Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Beyond Chocolate ‘mistake’ number 6 – thinking that we are ‘above all that dieting stuff and don’t need to make any effort any more’

Gretel Hallet, is a trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate, get in touch with Gretel. 

Thank you again to Truffle35 for reminding me of this (remarkably subtle) ‘mistake’, which is probably the outcome of a hostile Gremlin (for those unfamiliar with the term – a ‘Gremlin’ is our own internal saboteur(se) that tells us we’re not thin enough, pretty enough, successful enough etc and that we’re doing it all wrong and that we’ll never do anything right etc etc) ...

In her comment to my first blog post in this series Truffle35 said, “The great news, though, is that I don't have to think about what I'm going to eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner as soon as I wake up, I don’t have to remind myself how little that will have to be, I don’t have to wonder what I'm going to do if/when I'm hungry but am ‘not allowed’ to eat etc. The effort I have to make, though huge, ‘only’ involves three things: being aware of my gremlins and shoeing them away, being aware of why I’m eating and how, in order to stop when I’ve had enough, and thirdly, actually STOPPING when I have had enough! This is the key, but I can’t do it without the first two being in place. (At least not a lot of the time…)”

You’ll notice that Truffle35 has spotted the Gremlin’s interference there – and it may be that we don’t notice that little voice in our heads at first. It’s very sneaky and this time it’s saying, ‘Oh now that you’re not dieting, you don’t need to bother about anything, you can just eat whatever you like and as much as you like!’ And it is a great relief, as Truffle35 says, not to have the day’s food eked out by the latest diet, or force ourselves to eat huge bowls of free (undressed) pasta or salads because they’re ‘allowed’.

But the bad news box on this liberation contains the words, ‘you do have to work at Beyond Chocolate too’. That may seem obvious, but it is surprising how many new Beyond Chocolaters think that stopping dieting means not having to make any kind of effort around food any more forever. And, of course, it’s not that simple – very little in life is, I find.

So, if you have reached the point beyond the dieting and bingeing where you are thinking, ‘This isn’t working,’ it may be because you’re not actually working at it either. It’s a two way street – you work at your relationship with food via Beyond Chocolate, which starts helping you with your relationship with food and your body. The results can be subtle or dramatic, slow or roller-coaster fast, comforting or invigorating – but trust me, there are results.

In Truffle35’s words, ‘It is hard work but this is liberating, whereas dieting is like an imprisonment.’


  1. Thank you again for quoting me, Gretel. Your posts are wonderful and such great reminders of what to do and not to do, thank you! The 'results' you mention are, for me, very slow, but they ARE there, and that's what counts. Keep writing!

  2. Thank you, Truffle35, again for your inspiration! I too have slow but steady progress and when I look back, I can really see how far I've come. Which is very encouraging.

  3. I completely agree and would like to thank Gretel for reminding me that it's not just about 'not dieting'. I have felt my relationship with food improve considerably over the year or so I've been Beyond Chocolate, but I had started to slip into not thinking about what I was actually doing, until I had eaten my sixth biscuit at work, directly after filling up on lunch, and I thought, hang on a minute - where has eating with awareness gone? Where has eating when you're hungry gone? Come to think of it where has Stopping when you're full gone?? So I've gone right back to the beginning and I'm not trying to get all these three back in one go, that, I have learnt from Gretel, would be foolish. I'm just going to work on Eat when you're hungry, because if I can get that one back, the others will hopefully follow. But, I am very glad to be reminded that I do actually need to work on it...

  4. What a great post!! (and replies!) I too "eased off" a little bit. I had mastered the "eat when you are hungry" principle and thats what seemed to working for me and the weight was starting to move. I seemed to relax a bit after that. I think around Easter it was easy just to keep nibbling at the chocolate eggs when I really wasnt hungry. I have also noticed if I dont eat what I REALLY want anything else just wont do and I eat far much more than I would if I'd tuned in and thought about what I really want. So I'm back to tuning in and really assessing whether I'm hungry or not and deciding what it is I REALLY want and Im really enjoying my food so much more. I need to keep concentrating on this until it becomes 2nd nature. I know it may take a while but it's worth it.


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