Gaining Control

I recently received an S.O.S. from a follower we'll call Sue.  "I keep trying to stay in control of what I eat.  I start off really good.  Then throughout the day, things happen that make me lose it and I start grabbing crackers or chips.  I can't stop it.  So I just eat whatever I want for the rest of the day since that day is shot anyway...HELP!"

How many of you can relate to Sue with her feelings and frustrations?  I'm sure many of you can.  That's part of my history, too.  It's important to know that you are not alone in this!

  • Let go of the Good vs. Bad/ All or Nothing thinking.  If you feel that you have to be perfect when you are trying to lose weight (a.k.a. "good" on your plan,) some of us get the message that that you yourself are "good" when you follow it.  If you lose control and end up eating chips you made a "bad" choice, therefore you must be bad.  You are either all "on" your plan, or all "off:" all or nothing, good or bad.  This crazy talk used to rule every one of the zillion diets I went "on" throughout the years. The truth is, you are a good, wonderful person no matter what you eat.  It's just food.  The food you eat does not make you good or bad. 
  • It's not what happened that really matters, it's what happens next. So, you found yourself chowing down crackers and chips and they weren't what you had planned on.  Let it go Don't throw away the rest of the day! Take a deep breath, drink a glass of water, and forgive yourself.  You can choose to be in control in the very next minute. If you allow yourself to feel as if you screwed up the day and just end up eating anything, lots of damage can be done, both calorically and psychologically.
  • Time Out.  Hopefully, the next time you have the urge to eat as a result of emotions, you will recognize it before you take the first bite.  If not, try to recognize this as soon as you can.  Then, STOP.  Give yourself a 10 minute TIME OUT.  During this time, do whatever want to do, just promise yourself you won't eat.  Some people like to distract themselves with other activities, play on the computer, work on hobbies, or go for a walk.  At the end of the 10 minutes, if you still want to eat whatever it is that's calling your name, plan to do just that.  Sit down with a plate and silverware. Place one serving of the food that was trying to control you on your plate.  Savor every bite and enjoy it. 
  • Repeat as needed.
Changing behavior is never easy.  Learning to gain control is vital for those of you trying to lose weight and keep it off, but find emotional eating keeps getting in the way.  Keep working on it, and never, ever give up!

You are worth what it takes!