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Healthy Eating Excerpt from Don't Weight
To Eat or Not to Eat, That is NOT the Question!
What if your nutrition has been fine? You did eat when you were hungry. You did eat healthy foods. But still, you find yourself in a wild search for "something". You find yourself obsessed with the question: "Do I want salt or sweet?" You want to eat. You feel driven to eat something. But, you know you're not really hungry. You know you ate your nutritious foods today. The old restrictive eating thoughts creep in. "I really should not eat any more." You descend into a war of willpower over cravings. You get caught up in the next question: "To eat, or not to eat?" It feels like that is the central conflict of your evening. Heck, when it is happening it feels like the central conflict of your LIFE. What is going on here?
Now, that is a good question! What is going on here? THAT is the question. How do you find the answer? It is different for everybody. It is different for the same person at various times. You need some tools to help you answer this question. When you are in the middle of a food craving, what is going on? When you're not hungry, and you're already nourished with food, there must be some other reason you are embroiled in the question: "to eat, or not to eat?" Focusing on that question may be your learned coping skill. It is a familiar, and ineffective, way to cope. You need some other ways to discover and cope with the real issue, which probably has nothing to do with eating.
Possible Tools (use the ones that seem right for you):
Yes, I do mean ET, the little alien in the movie. ET saved Nancy's life. She was in an unbearable situation. She had no way out. She had no one to talk to. There was no friend who could possibly understand, no family available, no access to a therapist. Nancy was in a deep situational depression and she could not get out of the situation. A poster of ET was on her wall. She talked to him. She told him stories, feelings, ideas. He was there for her. She used these verbalizations to keep her head above water. She did not acknowledge to herself that she was feeling suicidal. She just wanted to be gone, to disappear. But she did not make plans to act on those thoughts. I truly believe that talking to ET was a major reason she held on until the situation did change.
Nancy eventually came to understand the situations in her life that caused the depression. Now, she knows herself amazingly well. She still gets depressed sometimes. I suspect she still talks to ET. And she keeps solving problems, one by one, so that she can build a life without unbearable situations. She is building a life that meets her needs.
When it seems like the question is:
Give yourself some time and use whatever tools work for you. Peek inside of yourself. Try to understand how you are feeling right now. Can you tell what triggered this feeling? How can you cope with that trigger? What do you need?
There are lots of questions. These questions are so much more effective than the old question about eating. Ask yourself questions that will help you fix your life. Do what you can to solve the problems that those questions uncover. Try to focus on your life, not your food. What about those times when, even after you have tended your emotions, you still want to eat?
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