How would you feel if food wasn’t such a priority in your life, both physically and emotionally?
Your first reaction may be- Great! I feel free!
But,not so fast…
When you take comfort out of your life, it brings up a lot of emotions and even feelings of loss.
Where is my reward? Where is my comfort?
The truth is food is not the only reward or comfort you have. It is a skill that needs to be learned.
I will help you get over the hump, change your habits and still get comfort and rewards.
So how do you do this?
First thing we need to figure out is what else feels good and brings you comfort other than food?
I will help you today to start changing your mind-frame and habits.
Step 1: Create a list of activities that you find enjoyable.
These new activities may not feel like they will be enjoyable at the weight you are currently at, but still put it on the list!
Pick 10 activities you think you may get enjoyment from.
It may be knitting, pedicures, walking, golf, ping-pong, going out with friends, painting.
If you are struggling to come up with idea, feel free to reach out here and I can send you a list of hundreds of ideas I give to my clients. Contact me here.
Step 2 : Break down the list into two columns
Your first list are activities you would consider doing now and the second list are activities you would do if you were a bit thinner.
I do believe you can do any of them at any weight, but I want you to feel comfortable, so divide the list.
Step 3 : Pick one to start
So you have your list now. Pick one activity that doesn’t feel too daunting and start doing it. Let’s incorporate this into your life. At this point it’s not a replacement for emotional eating, it’s just to start developing new positive habits without food being your only tool.
Step 4: Do it 6 times
It is important to give the activity a fair shot. It’s unrealistic to expect you will do it once and love it.
Give it a fair shot and try it 6 times to see if you get the hang of it and remember do not compare it to the feeling food gives you.
Step 5 : Notice what positive feelings you get and which you may be lacking that food gives you
Now that you have given it a fair shot, notice how you feel about it. Do you get some enjoyment? Do you feel like you accomplished something?
As I mentioned above, do not compare this to the feeling food gives you, they are very different! Our goal is to get you to feel something positive from other things and not just rely on food.
Along with the positive, it’s even more important to notice what you feel you are missing! Notice what you feel still needs emotional or physical nurturing.
You may have picked an active hobby and chances are if you are having a sad day, you will need something on the more soothing side.
Step 6: Now pick one for each emotion
Go back to your list and pick an activity for each emotion. If you are feeling sad you may want a bubble bath! If you are feeling angry you may want to punch a punching bag. Once you have the hang of the first activity, start implementing new ones in your life slowly.
Step 7: Write out what it would feel like to connect to this activity instead of turning to food.
This doesn’t mean you are always going to do it, but lets try it out and see how you feel. Even if you delay turning to food, that is a perfect start!
You are on the path to stop turning to food for comfort and breaking the emotional eating cycle.
Want to get off the diet roller coaster, stop eating emotionally, and lose weight? Get my Emotional Eating Toolkit.
Natalie Shay is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach specializing in emotional eating. She struggled with her own weight for 20 years. She finally learned to stop dieting and lost 75 lbs. In 2007 she became a Registered Psychotherapist to help emotional eaters stop turning to food for comfort and lose weight without dieting. She helps support her clients and guides them to meet their goals to stop dieting and start living.
Natalie can be reached here