Are you being run by that crazy voice in your head? You know the one.…
Eating Disorder Help: Ask Better Questions
I’m excited to share this eating disorder help idea I have for you. Early on in my bulimia recovery I learned about the process of manifestation which says our…
Thoughts –> Feelings –> Actions –> Results
I think this definition of the process of manifestation is mostly true, but I like to add beliefs to the mix. It’s my experience that our thoughts come from our deepest beliefs which live in our subconscious mind. So if we put beliefs before thoughts we get this…
Beliefs –> Thoughts –> Feelings –> Actions –> Results
If you’ve lived for very long it’s easy to see that our beliefs become reinforced by our life experience. If you touch a hot stove as a child your mind (and body) are quickly taught the belief that “stoves can cause pain”. This creates a belief (neuroassociative memory) deep in your subconscious mind that causes you to think again before you touch a hot stove.
Here’s how I see this idea playing out like a revolving circle – building upon itself.
Your actions reinforce your beliefs which cause you to take actions in line with your beliefs which give you the results you expect. It’s a self-fulfilling cycle we can create. Which is a good thing if we want to reinforce actions like not touching hot stoves.
The not-so-good news is that we also pick up limiting or non-supportive beliefs as we grow up, too. As kids we’re exposed to so many experiences and with every experience we make up stories or choose beliefs, some empowering and some that hold us back from our potential.
Access Your Brain’s Power
Our subconscious brain is a powerful resource for us. It helps store memories that keep us from having to remember each day how to tie our shoes. We just pull up our learned memory and tie our shoes and go on about our day.
What’s beautiful, too, about the power of your mind is that it is a very powerful processor. If you ask it a question, it will find an answer – often many answers or solutions. Your brain scans all that you know (I believe it also scans what’s known by the entire Universe – if you’re tapped into it, but more on that another time) and comes up with an answer.
Just knowing that is incredible if you ask me. However, we don’t realize we know it and sort of get lazy or take it for granted. Or worse yet, we ask disempowering questions and the brain being the incredible processor it is automatically seeks out answers.
What does all this mean?
It means that if you ask bad questions the brain will find you crappy answers.
Your mind will obey your command and deliver you with the answers you asked for. Here’s a practical example…
If you ask yourself (and you do) questions like…
- Why does this always happen to me?
- Why do I look so fat/old/ugly?
- Why can’t stop eating?
- What’s wrong with me?
- Why don’t people understand/like/see me?
- Will I ever overcome my eating disorder?
- I’ve been bulimic for so long there’s no hope for me, is there?
- Why do I keep doing this to myself?
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
Geez! It’s easy to recognize those are self-defeating questions, right?!
Ok, now remember…your brain is like a [recall] machine. All it knows is to bring you answers to your questions. It comes up with ideas, solutions and thoughts aligned with your underlying beliefs. Remember…beliefs lead to thoughts.
Ugh…this is starting to look pretty hopeless.
If I keep thinking thoughts and asking questions like these will I stay where I am or just get worse?
In fact, the best thing for you to do is to get really, really present to the impact thoughts and asking questions like this has upon your life. Both in your past….and if you keep doing this to yourself into your future.
Believe me. I know how sh*tty…
how powerless you feel.
I know because I used to feel that way. A LOT. Try 20 years.
It makes my heart ache and my body is sick just remembering how awful I used to talk to myself. The nasty out-of-control spiral of thoughts I’d have leading up to a binge. The shameful, hateful, hurtful things I’d say to myself after I purged. The empty resolutions I’d set to get my life back on track. Or, if I had a particularly compulsive day-long binging and purging session the hopeless feeling I’d have and just flat out give up.
Aw, screw it.
I give up.
I’m never going to get over this freaking eating disorder!!
I can’t do it!
I’m doomed to live like this forever!
No one knows or cares so why should I?!
It all ends with yet another disempowering question for my disbelieving mind to answer and reinforce with more limiting belief thoughts. Endless cycle.
Now imagine yourself living 5, 10 or even 20 more years this way? What will your life look like in another 5 or 10 years if you carry forward with you all that self-hatred and hopelessness? What will your face look like? What physical problems will develop or get worse in your body? What will your relationships look like? What will you miss out on if you keep living this way? What are you giving up on in life by choosing your eating disorder?
Get present – really present – to the impact of living another 5 – 10 years like this.
Take a few moments to see your future. Take a few moments to see yourself if you keep living this way.[deep breath]
Get me outta here! That’s why my mind screams out when I think about going back to living that way. Oh hell no. I decided in that moment I would never, ever live like that again. No turning back. Burn the boats I’m going to change things for good.
Unleash Your Power
Thanks for letting me rant like that. I don’t let myself get on negative rants like that now that I know the power of my mind. I know I have the ability to control the direction of my thoughts and I want to help you learn how, too.
The reason I ranted like that is first because I want you to know I have been in that bottomless pit you find yourself in after a b/p episode. I also want you to get present to the exhausting feelings and impact if you keep living with an eating disorder.
I have a feeling you started to associate with what I was saying and started feeling those feelings somewhere in your body. That’s your body’s recognition to memories you’ve had like it.
Getting present to the negative feelings is important because it’s important to association a mess load of pain to continuing to live the way you’re living if you want REAL change in your life. If thinking about living another 5-10 years the way you are and feeling how crappy as you do doesn’t make you want to throw something, then you haven’t really felt what I was feeling when I wrote that. We’ll keep moving forward, but what you want to do is really feel those painful feelings like at a power of 10x in your body. Get yourself to a point where you want to scream ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
That, my friend, is what I call a breakdown.
A freakin’ awesome breakdown. An awesome breakdown because you’re not actually sitting over the toilet right this minute. You’re at your computer. You’re having a virtual breakdown. Instead of having to have a massive breakdown from b/p’ing 10x’s today and practically killing yourself (like some of my friends have done), you just got present to the impact by thinking and feeling it.
A virtual breakdown like we just created can lead to just as powerful a breakthrough and change as driving yourself to your rock bottom by living your life the way you have been. Know that you can create change in your life – creating new beliefs – by either associating tremendous pain to something or creating tremendous pleasure attached to something. Pain is often a bigger motivation for people, so that’s why I walked you through this exercise.
The next step is to now start to envision a new life for yourself completely free of the ridiculous habits, rituals and steps you go through to hide your eating disorder from the world. Asking yourself empowering questions like…
- What would I do if I were bulimia free?
- How would my life look if my eating disorder were forever behind me?
- Who would I be in the world if I could eat normally?
- What kind of a mother could I be if I could be present with my kids and not hide my secret from them?
- What kind of a lover would I be if I weren’t ashamed of my body?
- What are the things I’ve been wanting to do with/for other people but have been afraid?
- How could I help other people if I got over this eating disorder after all these years?
- What is ultimately possible for me if I were truly free?
- What would I do with my life if I had no boundaries?
These are some of the empowering questions you could start to ask yourself to envision a new life for yourself. Whatever one speaks to you and helps you start to open to a new vision for yourself, answer that one. Play with it for awhile.
Allow that genius subconscious mind of yours to really go wild with ideas and inspirations of what an eating disorder recovery life could look like. Your mind is incredibly responsive, as you’ve seen over the years how good it is at giving you negative thoughts when you ask it questions like the ones we started with earlier. Now, allow your mind to open up wide and show you just how great your AFTER life could be. Life after an eating disorder.
I want you to get worked up and start feeling the feelings of what a life without bulimia could look like. Imagine that now. Really go big. No holds barred.
What in the world could YOUR life look like after your eating disorder?
Anything is possible.
Take a few moments to get really, really present to what your life could look like this year if that were true. You are now living your life after an eating disorder. And there’s nothing to hold you back. Your life after an eating disorder only gets better and better. The better it gets the better it gets.
Take that feeling of life after your eating disorder and turn up the volume. The way you were just feeling was a 2 – take it up to a 10. Go for feeling a 10!
Now imagine it’s 5 years from now and you’ve been living like that for the past 5 years. It’s 5 years from now. Every day you’ve been living free, fully self-expressed, bold and brave in your new way of living. You’ve been your authentic self each and every day. No hiding out. You’ve been able to truly BE with people – possibly for the first time in decades. You’ve been kind to yourself, present with your kids, living deliciously with your lover, and anything you wanted was yours.
Let’s kick it up a notch. If you were at a 10…now take it to a 20 and go forward to 10 years from now. You’ve lived the past 10 years totally differently than you ever lived before you released your eating disorder. Imagine the lives you’ve impacted because you’ve been your beautiful, powerful, creative self. You’ve been all that you could be. Your life is a-maz-ing. Imagine your relationships living this way . The things you’ve created for yourself and others. The transformation of your family and friends because of your emergence as the divine goddess you are.
That is a life worth living.
That is a future worth living into.
You are a divine being.
You are a meant to live that life.
That is the life you are here to live.
Step into your vision.
Let it soak in for a moment.
I believe in your vision. I believe in YOU. I love seeing you living full-out.
You are the only thing coming between you today and who you’re meant to be.
The Dickens Process
Whew, this has been amazing to share with you. I feel so charged up by what you may experience from this. If you want to learn more, I’ll be writing more and more about things like this.
I’m immersing myself in new teachings every day. What I’ve essentially just walked you through is one of the latest processes I’ve been exposed to and is referred to as The Dickens Process (named after the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – when Scrooze transforms himself into a caring/generous person in his present after seeing his awful future life and relationships).
An Overview of The Dickens Process
1. Identify limiting beliefs (or patterns)
May sound something like these…
- I’ll never be able to do it.
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I don’t have any willpower.
- It’s too hard.
2. Feel the impact
Get present to the feelings and what your life will look like if you continue to allow these limiting beliefs to run the show. Experience the feelings as if they’re real and they’re happening now. See your life 5, 10 or 20 years into the future if you continue to live with these limiting beliefs. The more emotional and upset/angry you can get the better – get so frustrated or sick and tired you want to scream “I’ve had it! I want a new life! I want to change!”
3. Create an empowering belief.
Find at least one empowering belief to replace the one you’re releasing. There will exist a void in your subconscious if you let go of the old belief and you immediately want to replace it with an empowering belief so the subconscious can work on that for you. Empowering beliefs might sound like…
- I can do it!
- I am enough just the way I am.
- I love myself.
- I’m kind to myself.
- I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I am resourceful.
- I am supported.
- I’m a powerful being.
- My life is always working out.
4. Emotionalize your new vision.
Get your body, mind and spirit aligned with your life 5, 10, or 20 years into the future if you live with your new empowering beliefs running the show. Feel the way you’ll feel in the future when you’re living this way. Feel it as if it’s happening now. Be that person you see yourself turning into NOW. Feel the joy, the love, the excitement, the freedom that is yours today.
This process is a life changing. I would like to record a video or audio to walk you through the process. If I do create it, I’ll post a link here in the future. For now, see if you can find anything online if that’s something you think would help you. I found when my coach walked me through it like a guided meditation I was able to really go through the process in a super powerful way.
You really can replace those limiting beliefs about your eating disorder into empowering beliefs about your new life AFTER your eating disorder. If I can help you in any way, please let me know.
If you take this on and want to come back and share how it was for you, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.