All you need is LOVE…..
The other day we were re-watching a fantastic documentary on Netflix entitled “Hungry for Change, whose theme centred on the fact that in our society we are not eating actual food but, food like substances. As we fill our stomachs with this “non-food” our bodies are never really nourished and as result we never really feel satiated which then leads to chronic over eating. Heavily processed foods are not only nutrient poor but, they are laden with trans fats and highly refined sugars which when consumed will lead you to become physically addicted to them. Esteemed MD Christiane Northrup, equated highly refined sugars with heroine because of its effects on our diet is just as destructive. Highly processed food is undermining our society’s wellbeing, and the worst part is that there is no regulation of the food industry with regards to added trans fats and sugar. In fact most of us are feeding our children highly refined sugar by the truck load. It is estimated that the average Canadian nine year old boy will consume 123lbs of sugar in one year!! Furthermore there 70 health disordered associated with high sugar and fat laden diets. As tragic as this sounds this was not the intended topic for this blog rather, it was one of the ways in which the documentary suggested people tackle their food addictions. Bestselling author and wellness specialist Kris Karr made the point that food addiction is not about “what we are eating BUT what’s eating us”, it’s about what’s going on inside our heads that will ultimately dictate our behaviour. Is this not in essence the root of all addictions? What is it that drives you to seek solace in food, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, sex, etc.? The absence of self-love.
A fantastic point was made by weight loss guru Jon Gabriel humans, from the moment they enter the world need love to survive; as infants we need to be loved by our mothers or we will die, and as we grow and take our place in the world we need the love and acceptance of our family, friends etc. Love in essence translates into safety and, when humans feel safe they can function and cope with life’s ups and downs. However, if someone does not feel loved or is not accepted by their family peers etc., they no longer feel safe and that safety creates stress. In previous blogs we have touched upon how stress can be a huge trigger for any kind of addict. Dr. Northrup takes up this point and adds to it by stating that self-love and self-acceptance is key to helping one overcome self-destructive and addictive behaviour. A daily affirmation, repeated twice a day while looking at yourself in the mirror, for 30 days is what Northrup prescribes to her patients. In the documentary she actually says she writes the following affirmation on a prescription pad “I accept myself unconditionally right now”. As odd as this sounds she has experienced resounding success with her approach. In the first days of your daily affirmation your internal dialogue will look and sound something like this:
You: I accept myself unconditionally right now.
Inner self: What? You’re worthless, there is nothing about you that is acceptable.
By day 28 however, something inside you shifts and your inner dialogue now begins to look like this.
You: I accept myself unconditionally right now
Inner self; I accept myself unconditionally right now. I love you.
When you accept yourself and love yourself, this creates an inner confidence that can’t help but be noticed and reciprocated by others. Northrup further maintains, that while the practise of self-affirmation may seem to many very “new agey” and “frou frou””, it’s not its “hard core science” with real and measurable results. Those who begin to love and accept themselves experience among other things improvement in their hearing, eyesight, drop in blood pressure, increase in pulmonary function and cardiac output.
For anyone who wants to make positive life changes whether it’s to lose weight, quite smoking, get sober, get clean etc., none of the changes you make will be sustainable without self-love. Unless you change your internal dialogue from one of self-loathing to one of self-loving you will fail. Words said out loud or inside our head are hugely powerful. Rudyard Kipling once said “I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” When our internal dialogue changes to a loving and nurturing one, only then can we begin to heal.
Hungry for Change, documentary released March 21 2012 (Australia)