I, like many others, need to learn how to deal with emotion without using food.
Today I was super excited for my lunch. I had cooked a meal for dinner last night, and then got a last minute call from a friend, so I did’t get to enjoy my meal. It was all packed up by my Mom and I was going to bring it for lunch today. There was a miscommunication, and instead of a delicious bowl of meat and potatoes… I had a bowl of potatoes. Sad face.
Cue my emotional response. First I was so angry I was about to cry. Then I decided I was going to throw the potatoes out and head down to the food court. I needed to get something bad for me to make myself feel better. I took a few breaths becuase I knew that was a bad idea, and I tossed the potatoes in the microwave.
After eating my potatoes, which ended up being delicious, I still felt upset, so I dug in my purse and grabbed a five dollar bill. I headed in to the mall and bought myself a coffee and a donut. I felt like I deserved it after being screwed out of my delicious lunch.
Looking back on it at this moment, I’m realizing just how dumb that was. I comforted myself with crap because my brain thought it needed something to cure my emotions. I didn’t need that donut. Thats a lot of calories right there that I could have completely avoided. They would not be in my body. I didn’t even particularly enjoy the food.
I wonder to myself how to gain more control over those feelings. I have to try to train my brain to understand that food is not comfort. It doesn’t solve the problem that I had.
So, how does one begin to change the way they respond to emotions? Well I personally am going to try by making small goals. The next time something upsets me, and my first thought is a cheeseburger, I will do everything I can to avoid eating it. Maybe I will go buy a scratch and win, or take a break and read something funny, or enlightening, maybe I will reming myself how much money I will save without eating it.
My plan is just to take it slowly and avoid eating the junk that my brain thinks it wants.
What have you found works well to curb emotional eating?