We all have Root Needs—subconscious motivations that drive our food cravings and behaviours—but we are often deceived and led astray by lies that we don’t even realize exist. These lies make us vulnerable, trap us in cycles of frustration and self-sabotage, and they deny us the thing we really wanted in the first place—the Root Need. This is why we have to understand what the lies are, root them out, and replace them with the truth. Only then are we able to satisfy the true Root Need and find the fulfilment we crave.
Be warned that this is a dangerous mission because it forces you to hunt down your unacknowledged emotional issues and complications. It requires you to dig through the layers of yourself to reveal the poison buried within. And getting it out is going to hurt, because that’s what war is, searching out the enemy and defeating it, despite the casualties you will inevitably suffer. That’s the risk you take, the sacrifice you make if you want to succeed to vanquish the enemy. Only then can you win the victory, attain peace, and be free. And that is worth all the pain in the world.
Killing the Lies:
-In this post, I will explain the three-step process, the weapon you can use to destroy the lies that get in the way of your Root Need. I will outline the two genres of Root Needs, Ongoing Root Needs, and Immediate Root Needs, both of which can be physical, emotional, or psychological.
The Three-Step Process to Kill the Lies:
1) Unblock the Root Need
2) Expose & Eliminate the Lies
3) Replace Them with the Truth
The Two Genres of Root Needs:
As previously discussed, there are physical, emotional, and psychological Root Needs, all of which can also be either Immediate Root Needs or Ongoing Root Needs.
Immediate Root Need: A a powerful motivating factor that is usually temporary and stems directly from your immediate circumstance & situation.
-Example: When you’re running on three hours of sleep, two coffees, and you’re trying to study for four exams while your upstairs neighbour blasts music, and you can’t keep away from the snacks. Chips, pretzels, kettle corn—it’s keeping you alive, and making you feel awful about yourself, even more stressed, and guiltily discouraged on top of everything else. First, you must implement this three-step process.
1) Unblock the Root Need:
-In this situation, your Immediate Root Need is rest. You physically need to relax your body and your mind.
2) Expose the Lies
-The lies you are believing about your Root Need is that since you are tired and stressed, and if the chip bowl is the only thing that can keep you going, you are going to keep refilling it, despite the fact that it’s making you feel worse and worse. You mistakenly believe that in order to get through this crisis right now, you need to keep snacking.
3) Replace the Lies with the Truth
-You are tired. When you’re tired, you automatically begin to eat to keep yourself awake. You are exhausted and stressed, but what you need isn’t more Doritos. What you need is to go take a twenty minute power nap and clear your head. Come back refresh and recharged. Only then are you ready for battle.
Ongoing Root Need: A powerful motivating factor that is typically emotional and complex, and often stems from past experiences that continue to influence you, with or without your knowledge.
-Example: When you feel victimized by the ever tempting, limitless supply of treats at the office, be it a box of donuts, a gourmet lunch-and-learn, or home-baked cookies. Eating all of this extra, often unhealthy food makes you feel slothful and frustrated, but time and time again, you just can’t bring yourself to pass it up. You feel victimized, angry, and hopeless.
Again, you can use the three-step-weapon against these lies:
1. Unblock Your Root Need
-You may need to dig into your childhood to understand where it all began. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you were a chubby child, and you were bullied horribly in school. Among other hurtful, untrue things, the other third-graders told you you didn’t deserve to be their friend. this was traumatizing.
-However, as you grew up, you decided to overcome the abuse and move past it. You realized own self-worth and validity, and you decided that no one would ever treat you like that again. No one would deny you the dignity and self-worth you deserved.
-But as a result, you over-compensated. You decided that since you were a worthy, valuable person, you would not deny yourself anything you believed you should have. You worked extra hard in school, got a group of friends, and enjoyed whatever food you wanted because you deserved it. No person would tell you who to be friends with, just as no diet would tell you what not to eat. There was no good thing you would withhold. Except you didn’t feel good. You felt trapped. You felt helpless.
-In this hypothetical situation, the Ongoing Root Need in your life is self worth and validation. This is a good thing. Everyone should feel valuable, as the precious human being that they are. The problem isn’t the Root Need. It’s the way you misunderstand it.
2. Expose the Lie:
The lie you are believing is that in order to feel good, in order to be worthy and loved and of value, you must not withhold anything you want, including food. What you don’t realize is that you are actually abusing yourself. Never denying yourself anything will not get you the validation you crave. Feeling victimized and bloated is not what you deserve.
3. Replace the Lie with the Truth:
The truth you need to realize is that yes, you are a precious, valuable person, and because of that, you deserve to treat yourself right. And sometimes that means saying ‘no’. Refusing certain things for the health of your body and the peace of your mind is an act of love towards yourself, not an act of abuse. Making healthy eating habits and finding a system that works for you will not deny you dignity and self-worth, it will cultivate these things.
Finding the root is difficult, but it’s crucial. In the next post I will give some practical suggestions on how to find your Root Needs, both Immediate and Ongoing. I will share what kinds of questions to ask, what attitude to approach it with, and then what to do once you realize what your needs are. Because we all have Root Needs. And one way or another, we’re getting our fix somewhere.