Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I do sometimes still have trouble identifying eating triggers related to food itself. I'm also well aware that non-food triggers do pull me toward eating. People, situations, or even habits I've previously associated with food can send me to the refrigerator or the cupboard.
Uncomfortable emotions, demands from others, or even high expectations of myself can ALL TRIGGER unplanned eating. So can the need for relief form pain, illness, fatigue, or other physical discomfort.
Sometimes food patterns can turn into habits, where they're always tempting me to eat when I'm in specific settings. Some of the routines I have are snacking as soon as I get home, eating in my car, having a late night snack, and even having the feeling that I MUST have a frozen yogurt bar every evening.
When I go to a movie, all I think about is getting that popcorn, as it's delicious, and it's also a comfort food for me. If I'm in a difficult situation with an unpleasant person, I hit whatever is available and ready, right then and there!
Do I experience more than one trigger at the same time, YOU BETCHA! i.e. feelings of depression or being upset, and when I've had to go to a meeting in a conference room filled with snacks, i.e. doughnuts, cookies and chips. In this particular setting I'm tempted by the sight and smell of food, as well as my desire to connect with team members. Without give it a second thought, I join right in with what the rest of the staff is doing, as they munch away on the cookies and chips.
My emotional triggers can sometimes be very subtle and hidden. I might not realize that I'm feeling depressed or bored, until the search for something to eat comes up. The same thing is true with my stress, my anger, my loneliness, or my depression. These emotional needs can send you toward food simply because eating helped fix these situations in the past.
Because my non-food triggers aren't always very obvious, I choose to watch carefully for the signals that cause me to want food. As I go through my day, I'll pay attention to the subtle, silent, deadly cues that make me have food thoughts or send my hunting an packing for a snack.
In today's assignment, I choose to notice all the non-food cues that tempt me to eat. In particular, I choose to watch for how I respond to stress, anger, and other intense emotions. I choose to write down a list of any food thoughts that were prompted by emotions or other non-food triggers. I also choose to notice whether I'm typically giving in to emotional triggers or whether I'm able to ignore them.
Since the day is already gone, I'll give an update some time tomorrow.
- Nancy Jean