Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eating Triggers

Eating Triggers

I was reading an article from Cleveland Clinic about Eating Triggers today.  I found it pretty interesting.  Some of it was common sense yet a very good reminder as to what my issue(s) with food are.  

This is what caught my attention...

     The five main categories are: 

  • Social. Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.  How common is this, right?  Something we do in my group of friends is to go out for dinner, watch a movie and order in, or grab a coffee and a cupcake.  Eating is social.  The problem isn't the food.  The problem is my choices.  
  • Emotional. Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety or loneliness as a way to "fill the void."  DING DING DING  I can't tell you how long I have known I have been an emotional eater!  The biggest factors for me are stress, anger, anxiety, and every so often boredom.  But there is one big emotion that I think also needs to be included; celebratory.  Big games on...bring food.  Happy Birthday...let's go out to eat and have dessert!  Promotion at work...happy hour at the local pub!  Dare I even get started on Holidays?  I think I'll just leave that one alone for now!  The problem isn't the food.  The problem is my choices.  
  • Situational. Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.  My biggest situational eating happens when I would hit the movies with friends or the hubby.  Large popcorn, Large soda, something sweet to eat after the popcorn is gone, and there was usually dinner out before or after the movie.  Ok, fine.  I will also address CUPCAKE CHARLIE'S.  Yes, it is a known fact among my friends and family that I cannot go to The Mashpee Commons without making a stop at said eatery for a sweet treat.  Ha, who are we kidding!  I would  rarely pick up just one cupcake!  The problem isn't the food.  The problem is my choices.  
  • Thoughts. Eating as a result of negative self-worth or making excuses for eating. For example, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of will power.  This one has a tendency of sneaking up on me before I even know what is happening.  Perhaps I had a little extra cheese on my breakfast sandwich or I decided to not measure or count the brownie I secretly ate while hubby was at work (I haven't done that yet thank goodness).  I would look at that as a defeat for the day.  Throw in the towel and eat whatever I wanted to.  Promising, of course, to start fresh the next morning.  After all, I deserved that *enter food here.*  I worked hard all week for it.  The problem isn't the food.  The problem is my choices.  
  • Physiological. Eating in response to physical cues. For example, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.  Well, this is a brand new trigger for me.  I was never one to miss a meal!  However, with the birth of my sweet little boys, I can seriously forget to eat sometimes.  If I somehow skip breakfast, I make up the points with not so good choices.  For instance, the other day, I missed lunch, so for dinner I double my pasta portion.  Again...the problem isn't the food.  The problem is my choices.  

Of course the article went on to list ways to overcome these triggers.  Things like: take a bubble bath, wash the car, write a letter, call a friend, or go for a walk.  All good ideas, but I couldn't help but wonder when I would have time to squeeze that into my day.  Then I realized something...

I have been spouting on and on about putting myself first (second to the boys).  Taking time to take care of me to be the best mom for them is what is most important.  It is for them that I want to get healthy and live a better lifestyle.  These are the thoughts that made me go a-ha!  I can overcome these triggers by taking a look at those 2 beautiful boys God blessed me with.  Looking at them and knowing that I want to see them play sports, be in a band, go to homecoming and prom, be there when they get their hearts broken and when they find that special someone.  I can't imagine a better way to overcome all my eating triggers than looking into these eyes.....

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