The EMOTIONAL and BEHAVIORAL aspects of
We all have triggers that prompt us to
eat. Sometimes they come from true physical
hunger (remember “that” time...
it was one morning in 1980... hope you
can laugh with me.) but most of the time
we are responding to social cues (“others
are eating”) and emotional cues
(feeling lonely, angry and tired (which
could be from high or low blood sugars
as well as feeling states).
As we learn to be “mindful”
of our emotional states... we can pause
and reflect rather than responsively eat.
It requires retraining to slow down and
break automatic habits. THINK BEFORE YOU
EAT. Can you work with that as a new slogan?
Food only temporarily “soothes”
us; eating too much is quickly followed
by guilt, worry, anxiety, resentment and
high blood sugars. There are coping mechanisms
to learn to deal “pre-emptively”...
before the food!
Learn Behavior Modification principles
for food (and of course they are the same
principles happily followed for emotions
- Monitoring or Mindfulness
knowing your patterns by creating a
diary; enjoying happily your portion
- Stimulus control
Program your stimulation and cues mindfully,
consciously with pleasant anticipation
(for example, leave exercise clothes
visible or in your car as a cue; respond
to food commercials on TV by dancing
rather than going to the refrigerator)
- Contingency management
Plan ahead to have non-food rewards
for changing behavior (for example,
the sensuous bath, permission to read
trash, idling lazily by the TV, requesting
a back rub... a little guilt, if you
must go negative but only a small amount
to prod you into new thinking and strategies.)
- Cognitive behavioral strategies
(learn to talk to yourself and think
differently- visualize yourself smiling
and sweating after exercise… and
with normal blood sugars… or talking
yourself into exercising for 15 minutes-rather
than not at all. Think about the pleasures
of a small amount of food: sweet pure
joy; no guilt; no raised blood sugar;
no broadened hips, just luscious pleasure).
- Stress management
SHI* happens. Know this and plan for
your healthy responses. Know that you
bring an apple with you for the ride
home after a long day. Have a salad
before going out to dinner so you are
not anxious or starving.
- Get support
Spend time talking to friends, family,
therapist so you can feel loved and
not use food as a substitute.
- BON APPETITE
…FOR JUST ENOUGH FOOD AND LOTS
MORE LOVE AND HAPPINESS
- Getting more…of less
Do girls really need the safety net
of control in thinking they are not
being rejected but mutually using? I
can’t help but think girl power,
saying no, might just give us more true
personal clout, and not make us subservient
to the masculine model.