Emotional Eating- A THINKING Problem ?
Emotional eating has become normalized to a great extent in society today. Commercials advertising chocolate as the new antidepressant, coffee as an emotional pick me up, baked goods as comforting and soothing, and of course sugar,the most powerful elixir of all… It has become very "normal" to reaching out for food in response to an emotional situation… and for many, its something they are able to notice as such and move on… perhaps wondering why they ate that cookie when they were not hungry, or grabbed the chocolate sitting on the table when they are trying not to eat sugar, but then are able to move on with their day without giving it another thought and simply get back on "track".
… But there is another emotional eater, the one that just can't let it go. The one that beats themselves up for hours after,or obsesses over what happened days later.
The agony associated with emotional eating comes from a distorted thought, an old belief or an outdated file in the brain.The suffering experienced from an emotional overeater is a direct response to none other than a THINKING PROBLEM.
This is great news!
It is not the occasional emotional eating episodes that causes chaos in one's life,or the negative self talk that continues for days after. It is the response from emotional eating that creates a snowball effect of negative behaviour towards the self that can completely destroy the emotional eaters day, week, or even month. It is the "perception" of the situation that is the real problem.
What are some of the warning signs of a thinking problems that is affecting emotional eaters?
1. Black and white thinking- for example," I always do this, and it will never change." 2. "Should's"- for example," I should be able to control my desire for food when I am upset." 3. Magnification of the situation-for example, "Im sure I gained 10 pounds in the last hour." 4. Labeling yourself- for example, Instead of saying I made a mistake, you say, " I am a mistake". 5. Fortune Telling- You predict things will turn out badly.
If some of these thoughts sound familiar, then it is a sure sign that your thinking is affecting your continuous emotional eating behaviour. The good news is, thoughts can be controlled!
When we are conscious, we have choice! So to change our thinking, we change our behaviour.
How to start ?
1. To recognize that emotional eating is affecting your life in a negative way, and creating further emotions that are detrimental to living fully, is the first step to healing a dysfunctional relationship with food.
2. To decide that you are not your thoughts and therefore have the ability to change and transform what is not working for you.
3. To begin to get CONSCIOUS around your relationship with food. Is it driven by anxiety ? Does it happen at a certain time each day ? Is there a specific situation that triggers it ?
4. Begin writing for 10 continuous minutes every morning. Write all the thoughts that are going on in your head- note those that are negative and connected to your self esteem.
You are now well on our way to getting CONSCIOUS about your thinking !
5. Start writing the "trouble thought" that is most affecting you at this moment. How is it distorted ? ( REVIEW 1-5 above). Write out how this thought is distorted.
6. Write 10 possible solutions to this thought- what are some believable affirmations that directly relate to this distorted thought.
7. Put into ACTION 1 or more of your possible solutions.
8. Continue this process until there are no further negative thoughts that surface.
This is the beginning of a JOURNEY to healing so be gentle, find a friend to share and support your process, and trust you are moving forward- step by step, to FREEDOM !
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