Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Day 72 with 28 days to go
Do you eat perfectly around others but creep off alone to finish off the last of the cookies or the leftover dessert? Maybe you keep a secret stash of your favorite candy so you can nibble it when no one is around. You know that sneak eating can totally ruin your diet, you may still be struggling with it on a daily basis.
You try to tell yourself that sneaking food doesn't matter that much, or maybe you don't have control over yourself. But behind this secret lies a huge range of emotions such as anger, resentment and fear.
Do you feel embarrassed or ashamed to be seen eating certain foods because of your weight? If you've told people that you're on a diet, you probably don't want them to see you slipping up on your plan.
Maybe you're tired of hearing your mother's negative comments about your weight. Maybe you're afraid that your spouse will criticize you for eating certain foods. Maybe you just want to escape the prying eyes of the "diet police."
Who are you really punishing?
If you feel pressured to follow your diet perfectly, you may attempt to punish other people by eating when they can't see you. If you're subjected to constant monitoring or criticism from family members, you might secretly think, "I'll show you! There's no way you can control me now." You always end up punishing the wrong person. When you sneak food and overeat, you're the one who gains weight or feels bloated and miserable.
Eat in the presence of others
To overcome patterns of sneak eating, consider making a policy that you'll always eat sweets or favorite foods in the presence of at least one other person.
You won't be able to dig into an entire carton of ice cream or finish off the rest of the chocolates that are leftover from some holiday without someone else watching you.
To reinforce your decision, let others know your plans not to eat certain foods in private, then ask for their support. Remind them that you'll be using tools such as the first two bites and savoring. When you eat in their presence, ask them to offer you encouragement rather than criticism.
...make a list of foods as well as the situations that might prompt you to sneak out.
...what are you saying to others when you sneak food? Are you secretly expressing anger or a need for control? In your notebook, write down some of the emotional needs you might be solving by sneaking food.
...add a few thought about the ways people act when you don't follow your diet perfectly. Notice whether you react with fear, anger, resentment, or some other emotions.