Who can relate that when we do/accomplish something stressful or uncomfortable we get a food reward? This is something I’ve worked on for a long time in myself.
Recently, I had a stressful doctors appointment. When I was finally out of the office, I ran an errand and saw a bagel shop. Immediately, I thought “I deserve a bagel after all that”. Now the bagel was NOT the issue, it was that I was not hungry but that I was tired and anxious after the doctor’s appointment. I quickly clued into that the emotions I felt were causing me to feel like I earned the bagel. It was a trying appointment, if I had to sit through that I deserve something. I wanted to be comforted and to relax, and for a short time I thought that a warm bagel with cream cheese could do that.
So what did I do? I took a few minutes and acknowledged how I was feeling and then moved on with my errands. I realized what I earned was to not eat something at that moment. Rather, celebrate that in the end the appointment results were good. Also that if I was truly hungry, I had what I needed to nourish my body right next to me in the car- my smoothie. I was proud of myself for driving away because some days that is the hardest thing to do.
How do you deal with emotions and food rewards? Where/when did this start for you? As parents, are we encouraging this behavior? All things to think about.
The more practice of the getting away from auto-pilot emotional eating and paying attention to our feelings, the easier it becomes.