Ours is a social society and we eat for all sorts of reasons. Parties – there’s food. Weddings – there’s food. Funerals – there’s food. No matter what the occasion, food is usually involved. So it’s hard not to involve our emotions when food is around. Many of us had well meaning mothers who tried to soothe us or take away our pain, by offering food. Bad day at school? Have some milk and cookies. Fall on the playground? Have some milk and cookies. An A on a test? Have some milk and cookies. So it’s easy to see how we internalize these messages that food will solve our emotional problems. Too bad it’s not true!
Where it gets tough, is when these emotions get deeper or sadder and harder to identify. Emotions like Shame, Blame and Guilt. Ugh. These are the tough ones to not only identify and heal, but when we’re feeling these at our core, they make it impossible to feed ourselves in a loving way.
So how can we begin to figure out if our emotions are affecting our eating and what those emotions are???
I would highly recommend that you create some structure around your eating-
- plan your meals ahead of time
- have 3 discreet mealtimes to identify other times of unstructured or unplanned eating.
- figure out what those unplanned or unstructured times are about – What are you feeling during those times?, What’s your motivation to eating during those times?, What is your behavior like? (are you eating quickly, eating in secret, do you feel out of control?)
- The structure will help you get back in touch with your body’s true hunger and help you know when your hungry and when you’re full.
When you stop using food for a purpose other than fuel, things will start to bubble to the surface and become clear. Stuffing ourselves with food keeps the emotions and the issues stuffed down as well.
Let me know how it’s going for you!
I came across this quote the other day and it really struck me as the core element to sustaining weight loss.
“ Success with weight loss starts in the Head,
Moves to the Heart,
and then Lastly, involves the mouth and the stomach.”
Before any change can take place, we must make a decision. “I want to do this”. ”I’m willing to make the changes I need to to be successful.” “I will make different choices.” “I want a to create a different life.” Those are some of the millions of decisions we need to make, starting in the head, to lose the weight.
Then we move to our heart and get our emotions involved. We make a commitment – to ourselves, our spouse or maybe to our kids. “This is important, I am important.” ”I love myself and want to treat my body with love and kindness by fueling it with healthy food.” ”This is the person I want to be.” “I want this”. And we can begin to see ourselves in a different way because we now know, in our hearts, that it’s going to happen.
After all that hard work is done, only then does it come down to what food we put in our bodies. Once we’ve made the changes in our hearts and minds the rest is easy because-
We always take better care of the things we love.
Where are you in this process?
Write a comment and let me know!
A recent article in The Orlando Sentinel discussed some current research on how artificial sweetners affect the body and also affect weight loss. First of all, since the introduction of artificial sweetners, Americans have looked at them as a free pass to eat whatever they want because they’re not taking in additional calories. How many times have you seen someone at McDonald’s get a Big Mac, but also a Diet Coke? We rationalize it away, but we’re still taking a huge hit with the other calories we consume, often in the form of second helpings.
But let’s look at how these sweetners operate in the body. What research is finding is that these sweetners actually stimulate cravings rather than curb them. Obesity expert Dr. David Ludwig says, “Overstimulation of sugar receptors from frequent use of these hyperintense sweetners may limit tolerance for more complex tastes. Ultimately consumers may find less intensely sweet foods, like fruit, less appealing and vegetables downright appaling.” So we think we’re doing ourselves a favor by choosing an artificial sweetner, but we’re actually setting ourselves up to eat more and to crave more intensely sweet things.
So how does sugar – any sugar, get metabolized in the body? Once we eat it, sugar gets turned into glucose in the blood. This is supposed to be an energy source for the body, but if it isn’t burned right away, it gets stored in the cells as fat. You would think that because there are no calories to the artificial sugars you’re fooling Mother Nature, but you’re not. There are “sweet taste receptors” in our bodies that respond both to real and artificial sugars that tell the body to get ready for something sweet. The body readies itself for lots of calories but in the case of artificial sweetners, when that doesn’t happen, the person is driven to eat more. The researchers hypothesize that this may be the reason that the obesity rate has risen along with the use of artificial sweetners.
Probably the best answer is to limit your use of artificial sweetners as well as sugar. I know it can be really hard to break the diet soda habit, but it’s so worth it. Your body craves clean pure water, not the chemicals that are in all other beverages.
Are you ready to make just one small change to improve your health? Maybe just for today you drink more water than you do soda.
Let me know what your experience is!