Emotional Eating Week 3: Emotional Attacks

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Focus now.  Enthusiasm can usually help us stay on track for a week or two, but then we need our focus and determination to pursue our goals – especially when we’ve tried to achieve them many times or reached our goal and then fallen back into old patterns. 

By week three, the emotional stuff pops up to bite us.  So how do we maintain amidst emotional, stress, or boredom eating attacks?

Find what’s driving the bus – and take away the keys.

YES, certain things drive us to eat for soothing.  Our emotional stuff is the primary saboteur of any goal we set.  If you saw my TEDx talk, you may remember an exercise I asked the audience to do.  It’s a good way to identify what’s driving the bus:

Think of a food you often go to when you need soothing – you know, THAT one.  The one you often cannot say no to even when you want to. 

Close your eyes and get that food in your mind. 

You can see it – the container or wrapper’s shape and size, the color and texture of the food, what it looks like on a plate – or a spoon, or in your hand.  Can you see it? 

You may have a scent memory of it you’re aware of even now.  Inhale it. 

You can almost taste it, can’t you?

What’s your earliest memory of having it?  Think back.  Needn’t be the first time you had it, but what’s the first time you remember it?

Who gave it to you?

What was going on?

What did that food do for you?

Okay, you can open your eyes – does your drive for it make more sense?  We’re always looking for that feeling of comfort, closeness, soothing, having our immediate needs met at a time when perhaps we couldn’t do it on our own.

Yet now, as capable as we are, we look to that food because it’s what we know.  It’s always worked.  Particularly when we’re tired, stressed, frustrated, or feeling beaten down, it’s those familiar foods that comfort us – just like perhaps you’re drawn to the beach in the summer or mountains or cities or pasturelands.  We are drawn to what has long given us a sense of comfort and peace.

So we know what’s driving the bus.  How do we take away the keys?  

Recognizing it is helpful, and doing something different is even more effective.  How can you soothe that need in a different way?  And I mean a way that does not involve food.  Food is just easy, but the soothing doesn’t last.  What soother can you use to get lasting comfort?

If you need a little help finding that and making it work for you, let’s talk.  [email protected]

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