I read this article and it hit me where I was this week. After battling an emotional weekend, one of excitement and stress, but emotionally charged! This morning, It finally hit me as to why I was feeling the way I was feeling and also why I ate so out of balance this weekend. Realizing more and more I need to manage my emotions! I pray this helps you as much as it is helping me. Most of all let us all turn to the greatest source of our Strenght during times of need- Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, give Him total Lordship over our inner lives and our emotions.
5 Steps to Freedom from Food Addiction
How to Satisfy the Hunger that Goes Beyond Food
BY DR. SAUNDRA-DALTON SMITH
The Battle – Everyone handles the stress of life differently. Some drink, some smoke, but I ate.
Comfort foods were my stress reducers, or so I thought, during the five years I gained the most weight.
Anything with a high calorie count, loaded with sugar or fat, seemed to fit the bill. I did feel better after
eating these foods, but the relief they brought was short-lived. However, the weight gain and obesity
that followed stayed with me for years.
When you are in the middle of an emotional eating battle you know that there is a problem, but it’s very
difficult discussing it with others. How do you tell someone that a substance that everyone consumes
on a daily basis has become your obsession? Most of my patients with emotional eating disorders state
that they have known they had a problem for years, but choose to ignore it because of the lack of
understanding in the general public. As one patient stated, “People seem to accept the fact that I’m fat
because I like to eat but can’t believe that food is my antidepressant. It’s not about eating, for me it’s
about making it through another day.”
The Turning Point – I ignored my weight for many years. Yes, I was obese, but I needed to keep my
stress in check more than I needed to be thin, or so I thought. After the birth of my second child I began
to hurt so badly from all the extra weight that I knew something had to change. Negative x-rays all
confirmed that my pain was nothing more than my body rebelling against the years of misuse and
abuse. It’s hard to deny that you have a problem when your own body is screaming out for help. It was
during this time that I began analyzing the successful patients I had who had overcome their own
personal battles with food. They became my resource and motivation, leading to the creation of the
five steps I used and now prescribe for each patient wanting to be free from an unhealthy relationship
My 5 Step Program
1. Identify what triggers you to eat – There are many reasons people eat. Hunger, timing,
socially, and medicinally to relieve depression, stress, grief, loneliness or anxiety are just a few of the
common reasons. Knowing what triggers you to eat can help you determine what problems you need to
address. The only appropriate reason to eat is hunger. All other eating triggers require a plan for
2. Activate a new response to that trigger – If you eat at set times only because the clock says
its meal time, make a conscious decision to be free from those mental constraints and listen to your
personal hunger level. If loneliness causes you to munch on unhealthy snacks while watching TV, spend
that time talking on the phone to a friend or getting out of the house to meet people. If grief and
disappointment have set you on a course straight to Ben and Jerry’s, halt for a moment and address
those feelings. Don’t be afraid to be truthful with yourself about what you are feeling and deal with
those emotions. Lying to yourself only hurts you in the long run.
3. Transition into a new relationship with food – See food only as nourishment and never as a
companion, counselor, or antidote to your emotions. Spend some time away from those foods you
have become dependent on. It’s difficult to overcome a dependency if you are actively confronted with
your weakness. Clear your pantry of all the mac and cheese, Oreos, and Snickers. Allow your body at
least 30 days off of these food. During that time, experiment with healthier choices and give your palate
a chance to awaken and explore.
4. Expect set-backs – Life happens and the easiest way to reply to its pressures is with a common
learned response. If for the past 20 years you’ve always answered depression’s call with eating a whole
pizza, it may take some time to break that habit. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your eating
habits. Emotional eating cycles can be broken with persistence, patience, and perseverance.
5. Visualize success – See yourself daily controlling your portions and food choices, then practice
what you see. Knowing that you can overcome your unhealthy relationship with food is half the battle.
It may be ice cream you’ve been binging on, but the reality is, it was never ice cream you were craving.
Your cravings were for something much deeper than the food you consumed.
Filling the true voids in your life and emotions will satisfy your deepest hungers for love, happiness,
and success much better than any morsel of food, and with absolutely zero calories.
Saundra Dalton-Smith M.D. is author of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell
Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.
- Wayne Dyer
| Pounds lost: 0.0