Step 13 – Food & Emotions Don’t Mix!

eatcryAccording to nutritional experts 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. People often eat to relieve stress or to get something off their minds. The kicker is that stress, and the insulin jump that goes with it, may actually cause you to crave high sugar, high carbohydrate foods – foods that go straight to your waistline and cause you even more stress. At worst it can take over your life and cause you to eat uncontrollably for extended periods of time.

How I did it. – I have trigger foods, so unlike Step 2 where I kept the food around and was just careful in the way I consumed it, I actually did remove them from the cabinets. (Remember the cheesy poofs!) I also had to find other things to do besides eat when I was stressed, upset, depressed, or otherwise having a difficult time maintaining “presence.” I developed habits and rituals to try and control those emotional episodes, keep stress low, and my sanity intact.  When I felt something coming on I would use the breathing technique we discussed in Step 11 Learn how to meditate then I would do one or sometimes all of the following

                                                              i.      Go for a walk or jog

                                                            ii.      Look at that damned picture again

                                                          iii.      Talked to somebody, anybody and let them know  I was struggling

                                                          iv.      Journal, or just read old posts in my journal

                                                            v.      Put the bad stuff in a teacup for portion control (damned cheesy poofs)

                                                          vi.      Eat veggies or applesauce or anything with high nutritional value in a smaller serving size by using a small plate or cup

I wasn’t always successful and I had setbacks, but I gave as good as I got from my body and emotions and in the end had a new body and outlook on life.