So, when I eat in an unhealthy way....
It is not because I'm hungry. All that "when you're hungry you make poor choices" stuff may be true... But not for me.
It is not because I'm emotional. I am not an emotional eater. I used to think I was. But I'm not.
It is not because I REALLY love the food and I "just can't" resist. I usually can. Most of the time. Except when my petulant inner child decides to rear its' ugly head.
There are times when I am sitting and feeling completely satisfied with a meal and I say to myself,
"I am so full I really don't want dessert."
My inner child then wakes up and says,
"What? No dessert?"
"Um... yeah. I'm full and I would feel pretty sick if I ate dessert right now."
The then annoyed child says...
"Who are YOU to tell me I can't have dessert?!"
That basically continues until I have a very petulant, tantruming, inner child in my head fighting with me and trying to force me to eat because, "Aren't you ENTITLED to dessert?!"
And that's when I had a lightbulb moment.
As a parent, I NEVER gave in to a tantrum. Never. I don't acknowledge any request made in "tantrum mode." I once left the grocery with my very upset child, leaving a full cart of groceries with the customer assistant, apologizing that I could not finish my shopping because my child was not cooperating.
Some may have just gotten that child what they wanted so they didn't have to go back to the market. So the child would "just stop crying already!" Not I. I went back to the market at 8PM after my husband was home and the kids were in bed, and I finished my shopping. And you know what? That was the one and only time I ever had to deal with a public tantrum because my child wanted "X" and I said no. When I say no, it means no. End of story.
There were consequences. And in my house you don't get what you want by throwing a tantrum EVEN when it makes things easier and quieter for Mommy.
Why should I treat my petulant inner child any differently?!!
So now I just wait out the tantrum. Eventually my inner child quiets down. I need to muster up all the will I have to fight it, but it works.