Thursday, February 23, 2012
I've moved onto Part 2 of "Shrink Yourself", i.e. the section of the book containing exercises to help readers stop the cycle of emotional eating. Aside from identifying the habits of healthy eating I don't adhere to - which I was pretty aware of to being with - the first exercise is in identifying the emotions you notice precipitating the urge to emotional eat. I'm rather impatient, because I'd like to move beyond identification to the knowledge of what to do with these feelings! However, I'm going to try to take it slow and remember that this is a process. So here goes.
I just finished drinking tea because I'm very stressed out and want to stuff my face.
A certain family member tends to hold in feelings for awhile before going absolutely bonkers: stomping, slamming doors, screaming, yelling, cursing, threatening. Last night was the initial explosion, followed today by "I can't take anymore and I'm getting on a bus and taking off." In a rare display of painstaking self-control, I've kept my temper and have been working very hard not to absorb her feelings and problems as my own; it's difficult beyond words, though, having spent a lifetime caught in this cycle. Despite my efforts, I've felt drained, on-edge, withdrawn, and generally upset all day. Healthy, well-adjusted communication is simply not an option. The current incident serves to highlight the perception that healthy, well-adjusted communication is rarely an option, because it's usually met with enraged defensiveness, accented by mud-slinging denigrations and haloed by a cloak of self-righteous, woebegone persecution.
On top of the family drama, I received an email reply from an alumnus of my college that I'd reached out to for career information. Her advice hit a ton of sore spots, sore spots which lead me to emotional eat, time and time again, because my apparent loss of how to resolve the issues causes me to feel trapped and extremely powerless. For the past few weeks, I've been trying to remind myself that I'm not as utterly powerless to change my situation as it feels like I am and to pull myself out of a victim mentality; but having the alumnus's advice spread out bare in the half dozen or so ways that habitually appear to me to be insurmountable roadblocks is really sucking me into a powerless mindset again and triggering the urge to eat.
Great. I've identified the specific situations and the specific emotions causing my urge to emotional eat. Now what? I want to know how the author purports I 'reclaim my power.'