My doctor told me to “cut out the sweets.” You’d think this would lead to a moratorium on sugar cookies and pies. However, rather than the bright, firm line I wish I’d drawn five years ago, I find myself teetering on the edge of a binge.
I can’t imagine life without sweetness and I’m thinking about what I’ll have for my last hurrah. I wonder if the bakery is two blocks or three blocks south.
It’s not that I don’t take the doctor’s advice seriously. In fact, she really frightened me with a little comment about the connection between obesity and serious disease. So, I’m scared… and that means I need comfort… and that means food.
At the end of the day, food is a coping mechanism. Unless we find new coping mechanisms, we’ll continue to eat, even binge, when we’re anxious or emotionally uncomfortable.
Coping mechanisms are necessary – they allow us to function despite overwhelming emotions. We over-eaters are a sensitive bunch. We can’t live in a state of panic and be happy there.
But even if the size of our waist, appetite or distress is good reason for panic, if food is the way we manage, we’re just digging ourselves in deeper. Our focus on feeling better now outweighs our focus on long-term goals and so, all we gain is more time in the struggle.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that we want to feel better NOW. In the moment, food is the solution, not the problem. So, we need better solutions.
By recognizing that feelings of distress lead us to food… and choosing healthier, more effective ways to handle our feelings, we can retrain our minds and create better, healthier habits.
Finding new and better ways to cope is much more effective than dieting or deprivation. So it’s more effective to stop focusing on what we’re eating and start focusing on what our eating is telling us and teaching us about ourselves.
Awareness is the key.
Download the FREE Journal Template Eating Awareness for Binge Eaters.
Download the FREE Journal Template Eating Awareness for Emotional Eaters.
If you prefer a Done-for-You format, click the links below for a complete journal with four weeks of eating awareness.
Click here for the Eating Awareness Journal for Binge Eaters.
Click here for the Eating Awareness Journal for Emotional Eaters.
Learn more about the connection between food and feelings in my book: Food Crazy Mind: 5 Steps to Stop Mindless Eating and Start a Happier, Healthier Relationship with Food
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