Beliefs are things we’ve told ourselves to be true. These might be ideas we’ve incorporated from childhood, lessons we’ve been taught by influential people, or responses we’ve had to things that have gone well or not so well for us in the past.
Our underlying beliefs color everything we do, think and say, whether we realize it or not. These perspectives have a powerful effect on how we perceive food choices and on our body image.
For example, you may have a belief that sounds like, “Well, I’ve blown it again, just like I always do. I might as well eat whatever I want because I’ll never get back on track, anyway.”
When you hear the words always and never in your self-talk, or in what you say to others, that’s a clear sign of the cognitive distortion of polarized or all-or-nothing thinking. This type of thinking will lead you down the road to self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors.
Here are some questions for journaling, therapy, and reflection as you seek to identify your underlying beliefs about food and weight:
- How do you talk yourself out of doing what you know is good for you?
- What do you believe to be true about your relationship with food and food choices?
- What lessons were you taught about what it means to live a healthy life?
Identifying your beliefs about food, weight, and body size will help you recognize when these limiting thoughts are sabotaging you and your success. When you start to see the same things coming up again and again, you can create a corresponding list of responses—talk back to these irrational thoughts with healthier ones.