Welcome to the ‘eating season!’ It is in full swing. While I hear people sharing their plans for Thanksgiving, we are talking about the food we will all eat. The talk and temptation of food coupled with cold temperatures that encourage us all to stay indoors, make food and eating all the more alluring to snuggle up to. It’s everywhere, it’s legal, it’s socially encouraged!
But for a lot of us, food has become a foe dressed up like a friend. A good looking, always available, never-says-no friend. But then after we have spent time with this friend, often in front of the TV, we don’t always feel better. In fact, we often feel worse.
In her book, “The Hunger Fix,” Peeke talks about food addiction and recovery. She talks about how what we are seeking is not in the refrigerator and what happens in our brains when we eat certain foods. It’ just like getting high! You get a bunch of dopamine initially but then all the guilt and shame come rushing in.
My favorite litmus test from Peeke is: “If I eat this, will I feel guilt or shame later?” (I love this because you can apply to just about any behavior and it can be really eye opening but we will stick with food for now.) I love carbs and sugar, I might even say I am addicted – most Americans are. So, I’m certainly not throwing stones from my glass house.
Don't keep in the house.
The best way to keep yourself from mindlessly eating garbage in front of the TV is to just not allow it in your home. Easier said than done! Just this week I went to a networking event and was sent home with a bag of candy. Earlier this month, I participated in a wellness fair and I had candy at my table. It. Is. Everywhere. Donate it somewhere if you need to but work to keep it out of your home.
It happens to everyone, we have eaten too much and over indulged and we feel badly about it. But giving yourself a hard time about it, only compounds the problem. Give yourself permission to not be perfect all the time!! It isn't possible.
Do something else.
This one is easier said than done. At the end of the work day, I'm often tired but not ready for bed. This is when I am most vulnerable to junk food and mindless eating. I have found that if I have something easy and nearby, it can take the place of whatever carb I likely would have enjoyed. Something to keep my hands busy like coloring or some crafting, even cleaning sometimes is a good alternative to just keep my hands doing something else.
Be patient with yourself this time of year. In addition to being the eating season, for most of us it is a stressful time of year with travel and family. While you may love your family and time with them, it can also come with uncomfortable situations like aging family members, talk of politics and old family roles we would rather not slip into.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!