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How’s it going?  Are you successfully breaking down some of the choices, habits, and thoughts that keep making weight loss painful?  If you’ve struggled as long as I did, you may find it hard to believe it can be painless.  Know that it can be. 

One of the more challenging elements of the process is Tip 4:

MANAGE THE MEMORIES

When you were thinking through the emotional charge around food last week, did you find memories popping up?  “We had that when _________.” 

Feel your way through that experience.  What were the feelings around it?  What did it mean to you?  How does it affect your heart or thinking?

If you love the food, it’s likely that specific food is connected to either a happy or comforting experience.  When you eat it, you feel happy, connected, and part of the group – and when you’re uneasy – well, we don’t label it “comfort food” without reason.

You may have heard my story about peanut butter.  It’s a perfectly lovely food, but I had a problem with quantity.  When I found myself circling the refrigerator for yet another spoonful of peanut butter, I knew something was up. 

My grandmother and I were quite close, and we both loved peanut butter.  Somehow, after she was gone, it had become a tangible connection to the love and encouragement she gave me.  If I was feeling low, it was at least some form of connection, and I’d take the peanut butter as a substitute.  It didn’t last, of course.  It didn’t really scrape the surface of what I truly needed.  When I was able to identify either another source – or more wisely, gave myself love and encouragement, it soothed so much more, and it lasted.

Food is often tied to memories, so sort through those memories and disconnect them from the food.  The memories are enough on their own.  You won’t lose them unless you want to.  AND the memories are worthy of more than just being encased in some bit of food.  Cherish the memories, but get your needs met in a more honorable way.

Interestingly, those good memories may also improve the taste of a food.  Given time, formulas and ingredients change.  Since many of us eat so fast, we don’t really taste things very much.  Try this experiment:  Sit down at the table with your favorite food.  Give yourself time to intentionally taste and evaluate it.  Does it taste as you remember?  Do you still like it?

Or is your memory tied to the experiences or settings or the people around you rather than the food itself?  How else can you connect with those memories?

Make it painless:  Separate the food from the memory.  Identify what you need when you want that food.  Then, take time to taste the food attached to memories.  Do you still enjoy it?

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