CONFESSIONS OF A
Thank God I learned how to leave a raging carb addiction in the past where it belongs. Thank heavens that the entrapment, fear and isolation that came with a debilitating eating disorder never appear in my life EVER. As I have written before, if you had told me twenty years ago that I could feel this happy, sane, relaxed, at peace, centered, and confident around food, I would have said you have the wrong gal. I am grateful every day. This is why I am committed to working with others who desperately long for this kind of relief.
I learned this not through a text book, but through my own (often painful) experience. Food is the only substance that while you are unraveling an addiction, you must still ingest the substance. You cannot go cold turkey? with food.
Between 3:30 and 4 PM my husband and I meet in the kitchen for a snack. We love two varieties of chips from Trader Joes, Multi-grain, and Kale. The trick is eating a small amount and not tipping the scales or overflowing the plate. This is doable when I remind myself of the strategies mentioned below.
Food Rules for Snacking, Eating, and Staying Sane Around Food.
Know your trigger foods.
Pay extra attention when you begin to eat food that sets off your gotta have more? alarm. You may be perfectly calm when you eat an orange in the morning. But after one piece of toast with almond butter, can you remain relaxed and centered, feeling the comfy fullness in your belly without going on auto-pilot? Carbs tend to trigger this alarm, so beware and be aware.
Never pig out.
This is one of those few absolutes. Getting stuffed is a great way to ruin a perfectly beautiful meal. Getting stuffed triggers your body’s fat storage mechanism which adds to central obesity (deadly fat). It trains your hormones to become overworked and out of balance. Over-indulging negates the nutritious benefit of what you ate. You feel like crap and regret your actions. It is difficult to breathe and your clothes and underwear feel too tight. Nuff said.
Be mindful of your actions.
Somethings to watch out for: swallowing before your food has been liquefied; shoveling rather than taking individual bites; forgetting to breathe; never putting down your fork; not relaxing; not tasting your food. Doing the reverse of each of these will make a big difference.
Feel your body.
It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize the contents in your belly that you just ate. Simply giving your brain time to catch up with your stomach will help with quantity control. During this time, simply breathing and relaxing in your body will be quite pleasant.
Feel your emotions.
If you are using food to push your emotions down, those feelings do not go away. If you are feeling upset, sad, stressed, angry, bored, frustrated, or hurt, precisely at the time when you are zooming to the kitchen to eat is the time you can ask yourself what you are experiencing. Learning to handle the emotional upset is a tremendous pro-health strategy. Learning how to do interesting and stimulating activities when you are bored instead of turning to food will make you feel fabulous, not just full and fat. Plus, learning to eat when you are physically hungry rather than emotionally challenged will make you much, much healthier.
The second part of number 5 is having ways to address those emotions that do not always entail eating. Look for ways to relax, be creative, connect with people, focus on projects, or finish whatever you are avoiding will all help you feel sane and relaxed around food. Simple things like making a cup of tea, playing with your dog, or sitting out in your garden for a few deep breaths will have a calming effect. You make the most pro-health choices when you feel this way.
The relief that comes with a healthy and happy relationship with food and your body will spill over into other areas of your life. Fall in love with food that is good for you, and the feeling of taking really good care of yourself.
With love and encouragement,
Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
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