Friday, February 6, 2009

Emotional Eating

On one of the forum boards that I follow, someone mentioned that they were having a lot of problems with emotional eating. Especially chips.

There are no dragons or toothy beasts that we must battle in our normally comfortable lives, but we face challenges form our own personal demons. We have control of these demons if we choose to take control and beat them back.

One of the reasons people have such a hard time with quitting smoking is that few minutes of escape we get when we smoke our cigarette. It's like a few minutes of 'time out' where we can catch our breath and take a break. That few minutes of pleasure helps us make it through the day. Even though we know the cigarettes can kill us, they are not going to kill us today.

It's the same with eating the junk, 'comfort', food. We know it's not good for us and we know it is keeping us from our health goals, but right now we need the comfort break. That few minutes of pleasure helps us make it through the day.

That is a pretty hard demon to beat. It can be every bit our dragon to slay. So just how does one win those battles? To start with you have to recognize the demons for what they are. We can slay those demons if we choose to but it can be a tough battle because those demons are strong from having their way with your mind and body for so long.

To start with we need the 'comfort' breaks, but we can take the break with a cup of coffee or a bottle of water, the break is important but the cigarette or the junk food can be replaced with a better option. For example when you get a break at work, don't go sit with others in a break area where everyone is munching chips and such. Get your bottle of water or your coffee and take a walk to somewhere more serene, like somewhere with a view.

At home when you get your desire to munch, make some flavorful tea or brew some coffee, or get a cold bottle of water or a glass of juice and go outside in the sunshine and relax, take your break but don't compromise your health values. Your guilt of having given in to junk or smoke will just stress you more. The victory of having beaten the demon will make you feel wonderful.

Making the right choices has to become a habit just as making poor choices became a habit. You have to work at it and it isn't easy. It's one of those battles where you have to cheer for yourself when you win. Someone who doesn't face those personal demons can't imagine how much courage it takes to beat them back. Every time you win it gets easier to win the next time and the next even easier. Knowing that doesn't make those first battles any easier but knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel can help.

Tell somebody when you win those battles, every single one. If you don't know anyone else to tell, tell me because I've faced those demons and I know how tough they are. I've had to beat the smoking demons, I had the habit for 35 years, I've beaten the fat demon, I've also beaten the I'm not worth the effort demon.

Everyone is important and worth the effort. You mean the world to someone, if you don't do it for yourself, do it for them.

Thanks for reading.

Healthy Panda

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