My 2 1 2 Year Old Eats All The Time Food Diary: An Objective Learning Tool to Love Yourself Past a Binge, Part 2 of 2

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Food Diary: An Objective Learning Tool to Love Yourself Past a Binge, Part 2 of 2

Behind every binge is an intense emotion, whether positive or negative, that is uncomfortable for the binge eater. It may take a little practice to learn to discover that emotion.”

-Gloria Arenson, doctor.

Food journal. If you’ve been in the habit of keeping track of what you’ve been eating for some time, you know how meticulous and frustrating it can be to constantly monitor every bite, bite, and taste (BLT). You may feel awful every time you eat more than you think you should.

For many people, conditioned to think like dieters, overeating is considered almost morally wrong. We often judge ourselves shamefully, feeling guilty and out of control. Can you relate to feeling the temptation to just want to sweep the incident under the rug and forget about it? I can and that’s why I stopped keeping a food journal years ago once I made the decision to stop dieting. Now I understand how food journaling can be your best friend in giving you the awareness you need to end your emotional eating. Let me tell you what I learned.

I was recently researching to answer a question from a woman in my Juicy Woman Yahoo group. My search led me to a book I had read years before. In the book, “A Substance Called Food: How to Understand, Control, and Recover from Addictive Eating,” author and licensed certified psychotherapist Gloria Arenson, Ph.D discusses the value of using a food journal to become aware of one’s eating patterns in order to transform from a binge eater to a healthy eater.

Dr. Arenson is one of my favorite experts because she truly understands what it takes to overcome emotional eating. After more than 30 years working in the field of eating disorders, specializing in the treatment of bulimia and compulsive overeating and as a former binge eater, she understands. As a past president of ACEP (The Association for Integral Energy Psychology, an international organization dedicated to establishing and promoting the practice of Energy Psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique worldwide), Dr. Arenson ranks in my book as an expert without a doubt. on the subject of how to end emotional eating.

In his book, “A Substance Called Food,” he describes a multidimensional, four-level plan he uses with his clients to overcome problems with compulsive eating, binge eating, purging, or starvation. She credits this system with creating changes on the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels for the individual.

Dr. Arenson explains how a binge is our body’s way of asking for help because most people who abuse food are not aware of the connection between emotions and their tendency to overeat.

In the first step of her self-help program for change, Dr. Arenson describes the importance of keeping a food journal for a week. Only one week. It is intended to show what, how much and when the client eats.

My experiment Keeping a food journal as a committed non-dieter

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, in the past I have had a tendency to be incredibly obsessive in my quest to track my food intake. Back in my dieting days, it was almost like a perverse badge of honor to be so rigorous in my quest to keep track of what I ate, how much water I drank, how much I exercised, and the fluctuations in my weight. It has practically become a full time job to be so compulsive about my record keeping. No wonder it was the first thing that happened to me when I stopped dieting.

I was sure that food trackers and diaries were things of the past, evil tools designed by the diet organization meant to make you feel bad about yourself. All kidding aside, I realize they have a positive intent, but it was too hard to see the potential benefits of the journal because I was so caught up in remembering all the negatives of trying to keep myself under such tight control.

I’ll be the first to admit that because I was still stuck in the all-or-nothing thinking so commonly associated with a dieter’s mindset, I failed to recognize the benefit of food magazines until recently. Dr. Arenson’s new perspective on the paper helped me see the light.

As of this writing, I have just started keeping a written record of what I have been eating for just a few days. In this short period of time, I am amazed at what I have discovered about myself.

Here are some helpful tips and information you can use to start making food journaling work for you.

It’s not personal – Despite what you may feel, no one is looking over your shoulder but you. The important thing to remember is that you are doing this for yourself in an effort to understand what drives you to eat when you are not hungry. However, if you decide to share the contents of your journal with anyone else, make sure that your trust has already been earned.

Be patient with yourself – If like me, you find that you’re doing things to sabotage your ability to journal, like forgetting to write things down, not having a pen or paper handy, or not keeping everything in one place to find it easily, give yourself a break. This is just your brilliant subconscious mind at work doing its best to keep you safe in your old comfort zone. To overcome this resistance, you just have to forgive and move on. Picking up and picking up where you left off as often as you need to is much more effective than beating yourself up trying to remember forgotten meals. Do your best to log 7 days so you have enough information to discover your triggers for eating.

Embrace your emotions. Write down some of the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing along with the foods you eat. This is what you will need to refer to when you review your journal. This objective review process will allow you to better understand the why behind your binge eating. Knowing this information will give you an idea of ​​what kinds of situations cause you to reach for food when you’re not hungry. By paying more attention to how you feel, you’ll also discover all the hidden emotions you’re experiencing when you sit down to a meal.

Be curious, not judgmental. This new tool is a gift to you. It is not a punishment. It can only help you nurture yourself more deeply and love yourself more compassionately. Find the specific thought that fueled the binge or the event that preceded the overeating. For example: if you are a mother with young children, you may have the belief that you are the only person capable of taking care of your children. If everyone is always depending on you, it can lead to a lot of resentment. If you believe you can’t or shouldn’t ask for help, the overwhelming emotions you feel will prompt you to deal with your stress in the only way you know how. If food is your drug of choice, you’ll find yourself eating out of control. The kindest thing you can do is feel the deepest compassion for yourself and realize that you were only doing the best you could.

Take 100% responsibility– After re-evaluating your eating and better understanding what drove you to eat when you weren’t hungry, you can now reclaim your power by taking responsibility for finding new ways to manage your stress beyond using food. Be more assertive. Make a list of the needs that have not been met in your life so far. Instead of running around the house screaming, “No one ever helps me.” Consider what other people’s requests you can make to make sure you get the support you need. This may require negotiation to ensure that everyone’s needs are met and to clarify a new agreement that you want to establish. For example, if you understand that you want your daughter to start dinner before you come home, instead of nagging or arguing with her, state specifically in a calm voice what you want her to do. “I want you to cut up the carrots and put a big pot of water on the boil for the pasta before you get home. Thanks.”

Get support- If you find yourself struggling with any disempowering thoughts such as feeling unworthy, fear of failure, overwhelm, judgment, or any other negative emotion, I’d like to invite you to join my Juicy Woman Yahoo group. There, as a guide, I’ll show you how you can use the Emotional Freedom Technique and other energy coaching tools to remove those old limiting beliefs so you can get down to business getting what you want.

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