Monday, August 29, 2011
Southern Comfort, not just in a bottle
Let's admit it, most of us find some comfort in food. In the south we have made an art out of comfort eating. I mean every time grief is involved we try to say we are sorry by bringing a green bean casserole or a bucket of fried chicken! Right? Come on admit it you know its true. Whether we like it or not many of us struggle with eating in times
of stress, grief, and even joy. I think this comes from both natural and learned behaviors. The key to conquering our vices is awareness and planning.
Believe me I speak from personal experiences here, I find myself looking to food at times to provide what I feel like I am missing out on. We disguise this often in terms of reward. I have had such a tough day, I deserve "this or that." I have found that there is nothing wrong with enjoying food and there are times, yes you indulge, which is expected and fine. The difference is when you are continually "rewarding" yourself daily or weekly. Part of the key to weight loss is learning moderation along with food choices and significant exercise.
One of the questions that I often ask myself which has helped me so much in my own weight loss has been this: "why am I eating (or wanting to eat) this right now?" Sometimes the answer is, I have planned for this and it's ok, which means I am aware this is something out of the routine but I have conserved some calories and I know that have or will have exercised an adequate amount. Then there are times that the answer is, "I am feeling sad or overwhelmed or I am bored." It is important here to say "ok I don't need this vice," and find a different outlet for my stress. I admit that sounds neat and clean and it doesn't work always! Believe me I live in and experience reality :) but if we continue to ask the question, it can work.
The more you ask this of yourself the more it works. I use this question when I find myself eating at unplanned times and when I am eating or wanting to eat something outside the norm. Of course I don't ask this of myself when I am eating a breakfast or lunch that I have planned out and know that my choices meet my goals and are part of my eating plan. I do ask this question when I find myself sneaking into the cabinets mid afternoon hoping against all hope that I might stumble upon some sour cream and onion chips that I swore I would never buy again! ;)
Till next time....