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It’s Not About Willpower…

Eliminating grain and dairy will help you heal your Hashimoto’s, but willpower isn’t going to keep you from noshing on your favorite treats. Today when people see me saying no to cheese or other former delights, I often hear, “you have such willpower.” But, it has nothing to do with willpower.

Resisting cheese boils down to the very same thing that causes someone else to eat it, despite knowing it’s contributing to an inner health storm (for those of you with Hashimoto’s or similar conditions). I witnessed this a couple of weeks ago. A colleague with an autoimmune condition was told to cut grain and dairy out of her diet to help eliminate pain. As I sat across from her at dinner, she explained she “tries” to eliminate them as she ordered a meal with grain and dairy. In the next sentence she said she’s going to see yet another specialist to try to help eliminate the pain she’s experiencing.

The logical part of me wanted to ask, why are you eating that if you know it’s contributing to your pain? But I once made the same choice as she did, and I know it’s more complex than that. Deeply engrained, subconscious patterns are running the show, even if she consciously wants to ditch the grain and dairy.

For a period, I knew certain foods were contributing to my inflammation, joint pain and thyroid problems, yet I occasionally indulged in them as treats or cheats…only to feel crappy for the next few days. That’s because I was using food as a comfort. Let me explain….

People with autoimmune issues have often experienced a pattern of feeling under attack (physically or verbally). This can be from a person in our lives, maybe even by someone in a position of power. It can also be because of an overwhelming lifestyle that leaves us feeling attacked by our schedule and responsibilities.

When we feel under attack, we exhaust our body and our immune systems by being in a state of constant fight or flight. We find ways of coping with this stress, which for me was relying on food for comfort. Giving up dairy and grain was like giving up a major life-long coping mechanism not just two food groups.

And guess what? Willpower hasn’t got a shot against a lifelong subconscious behavioral pattern. In fact many of those subconscious patterns are the exact reasons that we don’t own our power.

In the example of my colleague, she wasn’t owning her power. Through her words and actions she was saying, I don’t have the power to do this (say no to grain/dairy). I need someone else to do it for me (treatment). She was placing all of her power in the hands of another. And, while I’m a big, giant fan of awesome doctors and supplements, we do have the power to help heal ourselves through our thoughts and our food choices.

It began shifting for me when I became aware of the external and internal patterns that contributed to feeling “under attack,” which included memories, thoughts, relationships, criticisms and lifestyle choices. As I began to heal those, through coaching tools and tapping (EFT), major shifts occurred, including elevating my eating game. It was an automatic and unintended benefit of finally releasing my struggle and owning my worth. When I shifted my subconscious thinking through those tools, I was able to shift my conscious thoughts to support my wellbeing.

Today, choosing healthy is a no-brainer. I call it wellpower. ;). While it isn’t an effortless process, I am able to navigate any temporary temptation (sabotage) using the same tools that helped me get to where I am today with my health. Ultimately, there’s no piece of grain or cheese in the world that compares to feeling energetic and happy.

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