Thursday, March 28, 2013
In keeping with my commitment to make changes both physically and mentally I have been working on my very obvious and long standing problem with emotional eating. I have checked some very helpful books out of the library and have been studying what triggers it for people, why it happens and ways to redirect the habit into something that is healthier.
One thing I never noticed but since reading these books I've taken to heart is, as an emotional eater not only do I eat when I'm sad, lonely, depressed, angry and many other 'negative' mindsets but I also emotionally eat when I'm happy! Why? Because we associate celebration with food - we go out for dinner for our birthdays, anniversaries, to celebrate a new job, a new baby, a new car - whatever you can think to celebrate it's usually done around a table with your friends and family eating a big happy meal. But why? This is something I've been thinking about this week. Why when we celebrate do we always surround this celebration by food? Is there nothing that other people can do together to celebrate? (I don't have an answer, I"m just throwing this question out there).
So let's take yesterday for example. I was feeling pretty awesome. Lost 4lbs for the second week in a row. And what am I thinking of by the afternoon? What kind of meal I'm going to celebrate that loss with. Now WHY would I celebrate losing weight with FOOD? My mind naturally gravitates toward food - thinking of it, planning it, salivating over it. I had a frozen pizza for dinner. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome. It was all on plan, I did not exceed my daily calories and I made myself eat salad before I ate the pizza. But I know that in the back of my mind I was telling myself, you deserve this pizza. You worked hard and now you can reward yourself with food. Later at a friend's house, she had Timbits. Now some Americans will know what these are but all Canadians will. They're essentially donut holes. They pack about 60-90 calories a piece and 5g of fat in each one. I had enough calories left in my day to have 2. So I did. Again because in the back of my mind, I was rewarding myself for staying on track and losing 4lbs this week.
But THAT is what I need to remedy. That thought process that revolves around food and rewarding, celebrating, planning, obsessing, thinking about and generally involving many aspects of my life around food. I need to find ways to celebrate and reward myself with something else and LOVE that something else. And start to think of food as fuel for my body - not a reward for my wins or a salve for my losses.
So happy or sad, mad or glad - I'm still attaching a food label to it. Do you do this? Are you aware that you do this? What types of tools do you have in your toolbox to address this issue?