Are stress, frustration or pain part of your life? Yes, Ma’am!
Does food help you cope?
Do you deal with a toddler who tests the limits all day long?
Maybe you live with a cranky teenager who dumps all her troubles on you?
Or perhaps you live with the sting from offhand, unkind words from your husband?
Or possibly the dynamics in your office environment are crazy?
Do you find yourself heading to the cupboard, fridge or vending machine often?
Cookies or brownies – anything sweet – calms your nerves and helps you cope?
Or perhaps that salty, crunchy taste from chips or crackers soothes your hurt feelings?
We call those events – triggers. Something snaps the trigger and we head for food.
Ever thought about why we choose food?
It may have started when you were a child and a cookie soothed a skinned knee.
Maybe junk food got you through those stressful late nights of studying.
Perhaps ice cream and lots of it helped you cope after a fight with your boyfriend.
Somewhere along the way we learned that food provides the fast fix.
It works almost instantly to numb the pain, and soothe our stress or frustration.
Now choosing food – the fast fix has become a habit. A habit that we aren’t even aware of anymore.
Most of us aren’t even aware of the triggers that send us looking for food.
I know relationship stress is one of my triggers.
Here’s a typical reaction for me from a few years ago.
The phone rings, caller ID says it’s my son, away at University. 20 minutes later I hang up. He’s stressed.
My stomach does some little flips and flops.
My heart hurts for my boy.
I hate it when I can’t fix the problem.
I walk into the kitchen, make a cup of coffee and add sweet creamer and then a little more. Cookies soon melt in my mouth.
I savor the taste of my sweetened coffee as I rehash the conversation in my mind.
As I walk to the sink with my dirty dishes I realize I’ve eaten without even realizing it!
Relational stress is one of my triggers.
What about you? What are your triggers?
Before you can make a change that lasts and react differently you need to find out what your triggers are.
That’s my challenge for you this week. Identify your triggers.
When you find yourself eating, take a minute to think about what sent you to food?
Make a quick note or a memo on your phone. Keep track of the triggers.
Next week we will decide on strategies to cope that don’t involve food!
Today’s little step: Become aware of your triggers. What are the situations of pain, stress or frustration that cause you to turn to food? Keep a list!
I’d love to hear what your triggers are. Share them in the comment section or head over to my Facebook page.
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