Monday, October 20, 2014

Emotional Side to Eating

I recently read a book called "Food Triggers" by Rhonda Epstein, Psy D.  This book is all about identifying what triggers you to eat.  I really liked this book because she focuses on binge eating and identifying why you binge eat, and what causes you to binge.  She does touch on diet induced bingeing and deprivation induced binging but she more focuses on what got you to where you are today.  What behaviors cause you to eat uncontrollably and how did you develop those behaviors and how can you overcome them.  She draws heavily on God which I actually found rather refreshing.  I feel like in our world today the religious community is afraid to mention things due to fear of retaliation by those who are non-religious or who believe in different faiths.  So many people don't mention God at all and how He fits into their life or what they believe.  This book doesn't strive to convert you to any particular religion but it tells you to draw on your own beliefs and improve your relationship with whatever God you believe in and improve your spirituality because that helps you win your emotional battles and in the end it is what carries you through this journey.  We can try and try to change ourselves, but it is so much easier if we let God change us and draw on His help, His love, and His care.  It is through His help that we will find the strength to tackle our emotional eating issues and the root of why we started turning to food for comfort in the first place. 

She shares several stories from people she has helped and focuses on really finding the root cause, and where all the craziness started.  Where did we start turning to food for comfort and why.  What was going on in your life the very first time you binged?  I loved that this book talks about really delving into your own issues, and facing things that you may have repressed or would rather forget.  Because you have to make peace with those issues if you want to be at peace with yourself and stop abusing food.  One example was someone turning to food because she was lonely, and food helped cover the pain she felt over feeling so alone.  She had to identify that feeling lonely was a trigger and once she knew that then she could work on solving those issues.  You can't fix a problem if you don't know what the problem is.  And as you probably know by now, I am really a big supporter of digging deep within yourself to find out something new about yourself.  The better you know yourself, the better you can plan, and then act.  She also talks about literal food triggers such as chips, desserts, comfort foods, any type of food that causes you to binge is a trigger food.  For me that is sweets, I just think about sweets and my mind immediately spirals to binging.  I love this quote from this book: "one bite is too much and a thousand bites will never be enough".  It describes my literal trigger food completely.  One bite and I've blown it, and a thousand bites later I still want more even though I feel sick. 

I also love how she talks about how this is a journey not just for your body but for your mind and your spirit as well.  That is so true!  I have realized another reason why so many people who start this journey never finish or get stuck in the terrible yo yo dieting cycle.  First of all, everyone wants a quick fix.  They are not willing to invest the time, or energy into figuring out how to do it right.  Second, many times when people make one mistake they give up.  And a third one now to add to the list is that they are not willing to change their mind and their spirit as well as their body.  You cannot change your body without changing your mind.  You have to change the way you think before you can successfully reach your weight loss goals.  I have talked about this again and again over the past few months.  You have to change your mind.  Changing your mind, and changing your spirit are much harder to tackle but you cannot win this food battle and break free from binge eating, and food obsession without changing those as well.  I think I still have more progress and more changes to make, but I am happy with where I am and how far I have come, and I'm looking forward to the future.

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