I've known that I am an emotional eater for some time now. This knowledge is good, however it has not stopped me from overeating / possible binge eating. Now is the time to act on this knowledge and if not correct at least improve upon this behavior. Writing this blog is a great thing. One great thing is that I have a few strategies already in place to help myself feel happier. So late Saturday Night I started to come up with a Chasing Joy Strategy for Emotional Eating. Here is what I have so far:
Step 1: Identify the emotions you are trying to eat.
For me this was fear, loneliness, powerless, envy.
Step 2: What is causing you to feel this way.
Fear: Fear of getting pregnant, fear of not being able to get pregnant (yes both outcomes come with a certain amount of fear), and fear over my mom's health.
Loneliness: While I feel going solo on my journey to being a mom is the right thing for me to do at this time this is definitely my plan B. I would love to have found my Mr. Joy Chaser already. It has been a long time since I have felt loved in a romantic way. I miss that feeling and very much want to experience it again.
Powerless: Back to the baby thing and my mom's health. Both of these things are entirely in God's hands. All I can do is pray and take all the steps that I can to become a mom and do all that I can to care foe my mother. But it is entirely up to God to do the rest. I have faith but it is hard to feel powerless or helpless.
Lastly, envy: I hate feeling envious of anyone but I am human and these feelings come. When I look around sometimes I feel like many of my peers have it easier than me. They have more money, healthy parents, husbands, boyfriend, and children conceived without spending a ridiculous amount of money on sperm.Step 3: Practice Gratitude. Now that you've identified the feelings and what is causing them let's focus on some positive things. For each of the negative feelings you are eating come up with one ore more things that you are feeling thankful/ grateful for.
I thank God that I am able to pursue motherhood. I thank God that I get along so well with my mom and that my job is pretty flexible to allow me to be there for her more when she needs me. I am thankful that I own my home. I thank God that I am no longer pouring myself into relationships that are not going anywhere. I am thankful that I believe in God and the power of prayer. I am thankful that I don't have other people's problems. I don't want to trade my stress for yours.Step 4: Identify things you can control. We cannot control all aspects of our lives or how we feel about them, but there are many things that we can control. Take a few minutes to identify what those things are.
I can control how much exercise I get, how much sleep I get (for now), what goes in my mouth, how my home looks, what I watch, what I read, and who I talk to (outside of work that is).Step 5: What tasks can you work on that are within your control and will help you feel empowered.
I can workout a meal plan for this week. I can exercise and add to my #10950minoffitness. I can work on de-cluttering my home.Step 6: Come up with one or two positive thoughts or mantras that you can focus on when the thoughts related to the negative emotions surface.
What if I cannot get pregnant -> God has given me this maternal instinct for a reason
What if I do get pregnant -> I will be a great mom just like I have been a great aunt and a great caregiver to my mom.
Mom's health -> God is a healer and has kept us going these last 2 plus years.
Loneliness -> All of the steps I'm taking to Chase Joy, to create the life I want and be happier, are putting me in position to be a great partner and wife.
Powerless -> I do not have to fix and control everything. That is not what God created me for.
Envy -> We all have a different path in life. Other's blessings are designed to keep me encouraged as to all of the different ways God brings Joy to our lives. Their Joy is their's and mine will be mine.Step 7: Write a blog post. LOL just kidding. But getting this plan on "paper" has been very helpful.
Do you ever fall victim to emotional eating? Emotions usually don't taste very good, what's your plan to stop emotional eating? What steps would you add?