Roger Gould, M.D.  

Specialties: Mental Health, Wellness, emotional eating

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Emotional Eating And The 10-Seconds That Can Change Your Life

Jun 27, 2014 - 0 comments

emotional eating


compulsive eating

Do you conduct your life reacting to situations based on impulse? That immediate feeling that floods your senses, convincing you that you're right, that you've got all the facts, and on which you base your next decision?

You're not alone.

Life is about choices. Decisions. And when the choices you make continually arise out of impulse, the results tend to leave you with undesirable results—or, put plainly—a life littered with dissatisfaction.

That dissatisfaction can apply to many areas of your life, but today we'll look at how it applies to your eating and your weight. I'm guessing you can already see the connection between impulsive reactions and emotional eating. But more on that in a minute.

The simple skill of providing yourself the space to think is one of the most valuable you can acquire. It's no accident that we're told to count to ten when faced with stressful situations. And, as cliched as the technique might sound, it's actually very powerful and highly effective.

Don't believe me? Try it.

"The Pause" is one of the key skills we work on in the Shrink Yourself Program, and is all about freeing you to access your intelligent mind. I like to think of your intelligent mind as the pearl (wisdom) and your impulses as the hard-as-a-rock clam shell not wanting to budge in allowing you access to the pearl.

Sure, you're going to have to do a little work and use some elbow grease to pry open the shell, but that's how wisdom is gained. And wisdom leads to wise decisions, which leads to positive results, which leads to satisfaction and ultimately happiness.

Let's apply this to emotional eating. The simple truth of the matter is this:

If you do not pause and think, it will be next to impossible to get control of your eating habits. Period.

If you don't engage your intelligent mind, and instead choose to react out of impulse to the stresses in your life, you'll continue to feel out of control and you'll continue to use food as a form of medication.

The potato chips instead of the growth.

Let's stop and highlight one very powerful word in all of this: "Choose."

Yes, you can choose to pause and think the next time you're stressed; or you can choose to ignore the technique and face the consequences. The results are yours to decide.

I'm not saying that the choice is necessarily easy. That's why it takes a little work. But I'm certainly saying that it is yours to make, and that each time you make a wise choice, the new pattern is reinforced, and the old pattern is weakened.

In other words: the clam shell is pried open more and more till the great pearl is finally exposed. Permanently.

Here's how one ShrinkYourself member put it:

"Every time I am successful at awareness of, and stopping compulsive eating, it builds up my self esteem and makes me stronger for the next time it comes up. I have had so many great insights from the program! And I know it is all up to me. I can feel my feelings and I can face reality, that is what it is to be an adult. I now feel like I am living as a mature adult. Before dealing with my food issues, I felt good in other areas of life, but this food issue kept me confused and feeling powerless. Now I know I can control it. I know I can look at it realistically and find real solutions to my uncomfortable feelings or just feel the feelings. The food never helped anyway! The eating just prolonged my suffering and then added to it by making food another issue to feel bad about."

Another great word to consider in all of this discussion is "potential." Your potential as a human being, and for the life that lays ahead of you.

Emotional eating may add layers of unwanted pounds to your body, but perhaps the more devastating effect it has is on your potential as a human being. Choosing to eat instead of think only denies your intelligent mind its opportunity to go to work. To help you grow. To help you realize your true potential.

And to my mind, that's far too great a price to pay.

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