Welcome to your first steps towards change!
We highly recommend that you start a journal for yourself as you work through this support program.
All our behaviours begin with our thoughts. So the first module of this program involves some self-reflection. This will provide an opportunity to examine the beliefs we have of ourselves based on our life experiences and relationships.
Sometimes the negative beliefs we have of ourselves are not accurate, but because we have believed them for so long, we actually think they are true and so we may act accordingly in order to make ourselves feel better about who we are.
Even though self reflection may be difficult to do, it is an opportunity to look at these beliefs from a new perspective and begin the road to healthier thoughts and behaviours.
(I suggest an intro and welcome video here by Eleni and Inger)
This module requires you to complete some questionnaires. These are for your own personal reflection, however it is your choice if you wish to discuss any part of these in a one on one session with Inger or Eleni. There will also be scheduled live Q & A sessions for each module as another opportunity for discussion.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
In his 1943 paper “The Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow depicted a 5 tier model of human needs and that some people are motivated to achieve certain needs as precedence over others.
YOUR HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
Fill in this pyramid, identifying your needs with the things that you most need at the bottom.
How do you feel your needs compare with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
1.3 What I think about myself
In this section you will be creating your own mind map of your thoughts about yourself. You will also be asked to reflect on your thoughts.
1.3.1 Me, Eating and Weight
How long have the negatives been part of your life?
Can you pinpoint a circumstance that triggered these thoughts?
Can you identify current circumstances in your life that reinforce these same negative things?
1.3.2 Self-image and Behaviours Reflected
Using the words in the above questions, drag the words or statements onto the mirror panel where you feel that this belief you have of yourself was formed.
1.4 Core Beliefs
Our beliefs about ourselves are formed and influenced by so many factors, including our upbringing, social factors, family relationships, our personality, our successes, failures and life experiences. Core beliefs form the basis of how we see ourselves.
These beliefs often become so ingrained within us that it becomes difficult to identify them and how they affect the way we respond and behave in our everyday lives. To identify our core beliefs requires some careful observations. These are the most common thoughts that you have of yourself as different circumstances arise.
One of the most empowering abilities is to be able to identify your emotions. It is even more empowering to then be able to manage these and to manage our own responses to the displayed emotions of others. This is known as emotional intelligence. Being able to identify and manage our emotions will then allow us to be able to identify and manage the behaviors that results. The ultimate aim is to promote positive behaviors so that our sense of self is enhanced and our health is improved.
Can you find situations for the following emotions:
Confusion, exhausted, guilty, suspicious, angry, happy, disgusted, frightened, enraged, ashamed, bored, surprised, anxious, jealous, love struck, shocked, shy, overwhelmed, hopeful, lonely, smug, cautious, happy, embarrassed, sad, depressed, confident, mischievous, hysterical, ecstatic.
Refer to the following Dictionary of Emotions http://www.surfyoursoul.com/dictionary.html.
This is how I am feeling – acknowledging your emotions
Consider this scenario:
Julie was communicating with a friend who said he would hang out with her on the weekend, which was a couple of days away. The night before they were due to meet, he messaged and said “I’ll see you tomorrow at 12:30 at Circular Quay”. He did not turn up and did not reply to any of her messages or answer any of her calls. She asked if he was okay but he still did not reply. He had done this a couple of times before. Initially she was angry and cursed him, calling him hurtful names and questioning how could he do this to her again. She then was concerned for his well-being. As time went on, Julie took this personally. She had no other plans and started to feel lonely and isolated. She felt that she was lied to often and this made her feel angry. The loneliness made her feel worthless. ‘I am never going to mean anything to anyone.’ ‘I am a loser.’ ‘I am not good enough.’
She jumped onto an online dating site and arranged to meet someone that night, just for the company. She had never met this person before and ended up having sex with him. After he left, she disliked herself even more.
Using the following emotions, drag the drop three emotions you would feel and place them on the position on the body where you feel them.
1.4.1 Identifying Your Core Beliefs
Over the next week or two, when a situation arises that affects you in some way, take note and write down the following:
- What is the situation?
- Words that come out of mouth
- Words that come out of others mouths
- The emotions you feel at the time
- Self-talk. What are you thinking about yourself?
- How did I respond/react? Consider thoughts as well as physical reactions e.g. heart racing, nausea, rapid breathing, shaking, numbness etc.
Try to do this exercise at least 3 times over the next 2 weeks.
This activity above you to observe a situation, describe what you thought and felt and explain what you did (the outcome). This diagram explains the flow when a situation arises.
Can you identify the core beliefs you have about yourself that cause you to react in these ways? These are the most common thoughts that you have of yourself as different circumstances arise. You may find these are similar to the thoughts you have of yourself.
List core beliefs you have about yourself in the box below:
|Core Beliefs About Myself|
1.5 Pros and Cons for change
Hopefully by now you have identified some of the thoughts, beliefs and emotions that may underpin your eating and exercise behaviors. This exercise is to help you determine how you would feel about changing some of these in order to break unhealthy patterns that are affecting your health.
|GIVING UP UNHEALTHY
|GIVING UP UNHEALTHY
One of the greatest barriers to change is fear. The image here is of the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”. There is a line in the movie that says:
“These walls are kind of funny. At first you hate ‘em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That’s institutionalised. They send you here for life and that’s exactly what they take”.
This can be said of thoughts and behaviors that we become fearful of changing. We may not like them but we do not know what to do without them. Yet when you really think about these, negative thoughts about yourself and associated behaviors, are really robbing you of much of your life.
Take this quiz to determine how areas of your life may be affected by your thoughts and
behaviours about eating.
What did your results reveal?
Which areas of your life are being negatively impacted?
Watch this video about changing habits.
Change is difficult especially if unhealthy thoughts and behaviours have been part of your life for a long time. But it is possible. It takes effort on your part. By registering to take part in this program you have taken the first step and this indicates your desire to change these unhealthy behaviours. With support you can do this. It will be a process. The key is not to beat yourself up if you feel you are taking one step forward and two back.
The Concept of Kaizen
It is scary to make any changes, especially when the things we need to change have become our means for coping, even though they may me unhealthy. Many of the behaviours are based on fear, guilt and shame. One small change is a step in the right direction, and help you realise that the fear was unfounded.
I love the Japanese concept of Kaizen. also known as continuous improvement. It involves taking small, seemingly insignificant steps that in total amount to positive change and improvement. You might think, ‘what am I doing this for? It’s not going to make a difference.” It could be fear that is stopping you from giving it a go.
Kaizen is about making small, seemingly insignificant steps that collectively amount to positive change.
One little step at a time …
Changing one thought pattern at a time…
Changing one behaviour at a time…
YOU CAN DO THIS!
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