Identify inner conflict

Someone may want to change the overeating pattern of a lifetime but find that somehow the days are going by and they’re not taking any action. Another person may decisively plan to stop binge eating for ever and start an eating plan which they keep to carefully-- and then be surprised when they end up binge eating again. What do these two people have in common? They are both being affected by a part of themselves they aren’t aware of. Sometimes people know, deep down, that there is something painful they want to keep out of their awareness and so they never face it; this is a very natural impulse but doesn’t allow for informed choices. Other people are so determined to change they decide to ignore and override any dissenting voices in themselves; this seems like an effective approach at the time but later these people may find their plans unexpectedly sabotaged.

If you are find that your wishes to change your eating don’t translate into action, or your New Year’s resolutions don’t last, it’s possible that one of the factors perpetuating your unwanted eating relates to conflicting wishes around change. Sometimes it can help to think of these wishes are belonging to different parts of you, each with its own concerns and priorities. Although it may be tempting to ignore some of these parts, it is wise to take account of them in your decision-making. Your progress will be faster and surer if there is no chance of their agenda getting in the way later on. Taking account of them doesn’t have to mean giving up what you really want; it means listening to what they have to say and consciously choosing how to respond to this.

The next activity is designed to help you uncover any conflicting wishes about changing your eating patterns. See if you can allow any answers you weren’t previously aware of to come to the surface of your mind without censoring them. Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.14.32 PM

Once you have written down all the information you can access, you can read it through to get an overview.

Take action
Where did this activity leave you? If you have become aware of an inner conflict, congratulations. You may feel more stuck than before, but the increase in awareness is in fact a big step forward. The next task is to keep bringing this inner conflict back into awareness and noticing how it affects what you do.

Alternatively, you may now feel ready to make an informed, wholehearted decision to change. If so, your task is to find the right words to set a formal intention, write it down, and then read it out aloud as a declaration. You could use the following format: From now on I (name), will start creating a new habit of...

This intention setting is enough for now: whatever old habits may persist for a while, you have created a new blueprint in your mind as a foundation for the future.