For many years I used to believe that the food I ate was the cause of my weight fluctuation. And yes of course it is. But there are much more to it than just food, as a reason to the number on the scale. In seven out of ten cases, the food we constantly decide to place on our plates is just a result of what’s going on inside of us. The food is an outcome – of a reaction of unsorted thoughts and emotions.
For example, if you have a fight with your best friend and feel sad or angry afterwards, this might affect your choice of food later that day. There is no logical reason for letting your emotions affect your choice of food. But the problem is that the most of us don’t even know how to feel the emotions that are related to a certain action.
Yes, we know we feel sad, and we know why. In fact, many of us avoid the feeling as soon as it appears and some of us let it stay for a short amount of time. Thus, we put a short-term patch on the bleeding sore and avoid handling the emotions that occurred when having the fight with our friend, earlier that day, by having a chocolate bar. We eat the chocolate bar and feel amazing right there and then, but unfortunately that feeling doesn’t last for a very long time.
Just as when you have been longing for a vacation or something to happen. Then, when that day finally comes, you are there, it’s that actual day and it’s not as spectacular as you had imagine. What was the most rewarding, was the journey towards THAT to happen. So when the moment of having the chocolate cake in your mouth, it’s nice, if you even recognize it, but some people doesn’t even taste it until it’s already all gone, it was just all a matter of an essential procedure, that you had to finish.
What we us often a result of habits, what we have done before and what we already know work for us.
When we are kids we celebrate our birthdays with cakes, when we are getting an A, we get sweets, when we are graduating food is the treat of our accomplishments. When someone is getting a new job, a new achievement food is the number one way of how to celebrate it. As you can see food play a huge role in our life’s, already since our childhood.
Consequently, using food as a reward for our fulfillment is completely understandable and the first thing in coming to an end with this way of handling food, is accepting the fact of your currant way of handling food.
What you can do about:
1. The first step is acceptance – you have a problem and that’s okay. You have come to realize that you need to find a way to solve it. A better way of dealing with your emotions.
2. Discover your own behavior – write a diary about your food pattern and involved thoughts and emotions. When do you tend to turn to this kind of behavior? Which are the triggers? Which are the emotions and circumstances that drives these actions? Be as specific as possible.
3. Specify what you want to change – when you have discovered what drives your actions, write down what you want to change. What behaviors doesn’t serve you?
4. Why do you want to change? Your why is your GOAL and the engine of the entire process of change. Be specific, divide your goal into smaller ones and celebrate every step towards the big one.
5. One Step at a Time – Start small by practicing to tune in to your feelings, avoidance doesn’t serve you int the long run. Set aside 5 minutes each day, throughout the day for reflection. What is going on? How do I feel like I do and Why?