Do or Do Not...eating triggers

There is no try...
Easy for me to say, Right? Not really.
That's why it's my mantra, my motto, my puffy paint on cheap t-shirts.
What does it mean?
To really see what it means lets look at something simple. Touch your nose.
Now, you either did or didn't. Lets go to the fridge and have a look.
What is your favorite food. For me, it's popcorn. If I buy the popcorn, then pour some oil in a pan, pour in some popcorn, pop it, put butter and salt on it and then ingest it...well that is about seven things I DID to ensure that I had that snack of death. So, I do not buy it. Ever. If it's my high calorie day, I have to go and get the bagged kind and pop it in the microwave. Which isn't my favorite, but I will still eat.the.whole.bag.
As I once heard someone say, if you don't put it in your mouth...you can't eat it.

If you can't control what you do and don't eat, how can you control anything else in your life.

I thought I had complete control of everything except what I was eating. The truth was the reverse...I was eating because I didn't have any control and the only thing I could control was what I put in my mouth. I didn't want to deal with everything else. My feelings, my relationships, things that I wanted that I didn't feel I was capable of achieving. Choices I had made that I regretted.

The first thing you have to find out is what trips your trigger. I knew that all weight loss efforts failed once my husband returned from deployment. I thought it was because we argued. That the stress from the arguments was what was derailing me. So I was resentful. But, I finally had to connect the feelings that I had toward men and conflict to my childhood to see what it was I really feared.

I was the peacemaker in our family growing up. I didn't want to be any trouble. I felt like I was in the way, a mistake, a burden. When you feel this way, or you have had someone in your life that has made you feel this way as a child. It isn't something that you 'grow out of'. You carry it into other parts of your life, Usually intimate relationships and friendships. The words "No problem' should have been tattoed on my forehead. I know woman are like this, but this was unhealthy. As I said before...I didn't want to drive people away with any demands. I wanted to be 'worth having around'. Not a burden. So I never let anyone shoulder some of my burdens. I never shared when I was in pain, or if I was scared, or if my feelings were hurt by what someone else had said or done. I allowed people to think I was tough, unflappable and bullet proof. I could be counted on for anything. If I felt sad, I ate. If I felt angry, I ate. If I felt alone, I ate (which was nearly all the time) You can't feel un-alone if you never share your feelings with anybody. If nobody knows you, how can you ever feel like you arent alone?

I had to pinpoint my triggers. I was afraid of being left. My biological father abandoned me before I was born, the man who had signed my birth certificate didn't want to be a father...my mom divorced several times and in my mind, the only person I could count on was me. I had a trust level of zero. Then I got married to an alcholic. We had a lot of really wonderful times, but as anybody who has dealt with an addict knows....they lie to cover their tracks....and they lie alot. hmmmmm. Do you think I picked a man that lied because I knew how to pick a man that lied. You live what you learn. Now this isn't to pick at my husband. He is a recovering alcholic. He picked an enabler....that says alot. We are getting better together.

What I am trying to say is that sometimes we make choices in our lives because it's all we know. So, what I am saying is this....You control what you put in your mouth. If you can accept that truth, then you move on to why you put things in your mouth. If you are overweight, for 90 percent of us it isnt because we are hungry. So, something else is driving it. Maybe you want a party in your mouth. Maybe so. But, if you are trying to lose weight and you keep binging, you are using food like a drug addict uses drugs. You are using it as a substitute ___________. What? I don't know. Love, affection, hope, comfort, a finger to the world, to strike back at your husband? To strike back at your mother/father/sister/brother/friend? Why? To fill a hole that needs to filled with love, or friendship or a child, or dreams, or a better marriage, the mother/father/childhood you wish you'd had.

I read this once somewhere.
Think of your favorite food, and now I want you to think of what it makes you feel like when you eat it. Warm? Safe? Happy? Comforted? Excited? Or How does it make you feel when you are about to eat it?
Then take those feelings you get from the food and look at your life, past and present. I bet you find what the trigger is. For me, food was a comfort and a protector, it was always there, it wouldn't leave...cause it's food. I controlled what I ate and how much and nobody could tell me I couldn't. It was the only place in my life I could ask for and get, exactly what I wanted. It couldn't say no. It also created the fat shield that made me invisible to men. I am sure many of you are wondering how I met my husband. I met him after me aforementioned 'army diet'. I was thin when we met. It was a small window in time, about one and a half years...where I was thin. then I slowly began to gain weight.
Accept that you control what you put in your mouth..
Know that food is doing something for you that is more than just feeding you.
Identify the emotions you are getting when you are eating the food.
trace those feelings back to your life...where are the parts of your life that are lacking, Maybe it's a who or a what, or it's something you are needing and didn't get somewhere else. There is usually a consistant trigger though. If you write it down, kind a stream of consciousness thing, sometimes you will write things that surprise even you. There are alot of ways that you can find your triggers. Talk to your mom (if it's a healthy relationship) and ask her when you started to gain weight. Think back, think about people you know and the feelings you get when you think of them. These are a few methods you can use. Once you know what these triggers are, you can start trying to settle or resolve them.

Now facing and resolving mean different things to different people. The levels you are going to have to go to are as individual as the reasons we overeat.
If you can identify the feelings and the triggers though, You will be alot further along on your road to getting healthy. This isn't linear by any stretch.
Sometimes emotions will sneak up on you. But if you can catch all frontal attacks and talk and think your way through them. If you can get emotionally from people or situations, what food used to do for you at least 90 percent of the time..you'll succeed long term.
Tomorrow I will talk about resolving.

well, thanks to everyone for their kind comments yesterday. I really appreciate the support I get on this blog. It helps immensely. It's the support and comfort that I used to get from popcorn. :o)



Fat[free]Me said...

Oh, wow. Great post. I so could have written this except I am not as articulate as you, lol!

It all make such sense.

Thanks for posting this!

Hanlie said...

This post resonated with me. This is part of the reason I'm taking some time out - I'm doing some digging and it's painful, exhausting and unsettling. But it's necessary.

You are a very wise woman!

jo said...

Like FatFreeMe, I could have written this--I've thought it, but I have never crafted the words like you did so eloquently.

One of the things I learned is sometimes there is no resolution--and that's the resolution.(Specifically dealing with others who are very unhealthy mentally.)

I love your posts, they are always spot on.

My former binges or unhealthy eating ALL stems to one thing: Food was the only "good" thing at the time. A pleasant taste in my mouth--it was good when I could find no other.

Unknown said...

Popcorn is also one of my favorites.

Have you ever skipped dinner so you could get pop corn at a movie theater? I can not be the only one who has done this.

Here are some tips:
Air dried popcorn has something like 90% less fat calories then kernels popped in oil, such as you do yourself.

For long trips, nuts and air popped popcorn is what I purchase at the gas stations.

I have never tried this, but word on the street is you can put kernels in a paper bag, tape it shut, and pop it.

Look for recipes. Some are as simple as buying different spices and herbs and putting some of those on air popped corn. You can also try dry taco seasoning, Parmesan cheese, or cinnamon and sugar.

Amber said...

Great job on the 50 lbs!!!
Maybe you should be a weight loss counseler.
Sounds like you have figured out the inner workings to loosing weight.

Great job!!!