Have you ever found a way of eating that just works for you? You finally found the answer and it’s easy to implement. What a relief!
Then, a few weeks, months or years down the line and all of a sudden you’ve “fallen off track” and are really confused because you actually enjoy eating that way! Someone might say they’ve lost their motivation or willpower but chances are there is more to the story. This is what happened to a client who had been doing intuitive eating, which had been working really well for her.
Working in an office can be one big food minefield from various celebrations, leftover business meals, to the “obligatory” candy bowl on your co-worker’s desk. You start off the day strong with a good breakfast and eat what you brought for lunch. But when you see the free food you just can’t seem to resist it. Cue mindless eating!
When my clients reach out to me for support, they often feel like they’re at a loss of what works for them and their bodies to reach their health, weight and wellness goals. In fact they’re so frustrated and sometimes even feel hopeless after trying many different approaches with short-term success and ending up back in the same place, only more frustrated. The great part is that they haven’t given up and have sought out a new and different approach they hope will be different and lead to sustainable results.
When you think of emotional eating, what’s the
first thing that comes to mind? In the traditional sense, many people think it
occurs when they’re bored, sad, happy, lonely etc. Even if you don’t consider
yourself to be an emotional eater, I encourage you to keep reading as it can
apply not only to how you show up around food but can also come up with
shopping, drinking, exercising, etc.
It’s Thursday and you’ve been patiently waiting for the
weekend all week long. You stick to your food goals and are strict with
yourself Monday through Thursday. As the weekend approaches you look forward to
throwing your hands up in the air and taking a free-for-all mindset for the
next few days.
Imagine you’re at a social gathering and you walk into a party where you know a couple people but not many. As soon as you walk in the door you make a beeline to the bar and quickly down your first drink. You see the appetizers so you immediately head over and quickly start sampling them.
Being consumed by the thought of food is not just about thinking about what you’re going to eat from meal to meal. It’s also what I call mental gymnastics around food. Before a meal you might think about what the best choice would be. You’re not 100% sure so you go back and forth about whether you should or shouldn’t eat it. Then, afterwards you continue to think about the food choice. Was it the right one? Maybe you feel guilty about it and beat yourself up. Or, maybe you tell yourself ‘it’s OK. I’ll do better during my next meal. Speaking of the next meal, I should eat a salad to be healthy. Oh! And how many calories did I just consume? Can I afford to eat what I have planned for dinner?’
Making good choices, improving decision-making, avoiding indecision…
Sometimes these tasks come easily and without much issue. At other times and, likely depending on the context, these tasks can become overwhelming, unbearable, or just annoying, often leading to avoidance and ambivalence.