Learning to break emotional ties to food.
Over the past week, we have had some great conversations with people about weight loss and weight management. We’ve heard a lot of stories about the challenges people are having with weight loss and weight management. The two most common challenges are: (1) choosing the right weight loss plan and (2) sticking to a plan and putting in the effort required to lose weight and keep it off.
What is the right weight loss plan? There are so many theories: no carb, low carb, gluten-free, sugar free, fat free, no dairy, no meat, juicing, 1 meal/day, 5 meals/day, etc.
What is this going to cost? How much do I need to exercise? How much time will this take? Does this mean I can never eat/drink <fill in the blank> again? What am I going to do in social situations?
—And just like that we talk ourselves out of starting a weight loss or weight management plan before we have even started it.
During the 7- day detox Kristen and I were advised us to do low intensity exercises like deep breathing exercises, stretches and yoga because we would experience an “emotional detox”. At the time neither one of us understood what an emotional detox was, but we do now.
Each day we were faced with different emotional challenges in regards to how we felt about food.
Examples of some emotional challenges we faced:
>>We had to force ourselves to think differently about food.- There were many foods that we thought we had to have in order to function (i.e. coffee), or foods we knew we would not have the will power to say no if presented (i.e. deserts).
>>We had to stop ourselves from eating out of habit.- Habits like eating food that other people brought to work, or eating food in a social setting (family brunch), or eating snacks in front of the TV, or eating comfort food on a snow day.
>>We had to start learning the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. – (I’m not supposed to attach external links to this blog, but Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal Ph. D did a great job explaining emotional hunger. Check it out. http://www.helpguide.org/life/emotional_eating_stress_cravings.htm)
>>We had to reevaluate our motivation. – The desire to lose weight was not enough, because in reality there are easier ways to lose weight.
>>We had to quiet the negative self-talk in our heads.- We had to stop the “Can I do this?”, “What if..”, “This sucks.”, “I’m hungry.” and “Whose idea was this?”. This part was a toughie.
Over the course of the week we broke many of the emotional attachments that we had with food. Each day it became easier and by the end of the week we gained a great deal of confidence. We are now much more confident that we really do have the power to not eat foods that will compromise our health and our weight loss.
Take a look at your motivation to lose weight and get healthy. You may need more motivation than just fitting into a <fill in the blank>.
Take a look at what is holding you back from starting your own journey. Your reason may stem from your emotional attachment to food.