Cambridge Diet Original Diet Support Message Board:
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Posted by Pam T on 2/3/2013, 10:41 pm
I want to clarify for all the people that post or read here that there is no one "right way" to do this diet. There is of course the basics...have your 3 or 4 servings per day...enough water to remain healthy and hydrated, etc. Simple. However, I have been seeing some posts that are stressing a level of perfection that can be discouraging to some of the people here. Not everyone is going to go on this and be perfect. Does that mean they will fail? Absolutely not. I was not perfect and I lost 160 pounds, 120 of it 13 years ago and the last 40 about 5 years ago. I call that success.
Food addictive behavior can be as deep and overwhelming as any other addiction. If you have ever studied the main concepts of addictive behaviors, whether food, drug, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping, cutting or any other substance or action that is destructive to the person doing it, you will see many commonalities. In some cases the chemical addictions of drugs or alcohol are the main problem and the body screams out for more. Food addiction also has a chemical component. In other cases it is a behavior that is a compulsion, often in an effort to relieve stress or emotional pain. In the case of eating disorders the person believes they can only relieve the emotion or feeling by eating. Food or the act of eating can have a anxiety relieving effect.
If overcoming these addictive issues were easy, none of us would be fat. None of us would continue to harm ourselves as in the list of behaviors above. We need to see that this is far more then a problem with our size or eating incorrectly or the most dreaded of all...will-power. I would bet the average overweight person has displayed astonishing will-power in their lives. The fact is, no one gets fat because they are hungry. The body has a self regulating mechanism that tells us when we need food and when we've had enough. It is our emotions or chemical addictions that override it. If you don't address the emotional, you will never be free.
The interesting thing about chemical addiction...abstinence cures that. After a while, the body will do what it does best, clean house. It will eventually stop craving the substance and over time you may even be repelled by it.
Does that mean you can never become addicted again? Nope. You can certainly find yourself hooked if you go back to what once called to you.
Keeping this in mind, I would like to clarify something that I have shared here many times over the past 13 years that has helped others get past the initial phases of food obsessed thinking. When you are in the thick of the early days or weeks on this diet, especially if you have a longer road ahead of you like I did, you learn to find ways to retrain your thinking and reactions to food stimulus. Most of us..if we stop and really get in to our heačJs and listen..might notice we tend to panic at the thought of missing out on something. For example, if we are facing a food we crave and we actually resist eating it, WHAT IF IT IS NEVER THERE AGAIN?????!!!!! That may seem silly, but I've been doing this long enough to know that I arri not the only one that felt that way. Like any drug addict that is facing rehab, the fear is that they can no longer indulge. The fear of that is stronger then their desire to be clean. For us here, the fear of never getting to eat the foods we are hooked on can be distressing enough that it can cause a person to self sabotage and quit. I didn't want that to happen to me and I don't want it to happen to anyone here.
This is why if I found myself obsessing about a food item or maybe feeling pulled in to that food court at the mall, I would calm my inner screaming voice by soothingly saying in my head, "The food will always be there. Anything I want so badly today will still be there when I'm done". My reason for this was not to start planning future binges. That would be stupid. My reason was to defuse my panic and stress without caving in. I had every hope that once I had lost my weight, those foods would no longer call to me and I would no longer want them. I was right. They don't.
There is so much mind work to be done here. Not everyone will be coming from the same place and whatever worked for them is great, but it will not be the same for you. I can make suggestions to you based on my personal journey, but that is all it is...a suggestion. You will find your own way. The only mandatory thing is that you have ALL of your 3 to 4 servings each day, even if you add food. There are guidelines regarding medical supervision if you have a need, suggestions about exercise and when to start and when to add food back to your intake, but ultimately the rest is for you to find what works for you. The formula you choose, the flavors you like or dislike, the times you eat and how you make it will all be individual to you and your personal tastes and needs.
My main message is this, Cambridge is simple. We can complicate it if we want. The best way to complicate it is demand perfection. You do not need to be perfect. You will likely stumble, you will be tempted, you will fear failure and you will eventually learn to forgive and accept yourself. You will understand that in this world, you are good enough and that you don't need to compare yourself to others. They are probably comparing themselves to someone else anyway!
I went walking on the beach a few days ago. I had to climb up a sandy hill to get back to my car. For every 3 steps I took up, I slid down one. The slope was unstable and I had to work a lot harder to walk up that hill then I did down on the nice flat shore. It would have made no sense to sit down and give up. I had to get to my car and go home. I focused on my progress and ignored my setbacks. I adjusted my path and got to the top. That is how you reach your goal.
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