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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

What do you hunger for?

It's a good question. So many people hunger for something other than food, but they don't receive or achieve this, and so they find an acceptable substitute.

Let me begin by explaining what is hidden in plain sight and share some linguistic components that I have learned about in my work with Andrew Austin. These I discuss in the Slimming in My Salon workshops.

Language reflects our mental processing and this in turn affects our language.

It appears that there's a relationship between how we communicate certain concepts, process information and process food. Listen to the idioms and the metaphors we use around information processing and you'll see a significant parallel and overlap between information and food processing.

Here are some classic examples of food or digestion metaphors which convey information processing.

  • We talk about a newsfeed.
  • Some people like their information broken down into bite-size chunks.
  • Some people bite off more than they can chew.
  • Others wish to be spoonfed information.
  • Some people don't want people forcing their ideas down their throats.
  • Some people ruminate before making a decision.
  • Someone might have more on their plate than they can handle.
  • So there're a lot of metaphors and idioms around information processing that are also essentially  digestion or food metaphors. Why is this and what does it mean for weight loss?

The hypothalamus in our brains controls appetite and food intake. If certain parts of the brain are affected it affects how people know when to start or to stop eating.

Here's where it gets interesting. When working with anorexics in their final stages of life, Andrew noticed that there was a blatant refusal to accept food as well as a complete refusal to accept information that was different to the system of information that they had organized.

Some families would show their loved ones mirrors and tell them, "look you're not fat". They would try desperately to get information into the system, but there was a complete block to taking anything in. They were refusing food in the same way that they were refusing information.

Bulimics, on the other hand, seem to be very receptive and to take everything in. They seem to take all information in, but don't assimilate or absorb any of it, much like they do with food. They also get the information out as soon as possible and then revert to what they usually do.

Even if it's not true all of the time, it's there in our language and in plain sight, but very easy to miss.

Start to think about how you prefer to process information? Pay attention to this obvious/ elusive aspect of language that you use. Are you the kind of person who takes everything in? Or are you selective with what you take in?

Are you somebody who pays attention to details or are you the person who likes to take in the whole picture? Do you just scan the heading of articles or do you read articles in detail?

Are you somebody who retains information and if so how do you process it? Can you understand the information and apply it?

What is the form or style of information that you prefer?

Do you like facts and figures? Do you ask your friends how much their holiday cost?

Or are you only interested in the emotional component? Do you ask if they had an exciting time and if they met interesting people?

How do you take information in and what do you do with it when you've got it?

Then start to think how this may correlate to the food you eat.

For so many people with weight issues, it quickly becomes obvious that the issue is not the food.The issue is how we think, feel and make decisions.



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שני, יולי 15, 2024