Thoughtful Thursday: Episode 1
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday’s, a weekly series where we explore our brains, one thought at a time.
Hi Everyone: Welcome to Thoughtful Thursdays. Not the kind of thoughtful like “oh you brought me flowers just because it’s Tuesday, how thoughtful '' No, this is where we will explore our thoughts and how they move us forward or hold us back.
Today’s topic is beliefs. Did you know that a belief is just a thought you keep thinking over and over again? Crazy right? If you look up the definition it says:
an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
Acceptance, confidence. How many of you believe in things because your parents have been saying it to you your entire life? Here’s one, “food is love”. I come from an Italian family where food was the answer to everything that happens in the world. If you’re happy, you eat. If you’re sad, you eat. Not sure what you’re feeling, eat, you’ll figure it out. This thought, “food is love” has caused me a great deal of pain over the years.
I was on my first diet at the age of 13. My mother was overweight and I’m sure when she saw me starting to be a bit chubby she didn’t want me to experience whatever pain she had gone through so she took me to Weight Watchers with her. She used to say “I just don’t want anyone saying “Oh she has such a pretty face if she would only lose some weight”. In those days, when you weighed in at WW it was in front of the entire room. If you lost weight they clapped and celebrated your success, if you didn’t, well they didn’t say much but that in itself said it all.
This very simple, loving thing my mother did set me up for a life of love-hate with food and a really bad body image. Did I have to be thinner to be loved? I thought the food was love. I just have to eat and then there will be love, right? But if I keep getting love through food then I will be fat. YIKES, where will I find love now? Anyway, you get the picture.
I believed that all things revolved around food. But what if I was wrong? Do people that are not Italian really get together and not eat? And what about drinking? Oh, that’s a really good one. I never met my Grandfather but I’m told that he was right off the boat from Italy and used to make his own wine. When he came to America he thought that the water was no good so he encouraged everyone to drink wine. I’m told that as a baby when we cried he would dip our pacifier in some of his wine to help us stop crying! Yeah, we didn’t cry because we fell asleep! Mission accomplished.
I have spent my entire life questioning this belief. Can I really go out with friends and not eat or drink and still have fun or be fun? Can I really be happy, sad, bored whatever without reaching for something to eat or drink to make me feel better? After all, food cures all.
What if happy, sad, bored, loved, all the feelings actually started with thoughts? This concept blew the top of my head off. What if I can control my feelings just by changing my thoughts? And what if my thought was “I can have so much fun, and, I am so much fun without eating or drinking”. OK, I had to lay down to process this one. But it’s true. When we think something over and over again and it becomes a belief, we just believe that it’s the way of the world, but if we stop and observe our thought and question it, we get to ask, “Is this thought serving me”?
If thoughts create our feelings, and feelings drive our actions and actions or inactions create our results, what will I choose to think? And what result will I create in my life? I can tell you for sure I do not think food is love anymore. I get to choose my thoughts and that thought was not working for me so I choose different thoughts. I choose to think that getting together with my friends and family can happen anywhere anytime and it doesn’t have to revolve around food or drinks. Of course, we still get together for dinner and drinks, but if I choose to not eat or drink I’m not thinking “Oh they’ll think I’m dieting or trying to cut back on drinking or I’m not fun”. Nope, my thoughts, feelings, and actions are all my own. And the result is I am at peace with my choice.
What beliefs or thoughts do you have that are not serving you? I would love to hear them.
Until we meet again, choose your thoughts, they are all yours.
Kim Jolicoeur is a Certified Life and Stop Overdrinking Coach helping people regain control of their lives, one thought at a time. For a free consultation reach out to email@example.com