get what they want
- Good parenting involves giving in to whining children
- Processed foods are better snacks than whole foods
From a public health perspective, what would happen if the images on television were of children eating healthy foods? I can think of only one commercial on TV that depicts children eating vegetables and liking them. I can think of many commercials and even more television shows that involve parents hiding vegetables to get kids to eat them, children hiding vegetables to pretend that they have eaten them, and other subtle messages to communicate that vegetables are bad and children should not like them. While I would have still been offended by this commercial, it would have been less offensive if the mom had gone to the produce section of the grocery store and picked up a carrot for the young boy.
Even though the child was whining, everyone still appeared pretty happy. I was never happy when my children whined in public. I learned very quickly that giving in to the whining only made them whine more often. There was no correction for the behavior in the commercial. The background message here is that giving in is normal or acceptable. This message, when viewed repeatedly, can’t help but desensitize us to this inappropriate behavior. Where are the media messages that show children behaving appropriately and parents dealing with childhood misbehavior calmly and rationally?
Many children and adults have viewed this commercial and I suspect that most never notice the messages that I did. That doesn’t mean that the message doesn’t have an impact though. Advertising works. In the past I’ve definitely purchased things based on the commercials and jingles. As may awareness has increased, I’m trying to do a better job of avoiding products that perpetuate negative attitudes and behaviors. As yourself these questions:
- Does this commercial communicate accurate information about the product?
- Does this commercial communicate life views that are consistent with mine?
- Does this commercial include people behaving in a way that is inappropriate or dangerous?
If you answered yes to any of these, please consider making a different consumer choice. Children need to see images of other children behaving appropriately, not children behaving badly and getting away with it. Parents need to see images of other parents acting calmly and confidently with their children. Insisting on this change through our consumerism could have a significant impact on everyone.
I’d love to hear your views on this. How do television commercials impact your consumer decisions?
When I first published this article several years ago the title was I’ve Been Such A Good Girl – I think I’d like to poison myself today. That title sounds very provocative doesn’t it? But that is exactly what I was doing almost every day. I would reward myself for good behavior with substances that poison my body and strengthen the cravings for that poison. If I was good I would reward myself with ice cream. Although I learned to eat smaller portions, it was still essentially a poison in my body. If I had been really good I would reward myself with a slice of carrot cake from my favorite gluten free bakery. OK, it was gluten free, but it still had so many calories that it was bad for by body and my health. In addition, once I would eat it I was out of control for the rest of the day.
While I no longer look forward to opportunities to hurt my body, I have slipped back into the habit of thinking of unhealthy foods as rewards or eating larger portions than my body can handle. There are so many “diets” out there that build in opportunities for unhealthy indulgences. While that may help to overcome the feelings of deprivation that derail so many eating plans, it still doesn’t address the obsession with certain foods and messed up priorities. (Such as ice cream being more important than health.)
Its not like I’ve ever been really hungry and am reacting to that memory of hunger with overindulgence. I’m not hoarding food because I am preparing for a day of famine. Someday I hope to wake up from the nightmare of food addiction. It would be so cool to just eat when I’m hungry, eat the food my body needs, and stop looking forward to opportunities for unhealthy food.
I did pretty well for the last several years until a period of very high physical and emotional stress knocked me out of balance and I found myself again craving foods that I know are not in my best interest. I haven’t started eating foods that I am allergic to, but those unhealthy foods that I am not officially allergic to have crept back into my pantry and my body. I fell prey to the “anything in moderation” wisdom that is so prevalent.
The truth – at least my truth – is that I can’t handle eating some foods. They change how I feel, how I think, and how my body functions. If you share this experience I’d love to hear from you.