I wonder if this is something that happens to you from time to time. A particular item of “food” attracts your attention; you want to eat it and it’s available to you. I write it as “food” because it’s not food; it’s just something that will delight your senses for a few moments, distract and entertain you.
You know you’re going to eat it because that’s what you always do with this kind of thing in this situation. It’s a lot like getting out of bed in the morning and getting dressed; you know you’re going to do it; it’s just a question of when.
But what you’re also thinking is this is too much, or this is plain wrong. Maybe you promised yourself not to eat those things, or to eat a lot less of them. Or maybe you think you mustn’t or shouldn’t or had better not.
So, just before you reach out for it, there’s a moment of conflict, and this is what I want to bring to your attention. There’s a sense of doubt, and it can occur in a flash so fast you’re hardly even aware of it. It’s a tiny little, “Oh no, don’t do that!” or “Oh no, you’re not supposed to do that” or “Don’t you dare!” or something like that.
This moment of conflict is fascinating because gaining a new level of awareness of it will revolutionise your relationship with food. It’s that millisecond of decision-making, which is all too often dismissed and ignored. When you can understand it in a different way, you get to change those eating decisions.
There are a number of things that happen in your mind and brain in those moments, but the most significant is a kind of thought that makes eating the “food” okay. People who do research into eating behaviour call it self-licensing, and it obliterates all the doubt and conflict, and so leads you right into eating.