Ahhhhh, Friday. This week has been a mixed bag. Work has been a little hectic, and also exciting, and my personal life has been busy, and sad, and happy, and really just all of the emotions recently. On Wednesday, I started the day with a hectic meeting, and I felt like I was spending the day trying to catch up in my brain. The hubby was going to be home late, so I was on my own for dinner, and my tired, overworked brain had one thought: ice cream, lots of it.
This is a well-known pattern for me. I’m home alone, feeling tired, lonely, stressed, bored, whatever, and my response is to order takeout and eat all the things. I knew I had a choice to make; I could say “what the heck” and stop at the grocery store on the way home, or I could go home and make dinner like I had originally planned. So what did I do? I turned on Audible, drove home, and made some delicious Mongolian beef and logged back onto my computer to wrap up a project for work.
When you have a history of disordered or emotional eating, you develop certain “tricks” that help you get out of the negative headspace that usually leads towards binging or over eating. I thought I’d share some of my go-to tricks or tools that help me avoid binges. (Disclaimer: If you’re truly hungry, eat! Eat whole, nourishing foods. Don’t starve yourself because you think it will make you skinny… that’s a whole ‘nother issue)
- Listen to something inspiring or motivational. This is what I did on my drive home Wednesday. I recently discovered Audible, (because I’m always behind on trends!) and have been listening to Girl, Wash Your Face (again, always behind) so I turned that on for my drive home. It’s hard to intentionally choose to eat foods that make you feel bad if you’re listening to someone tell you how you’re amazing and you can do the hard work it takes to achieve XYZ. P.S. This book is worth the hype and totally inspiring! If you’re new to Audible you can sign up for a 30 day trial and get a free download… so you can listen to this book for FREE!
- Take a walk. This one is a bit trite, but it’s honestly helpful and you get the added bonus of more movement in your day! I love walking outside in the cooler weather, so this one is great for the fall. Again, bring your headphones and turn on that motivational book, podcast, music, and get out of your funk.
- Make a pro-con list. Raise your hands if you love writing lists! Grab a pen and paper, open the notes app on your phone, or visualize a list in your head, but write all of the pro’s and con’s to overeating. How will you feel an hour after? How about the next day? Will you be setting yourself back on your health goals? will you be spending money that you were saving for some new boots? Looking at a tangible list of the good and bad outcomes of your decision make the consequences (even perceived or theoretical ones) more real.
- Take a bath. Treat yourself to a spa moment; use a bath bomb (or two!), turn on some soothing music, grab a good book or trashy magazine (I won’t judge!) and treat yourself to some honest to goodness “me time”. Sometimes I feel the urge to binge only because that’s what I used to do when I was alone; that was my “me time”! Finding other ways to treat myself has been crucial in moving past those impulses so that I stopped equating “me time” with overeating.
- Phone a friend. Or text, or FaceTime, or send a smoke signal, same dif. The goal here is to reach out to a human you know and love and who loves you back so that you don’t feel alone. It can be really hard to deal with emotions and feelings that you’ve been pushing down with food for who knows how long, so find your designated person and share whatever on your heart. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with people in your life, start a blog (anonymity is super freeing FYI), or write in a journal, just find a way to feel your feels because that’s the only way to learn and grow and move past these old habits. In all honesty, I still struggle with this one, but I’m getting better at it every day.
What are you go-to tools to get out of a negative headspace and avoid over-eating?