Physical or mental?

We challenged members to come up with some great questions for our recent open day. The winner was Ninamarina for her series of thought-provoking questions. Here’s the one that clinched it for her, along with Zoe’s answer:

Ninamarina’s Question:

You know these physical intolerances and allergic reactions to foods that some people get ? Well..there seem to be so many people slipping up over reasons why they haven’t been able to keep to this diet, that I just wondered that there could also be a ‘ mental’ reason, as well as a physical reason why some people find it harder than others.

The question I think I am asking is :- YOU never seem to slip up.. YOU dont for instance say, ‘ Oh, I’m off on a special night out, or A Wedding, or A Holiday, and I think I may fall by the wayside, but I’ll have to get back to it later’ do you ?

You are therefore mentally strong, you will not sway from your objective. Do you find that when other people DO ‘ sway’ abit, that you have sympathy ? or do you ever think ‘ Oh for goodness sake ! etc …. ?

Be honest Zoe.. to be honest , secretly ( and I wouldn’t tell anyone this ) I find myself mildly annoyed that if someone is intent on eating well, why then do they fall off the wagon with sweets, cakes, and various other ‘naughties’. Surely they should have overcome this on this way of eating ?

It’s life – and things like Weddings, Holidays, Nights Out, Special Dinners… etc…will happen often ! so then, are we just going to be ‘on’ this diet until then, and then come’off’ for the ‘Occasion’ or what ?

It’s a mental attitude I think.. The stronger you are mentally, the better you will be at keeping to it. Agreed ? YOU can do it !

You come through it. that says to me that you are a strong person. Maybe that’s the answer.

Zoe’s reply:

What a great question from Nina and what a great comment from Ziggy!

Here’s a thought – I no longer see things as slip ups. In my good and bad food life, everything was black and white. I would vow only to have fruit one day and then eat, say, a rice cake and consider that I’d blown everything. How nuts is that?! I don’t know what a slip up is any more. I am on two boards in Wales and I go to black tie dinners and banquets often. I never know what I’m going to be served – whatever I like, I eat. I don’t like cheesecake, so I don’t eat it. If there is a proper chocolate dessert, I do eat it. If there are gratin dauphinois (cheesy potatoes) I eat them, boiled potatoes are tasteless, so I don’t. Have I slipped up? I don’t know and I don’t think about it. Only if we set rules can we break them. Only if we have an idea of what we ‘should’ be doing can something ‘slip up’ against this. So I don’t see myself as strong or weak – more like someone who doesn’t set rules any more!

I think Ziggy makes a great point and I’ve got 15 years between me and my madness. Someone closer to their ‘bad behaviour’ may be more scared of going back there and that I can really understand.

Do people drive me nuts when they fall off the wagon? Genuinely – 99% of the time – no. I understand because I’ve done it so many times. I understand the physical cravings and the emotional chatter that goes on in our head trying to tempt us back into the bad stuff. We have to shut out those voices so that junk is just not part of our consideration set. I use that term frequently at the moment because it is so true. We need to not even have the thought of ‘do I want this?’ in our heads. Junk needs to be exactly where cigarettes are – as Ziggy says.

The one thing that drives me a bit nuts is that I can spot when a client is not in the right place to make this happen. Even on the phone I can be talking to someone and I can sense in them where I once was “yeah yeah – I just want to get off the phone and eat a packet of maltesers!” You get every counterargument possible, reasons why they can’t do this or can’t try that and you just know you are not going to get that wonderful email in a week’s time saying that they stuck perfectly to Phase 1 and lost 7lbs and feel like they are on the start of a journey for life. This frustrates me more than anything, as I know they will have to sign up to this at some time (or get fatter and sicker) and I just wish for their sake that they would realise this now and save a lot of time and pain.

The other frustrating thing is people who think that you can ‘do this’ for them. When I was in a bad place I tried every different diet, hypnosis, whatever the latest gimmick was – it wasn’t until I realised that only I could do this – other people were just there for me to learn from. When someone gets to this place, they’re there. The people (and they are rare) who show dependent tendencies are interesting – they want you to ‘fix’ this and you have to be cruel to be kind to point out that you can’t – you can just point the way and explain everything. They have to be the one to say no to junk when the temptation faces them.

This is a best question contender as it really made me think!
Many thanks for all yours today 🙂
Very best wishes – Zoe

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