Things are progressing well in terms of deprogramming my cravings.† I started doing enlightened tasting with food that I was addicted to in childhood.† Iíve been using foods that are too sweet or too junky for me to want to eat, like chocolate cake (or brownies) with chocolate frosting or barbecue potato chips.† It brings back pleasant childhood memories when I do the enlightened tasting with them.†
Iíve noticed that with enlightened tasting the flavor can become more neutral, but then Iíll still crave the food for its other properties like its taste or texture.† Eventually the food stops seeming appealing.† With some foods I continue to do enlightened tasting once the food has lost its appeal, because I think Iíd prefer to push the food into slight repulsion.† Although maybe I could stop when the food reaches neutrality and still be okay.
Today I had a significant breakthrough.† Iíd been hoping that once I deconditioned enough foods that I would no longer desire addictive foods in general.† After I ate lunch today, not only did I not crave any dessert, but I found that the idea of eating something sweet was slightly repulsive.† It felt like a small victory.† My cravings tend to be worse in the evening after dinner or at times when Iím really tired, so I know that I'll still have to deal with cravings then.† But Iím hoping that given more time I can eliminate them entirely.† Iíve noticed that Iím much less tempted to eat addictive food at other times.† This is new for me.† Before if temptation was in front of me, then I would partake.
The woman who contacted Seth about using a two pronged approach to quit smoking (see: http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2010/05/01/new-way-to-quit-smoking/
) has been PM-ing me. She is incredibly clued in to the conditioned mechanism of addiction, and has pointed me to some other approaches to addiction that are accomplishing the same thing as what I am trying to do. She has been helping me out a lot with her ideas and understanding. I hope that she will be inspired to post more, either here or on Toddís forum.
She pointed me to the Sinclair Method of using naltrexone to heal alcohol addiction. Naltrexone is also used in low doses for autoimmune diseases. For awhile now Iíve been feeling like my autoimmune diseases are very connected to my food cravings/addiction. I am excited by the idea that I might be able to heal some chronic conditions that I didnít realize were being caused or aggravated by food addiction.
I have been reading up on the Sinclair Method. I feel like it is very similar to what I am doing with food, except that I am using enlightened tasting instead of naltrexone. The method promises a complete cure for alcohol addiction, except that a person always needs to take naltrexone before drinking. I hope to be able extinguish my food addiction to the point where I no longer need the tool of enlightened tasting. I also hope to get to the place where I can eat moderate amounts of bread and desserts without reinforcing addiction.
Here is the forum for the method: http://www.thesinclairmethod.com/community/index.php
I highly recommend reading the FAQs:http://www.thesinclairmethod.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19
If I replace food addiction for alcoholism and enlightened tasting for naltrexone, then most of what is written holds true for me. They say that it takes a minimum of 3 months to extinguish the addictive pathways. For some it takes 7 months or longer.
Here is a quote from the FAQs that I liked:
Addictive drinking has little in reality to do with the concept of ďpleasure.Ē Addictive drinking has everything to do with reflexive action. It happens at a non-conscious, automatic level. It takes time and many instances of drinking to strengthen addictive circuitry in the brain. Each time the person who is genetically at risk drinks, there is reinforcement to the opioid system via endorphin release. Eventually there is a broadening of existing opioid pathways into great drinking super-highways. In reality, we find that most people who truly suffer from alcoholism do not claim that they enjoy drinking. They get little pleasure out of it, much like heroin addicts do not gain much pleasure once they have become addicted. Certainly not enough pleasure to balance all the suffering caused by the alcohol or opiates. Alcohol abuse is not rational. That is also why it is a problem and why we should not confuse the terms ďpleasureĒ and ďreinforcement.Ē
On a not as good note, I have been a lot more tired than usual.† It might be due to allergies or it might be withdrawal symptoms.† I no longer give myself the quick sugar or carb fix for energy.† Also, I had a flare of some old health symptoms yesterday, which seemed to coincide with my breakthrough today.†
I think that the deeper emotions underlying my food addiction have to do with fear, scarcity, and not feeling nourished by life.† I am composing some affirmations to address these issues and hopefully reprogram the emotional level as well.