power over food

Unit 5: You Are Not Powerless Over Food

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You are powerless over your inner Saboteur. It hijacks you and does what it feels it needs to do.

Emotional hijacking is a term used by Daniel Goleman, who wrote the runaway bestseller, Emotional Intelligence.

According to Goleman, one part of the brain, the primitive brain, hijacks the rest of the brain when it perceives danger. As a result, we can become instantly filled with anxiety., when we suddenly believe a threat of some kind is imminent.

Parts psychology gives a bit more personality to the metaphor. The theory suggests that we all have subpersonalities (not in a clinical sense), some of which can take over our thoughts and feeling when triggered. In these moments, our entire perspective can change.

Binge eating is one result of such a hijacking. This explains how, in one moment, you’re resolved to eat healthy and never binge again. In the next, you no longer care. In fact, you insist on a binge with thoughts and feelings that drive you toward food.

The highjacking part we’ve been concerned with in this is what we’ve called the inner Saboteur.


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