Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” I suspect he was talking about being a success in the business world but he could just as easily have been talking about recovery from food addiction.
The most powerful things we say are those we tell ourselves. We can tell ourselves that we can’t leave sugar alone. We can tell ourselves that we can’t stand being frustrated and so we have to self-medicate. We can tell ourselves that we will always be fat and unhappy. We can tell ourselves food plans just don’t work for us. And when we tell ourselves those things, they become true. Why? Because we believe whatever we tell ourselves over and over. We create a groove in our brain, a neural pathway, where those statements take up residence as beliefs.
So if we’re going to have any real chance at long-term success at staying off sugar and overeating, we have to monitor and shift our self-talk. We have to start saying I can do this. Being hungry for another hour won’t kill me. Being frustrated will pass and I don’t need to eat over this.
We’ll have to say these things (or whatever works for us) over and over, as many times as all the negative talk we’ve inflicted on ourselves. But it is so worth it.
What affirmative self-talk could you start doing right now to support successful recovery?