Emotional Eating Traps

see video version here

It’s that moment when you put on a skirt, jeans, or trousers and the waistband is tighter.  You haven’t been oblivious to your recent meals, but up to now, you’d been okay.  Or maybe you stepped on the scales or passed a full-length mirror, and you were faced with unwelcome numbers or sights.
What do you do next?
Like many of you, in my 40 years on the Diet Yo-Yo, the first words from my mouth were NOT complimentary.  Stupid, worthless, ridiculous, pig or cow, idiot -–and more to demean myself or dismiss my value.  It’s honest about the frustration, but how does that help the situation? 
We may think it helps shame us into compliance, but it seldom does.  Instead, it just makes us feel worse, so it perpetuates the cycle.  After we beat ourselves up, we need soothing.  How do we soothe? Go to food, which leads us to beat up on ourselves, and away we go for however many pounds.
As weight is uniquely part of our bodies, we react differently than we do in other areas where “indulgence” would create an unwelcome outcome.  We’re not that mean to ourselves if we overspend or have unexpected expenses.  With finances, we’d evaluate our choices and rein ourselves in.  We make responsible adjustments quickly – mostly because we face bigger and more external consequences if we don’t.
So how is it so different when it comes to our weight?  They’re both essentially math equations, but we react very differently to the result.  Somewhere along the way, as a culture, we decided that our weight speaks to our personal value.  If we said financial matters indicated someone’s personal value, we’d be labeled as a snob because we KNOW it isn’t true.  It’s not your money nor your dress size that indicates your value.
Stop the beat down, shaming, blaming, guilting cycle.  You don’t deserve that, and it doesn’t even help.  In fact, it makes the situation worse.
If there’s a sudden tightening of the waistband, try this:  “Hmmm.  I’ve got some creep somewhere.  Time to pay attention.”  No shame, no guilt.  Ferret out what’s causing it and redirect yourself toward your goal.  What was I doing that worked for me?  Then go do that.
I know it sounds simple, and it can be, even if it’s not easy.  And yes, you can.  You’ve done harder things, haven’t you? You can do this.  It’s taking responsibility again, reaffirming your goal again, and doing what is needed to reach it.  There’s something about taking even a little responsibility.  It builds on itself, and you feel it.

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