I’m in Texas, and we had quite a week. If messages I received from so many of you around the world are any indication, you will have heard far too much about it already. Thank you for checking on me.
Suffice it to say, we’re quite unfamiliar with a polar vortex that stays for a week.
It made me so aware of and grateful for, what we take for granted to meet very basic needs like heat and clean water, and what we do to meet those needs without the accustomed access.
We do what we can; then, we get creative. Some of that creativity works well, and some creativity may leave a bit of a mess to clean up afterward.
Just as meeting our emotional needs by putting something in our mouths works in the moment but leaves a mess to clean up later in either health or extra weight.
It’s a response we learned early – a bottle or pacifier then became candy or ice cream to make us feel better as children.
How many breakups were soothed by a tub of ice cream?
How many frustrating work days are soothed by cake or chips and drinks?
Food is easy. It’s available. It takes no thought. We know it well, and we like it. It works in the moment and is available, so we keep using it thinking there is nothing else that will so satisfy the need.
When I ask clients what else will meet that need, they most often say, “I don’t know.” And that’s the point. We don’t know, which makes it rather difficult to utilize another option in the moment.
We’ve never really considered anything else. We don’t shift easily to creative means to meet our needs because we still have the basic supply available. Last week, we used snow for utilitarian needs while the water was shut off. It worked even if it was a bit messy, and it wasn’t a solution I’d ever thought of before. Never had to.
So, IF food were not available as a soother, what else might you do to soothe yourself?
Every weight loss article will talk about phoning a friend, deep breathing, stress management, meditation – basic coping mechanisms for any stress or addiction.
Yes, they work, but those ideas may not fit you, and the option must fit you to work. What would you do instead of eating if food were not available? How else can you calm and soothe yourself?
Make a list and keep it with you for reference. Sometimes we need just one good idea, and some days, if you’re like me, you’ll need the whole blinkin’ list.
Give yourself time to practice and normalize your go-to choice. Be kind to yourself in this process, and you’ll soon get there.
What will be the first thing on your list?
If you need a little help creating it, let’s chat. Click for my calendar