This is a quick, easy task I use with my clients to help them replace all their areas of unhealthy obsession and control with something more focused and creative; their priorities. Priorities are less emotive than control but actually create more change and positive action within us. This is because a priority in one area of life, will almost always have a positive effect on all areas of your life. The things we prioritise, like feeling good, eating what our body needs, doing this work, make us more selective in everything we do. Having something that takes priority creates a future where that priority is most prominent. You might think that in the past your dieting was a priority, but because your desire was not being overweight, it was negative, not positive. This meant that any action to create that desire was always emotionally attached to what you didn’t want, not focused on what you did.
A football player has a priority to be fit and healthy, to be able to run around for 90 minutes. This priority finds its way into every part of his life, affecting what he eats, how he sleeps and even who he interacts with. I have a priority to feel energised and relaxed with food which means I refuse to let my job stress me, I move every day, I don’t touch foods that make me feel tired and I spend as much time as I can doing the things that make me feel happy. Priorities create gains in all areas of life and a priority of a good-feeling body is a much more positive feeling than an obsession with getting rid of fat.
To do this task, go through the areas below and work out what you do to control, what you do to feel that you have a grip on that area of life. Then work on changing each control to a priority so that instead of the stress that control creates, you can have the creativity that a priority brings. If there are any other life areas that you have a high level of control such as money or social, add those in. These are some examples of how it might look:
|Other people||I need to know what everyone else is doing, in particular how fat they look||I will make my life and the changes I am making my priority|
|Work||I have to eat at work because it’s boring||My priority is finding a new career that I love to do each day|
|Food||I need to write down everything I eat to control my calories||My priority is to only eat foods that make me feel nourished and energised every day|
|Weight||I constantly check how I look in the mirror and compare to others||My priority is to be proud of myself as a person, not a body|
|Exercise||I must exercise every day||My priority is to spend some time every day outside|
Extract from “Still Overweight? The 6-week course that changes your weight and relationship to food forever”