Temptation–a lifelong struggle. Many of us impose external boundaries to help us resist. But often, “The moment those safeguards are needed, it’s too late. We no longer want them to help.”
I’ve struggled with losing/regaining those extra 20-30 pounds most of my life. As I read this quote from THE CURE this morning, I thought that’s what most diets do. They focus on the choices we make to eat or not eat something – whether it’s calorie-counting, portion control, or not eating certain foods and eating more of others. External control. They can help, but they don’t deal with why I eat. I’m a comfort eater. If I’m happy, let’s have chocolate! If I’m sad, how about cheesecake? Lonely? Ice cream and pecans. (Interchangeably, of course!)
But what I’m learning, with the help of a coach, is to listen to my body rather than just focusing on my actions. One of my favorite lines from her is “Honor your hunger; respect your fullness.” Hey, I’m still a novice at this, but I’m learning. I’m learning to ask “Am I hungry?” before eating. When I am, I need to eat. If I’m not, what is the underlying emotion? Is it boredom, anxiety, confusion? And if it is, can I fill that need with something else– write; take a walk with my hubby (when it’s not pouring rain!); play ball with the dogs; make a phone call–before I succumb to the craving?
And when I eat, I try to stop when I’m satisfied, rating my level of satiation on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is starving and 10 is so stuffed I want to throw up. OK, it’s another tool–but it’s a tool that’s helping me look at WHY I do what I do in an area where I easily sabotage myself. And I feel hope!
So, I look forward to realizing the health value coming out of listening to my body–and also to understanding more deeply how fully, unconditionally God loves me and how overwhelming His grace, even when I fail.
Are you an emotional eater? How do you deal with that? I’d love to hear your solutions.