Continuing on in the 10-article series, today I want to talk about Emotional Eating and how to "Tame the Emotional Eating Beast for Good".
I have a beast within. She is large, scary and more often then not, she bares those sharp fangs and takes a huge bite out of my motivation. Usually when I am feeling mad, sad, bad and/or glad. Pretty much ANY emotion I am experiencing is an excuse for her to rip into sugar covered deliciousness. So how can I tame her once and for all?
The therapist within wants to dig into my bag of therapy tricks and root through some cognitive reframing, stress reduction strategies, and response prevention in order to get this beast in line. Obviously though, this is not working for me as I continue to release her when my feelings get strong. Or maybe I am just not using the RIGHT strategies at the RIGHT time?!?!
The article by my FAVORITE Spark Coach EVER ( Sorry Nicole) suggests that you take both a preventative and an emergency approache.
Wait out the short attention span of your beast. I actually advocate for my client's to use Distress Tolerance skills skills which basically distract you when emotions become overwhelming. Why have I never thought to use them myself to prevent emotional eating!!! These are things like counting, deep breathing, tv/movies, music, ect.
The she-beast does not actually want food but comfort. So utilizing self soothing skills focusing on the 5 senses can calm the beast and provide you with the comfort she seeks. Self Soothing skills are things like listening to calming music, doing puzzles, sitting in nature, smelling candles, taking a bath, ect. The list goes on and it's really personal to you.
3. Good Beast/Bad beast
Coach Dean advocates that your beast is fearful of you because she knows you can kick her to the curb. Until that day when you are willing, able and ready to do it. Surround yourself with healthy foods that you don't have to feel guilty about noshing on.
Prevention strategies work by preventing the beast from being there in the first place. This includes learning how to handle stress and powerful feelings without ding dongs and mac & cheese. This includes stress management and challenging negative thinking. But that's a whole 'nuther blog post.
What strategies do you use to prevent the emotional eating beast from taking over?