Friday, March 17, 2006
I think most of us have issues with emotional eating. The hardest part of the journey for me so far has been identifying the emotional triggers and then figuring out alternatives to deal with those emotions instead of eating. I liken the emotions to dragons and assign colors to them. The following are my emotional dragons and what has worked for me.
1) anger dragon (red) ... When this one hit me I would eat and perceive that it calmed me down. Now when I get angry, I do something to expend some energy. Go for a walk outside, dance to my favorite fast music, just get moving!
2) happy dragon (yellow) ... When very happy with anything I would eat and perceive that it increased my happiness. I felt more content with myself. Now when I'm happy, I do something to let others know I'm happy. I smile, laugh, and enjoy life more because I know I am taking the steps to become a healthier person by not eating when this one hits.
3) sad dragon (blue) ... When sad I would eat and perceive that it made me feel better (content). Now when I'm sad I do something to rid myself of the sadness ... read inspirational quotes, write down how I feel and why and examine what I can do to help the situation.
4) celebration dragon (purple) ... When celebrating, I think most of us have turned to food. It's just what society has taught us to do. I no longer celebrate anything with food. I give hugs to express my joy. I share my feeling by talking.
5) stressed dragon (magenta) ... When stressed I would eat, and eat, and eat. I perceived that eating made stress easier to cope with but in actuality it didn't do anything of the kind. When stressed now I turn analytical. I search for the reason I am stressed. If there's anything I can do to change the situation that causes the stress, I do it. If there's nothing I can do (and sometimes there just isn't) I give myself a pep talk and let it go. Life is going to be stressful. Eating at this point will only make me sad and sidetrack me from where I want to be.
6) bored dragon (black) ... This one is the one I've battled the most. I bore easily and eating always used to make me feel comforted. I would be detached and eating seemed to 'bring me back' to life. Now when bored, I get up off my arse and find something to do. I embroider or read or go for a walk or log online ... anything to move around a bit, focus on something, and forget the boredom.