A few weeks ago a personal trainer, in whom I worked at The Platinum Center with, and good friend of mine sent me some steps on eliminating the emotional eating cycle. I figured I would follow up my last blog with some helpful ways to fight against one of the leading reasons for people being overweight. I know without a doubt the reason I gained 20 lbs over the winter was because of working two jobs and being completely stressed out in getting The Well going. I was tired and ate to make me feel better – have you ever done that? My friend Jeannie, who works at Exerbotics gives some great tips with the acronym AWARE:
Aware- Become aware of you eating habits
As your level of awareness increases, you’ll become less of an unconscious eater and become a conscious eater. The important thing to do is stop and think. Ask yourself a few questions before you eat…
· Am I thinking of eating because I’m physically hungry or for another reason?
· If it’s not physical hunger, then why am I thinking about eating this?
· What will be the immediate consequence if I eat this?
· What will be the long-term consequences of eating this?
· What would be my reward for saying no to this?
· Is eating this going to move me closer to, or farther away from my goal?
Watch out for your emotional triggers
Replace certain foods with healthier ones
Establish your beliefs
There are always constructive ways to feel satisfied. It is NOT about eating the food, it is about getting the feeling you thought you’d get from eating that food.
SOME, when they become depressed, drown their sorrows in alcohol or binge eat… SOME seek professional help, or call a good friend or loved one and work it through. Social support and sympathetic ears can be powerfully therapeutic.
SOME reach for food when they feel stressed… SOME take up yoga, take a bubble bath, light candles and play soothing music, paint or create art, or go for a walk through the park or the woods, or simply remove themselves from the stress.
SOME come home from work exhausted and immediately reach for food, some take a nap or find ways to improve their nightly quality of sleep.
SOME reach for food when they are upset or angry, SOME work it out…they head for the gym, go for a run, or take a kickboxing class….
When you feel the temptation to feed emotional hunger, distraction or movement helps. Emotion follows motion. Physical movement may well be the best strategy because the mind and body are connected. When you move your body, you change the way you feel. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Do any of these hit close to home? How will you change your strategy?
What do you truly believe about your body? Do you view it as a high performance vehicle? If you did you probably would take care of what kind of fuel you were putting into it, right!? If you believed that your body was a lean fat fighting machine, how do you think it might affect your attitude toward training? How would it affect your response to adversity, if you thought of yourself as a warrior? Most people don’t realize that “harmless” nicknames and labels actually change behavior and affect the way we see ourselves. If you are gong to label yourself, why not choose empowering labels? Make a list of how you see yourself and how you see food. ask yourself…” Are my thoughts empowering or self defeating?” Here are some thoughts , which one is self defeating?…
- Food is fuel.
- Food is the best medicine.
- Food is construction material for the body.
- Fruit is nature’s candy.
- It’s impossible to eat right when i’m traveling.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
- Food is for energy.
- It’s good to eat as organic as possible.
Once you have your list, ask yourself, ” Does believing this move me toward or away from my goal?” Replacement is the key. Replace your negative,self defeating thoughts with positive empowering ones.
” I used to believe that eating would make me feel good, but now I realize that overeating only made me feel sluggish, bloated, and guilty afterward. It wasn’t worth any short term relief I got. What really makes me feel good is being in control and the victory I feel from becoming fitter, healthier, and better than I was yesterday”