When You Eat and Eat and Eat...

Something would set it off. It was as if an alien force was taking over me...I'd go into the kitchen. I wasn't hungry hungry, I just wanted FOOD! Sometimes, I would start with baby carrots and crunch on those. When that didn't cut it, I'd try an apple. Nope, that didn't work either. Then, I'd grab a box of crackers and munch on those for while. I was then on to the next level: cookies, ice cream, chocolate. It didn't matter. Nothing could stop me now: I had started the decent down the slippery chocolate slide into the deep, dark abyss of the peanut M&M pit.

Do you ever have times when you eat like this and just can't seem to stop? That used to be me so frequently. It does still happens occasionally, but I have identified the emotions that trigger the chocolate slide in me: when I'm both really tired and stressed. Now I carefully stay on alert when I'm in my danger zone and keep the food triggers out of sight.

The question that was emailed in: how do you stop once you are in the midst of that uncontrolled eating mania?

  1. Recognize that you have lost control.
  2. Stop. As Nike says, "Just Do It." This takes practice.
  3. Time Out. Promise yourself you will not eat for 10 minutes. I usually drink a couple of big glasses of water at this point. The goal is just like when we give a child a time out: try to get a grip on your behavior and think about changing it.
  4. Change your action. After the time out, immediately start doing something else. Walk it out, call a friend (especially one who is good support for you) and talk it out, write it out on paper, read, go online.
  5. Forgive yourself! This took me forever to learn, but until you do, you may go through these cycles where you lose control eating, eat too much, feel guilty, eat more because you feel guilty...a miserable cycle.
  6. Practice this until you can do it!
Changing a habit like this doesn't come easily. Love and care for yourself enough to keep working at it. Anything worth having is worth working for: your health!