Do you ever start your day with the best intentions to eat well and take good care of your body, only to succumb to the voice inside that tricks you into chowing down a bag of chips, a few too many cookies, or that coffee drink which is loaded with sugar and whipped cream?
I know this has happened to me far more often than I’d like to admit. It took me years to calm that voice down and honor my desires to take better care of my body.
Perhaps you haven’t noticed that voice that tricks you. It’s the one that always has a reason why you should eat the foods that you told yourself you wouldn’t eat.
Sometimes the inner voice sounds somewhat reasonable. It says things like:
* “Oh- just this once. You’ve been so good lately”
* “You had a bad day. You know what would make you feel better- a bowl of ice cream!”
* “It’s your co-workers birthday. You need to have the cake. It would be rude not to.”
Other times it sounds like a toddler having a tantrum:
* “I’m so tired. I need chocolate now!”
* “It’s not fair. I’m sad and I need candy.”
* “Everyone else is eating 3 slices of pizza, so I should too.”
Does any of this sound familiar?
I once had a client who said to me “food is like the little black dress that goes with everything.” She told me she eats when she’s happy and celebrating; depressed and wants to feel better; when she’s bored, procrastinating, frustrated and everything in between.
I know this is true for so many women. It takes time and focus to break this pattern.
Being aware of your food triggers and the voice inside that tricks you into emotional eating is critical in order to break self-sabotaging habits.
How to get started? The next time you are about to mindlessly eat or drink something, stop and check in with yourself.
Notice your inner dialogue. What are you saying to yourself about why you should eat this food?
Are you happy with the reason you are about to eat the food?
If you are happy with your reason, than slow down and eat your food and enjoy.
If you weren’t happy with your reason, than ask yourself what would be a better choice? The answer might surprise you. Perhaps you don’t even really want food in that moment.
By getting curious about why you make food decisions you are able to have more freedom to make an actual choice about whether or not to eat something.
When we don’t pay attention we tend to go into autopilot mode and start shoving down junk food out of habit.
Most of us learned to connect food with emotions when we were kids. When we were sad, our mom or dad might have tried to distract us with sweets to help us “feel better.”
As adults, we continue to use food to deal with feelings. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that the food doesn’t solve our problems. It only serves as a momentary distraction.
The next time the voice tries to tell you that you need a “treat”, see if you can find a way to truly treat yourself well.
By being honest with ourselves, we can find so much more freedom and peace around our food choices. It takes time and practice to break old habits. As you move forward, be kind and compassionate with yourself. You might even laugh at some of the reasons your inner voice uses to trick you into breaking into the cookie jar.