by Kris Pitcher
I'm not at all phased by the pizza, cupcakes, or the lone Costco muffin left in the break room at work. There are also Oreo cookies and other snack items for the taking, available ALL THE TIME.
In my twenty-fifth year of successful personal weight management, I see food differently. My lens is focused on my goals and my values. Most importantly, my vision is conscientious. We get in trouble when we put our blinders on.
What I mean is, food should be a deliberate choice rather than an emotion which overcomes us, leading us into the depths of a binge. The American culture is heavily infused with emotional eating. We celebrate our very first birthday as onlookers cheer as we smash our cake covering ourselves with it. The Cake Smash.
Left to my emotions I would be elbow deep in a bag of chips. So, how can I simply walk past the beautifully iced cupcakes in the break room? Easy. I'm connected to my goals. I'm aware of my choices. Success begins with emotional management.
While some might argue I'm a cold-hearted fill-in-the-blank, I am an emotional person. I'm also good at managing my stress, and controlling what I can control. Did you know you are in control of how you respond to things?
You are! This just may be the secret sauce to managing your emotions. Social media is full of posts spewing on and on about how upset people are over this or that. Reel it in people. What is really affecting you in your life? And what do you have control over?
Allowing external events, people, things...you name it, to cause a reaction leading you to eat your emotions is self sabotage at its best. Being in control of your reactions takes recognition of a situation, knowing what your options are, and choosing one.
If emotional eating is eating you up, it's time to stop and take a breath. It's time to think about situations and choose your reaction. This is how you manage your emotions, and your emotional eating. Be present. This means being aware of what is going on around you.
Awareness is key to thinking through solutions, and making a choice. Everything we do is a choice. Each choice we make has consequences. Our food choices are no different. Whether we over eat, don't eat, eat the wrong things...all choices with consequences. But don't blame everything "out there".
Begin to assess your surroundings, your situation, and the events you find yourself in. Stop and think about your choices. Which choice aligns with your goals? Be present and make a conscious choice. Take your blinders off and deal with, and manage, your emotions.
Take a deep breath and clear your vision. The choice is yours!