Emotional Eating and Self Sabotage – Part Two

We have more food options available to us than ever, but less nutrition. The healthiest people often eat like people ate when we lived in caves and didn’t get to use food as a cloak to throw over our problems. Yeah, I know, you have a load of them right now, who doesn’t. It’s ok, just get yourself out and train. Once you start doing that those problems will cease to exist, at least for a time.

Not eating well and not training is pretty much saying “screw you” to your body and your life – If you don’t do it, somewhere deep inside you’ll hate yourself for it and hey presto you’re back in a self-sabotage loop…

Life is ten times better when you train and eat well, so why am I doing this?

alter your mood

The best way to get to the bottom of it is to keep a food and mood diary. Every time you feel compelled to reach for comfort food or over eat, take a moment to figure out what triggered the urge. If you backtrack you will usually find an upsetting event that kicked things off so make a note of:

  • What happened to upset you or your state of mind
  • How you felt before you ate
  • What you ate and how did you feel as you were eating
  • How you felt afterward.

Over time you will likely see a pattern emerge. It could be that you always end up gorging yourself after a particular stresser at work or home. Is it when you’re feeling down, exhausted, bored or anxious? Only by figuring out what is triggering your ‘emotional eating’ can you find healthier ways to feed your feelings.

Some final tips:

  • Take 10 minutes to think before giving in to a craving

Don’t tell yourself you can’t give in to the craving as the forbidden is extremely tempting – remember our Willpower article? Just tell yourself to wait for 10 minutes. Use this time to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What is going on emotionally? Even if you do end up eating you will have a better understanding of why which can help set yourself up for a different response next time.

  • Learn to accept your feelings – even the bad ones

Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions. This can be scary at first but once you learn not to supress your emotions even the most painful or difficult feelings subside relatively quickly and lose their power to control your attention.

  • Make daily exercise a priority

Physical activity does wonders for your mood and your energy levels and is also a powerful stress reducer.

  • Make time for relaxation

Give yourself permission to take at least 30 minutes each day to unwind, relax and decompress. This is your time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

  • Connect with others

Don’t underestimate the importance of close relationships & social activities. Spending time with positive people who enhance your life will help protect you from the effects of stress.

Lastly…If you do slip up, don’t beat yourself up about it, just use it as an opportunity to learn. The most difficult, hardest habits to break in life are usually our best opportunities to grow and become happier. The more we resist something and try to push it away, the more of it we pull into our lives…

You can do this!

Steve