You’re at a party. You feel bored or awkward. So you decide to pour lime green acid on the floor.
And sure, you have solved the problem. You probably don’t feel bored or upset that you are bad at small talk anymore.
But on the other hand, you just poured lime green acid on the floor.
Perhaps there could have been a better way?
So, for the next time you’re tempted to pull out your food-swiss-army-knife (I just knew that eating cookies would help me to fix how exhausted I felt!), I’ve created a list of 11 problems for which food is just not the optimal solution.
11 things that you shouldn’t use food to solve
1. You don’t want to do what you have to do next. Whether you are about to go to work, go to another meeting, pick up your kids, or knock another item off of your to-do list, you don’t feel like doing it.
2. You feel frustrated/angry/anxious/sad/excited about the activity you just finished, or about the activity that is happening now. Feelings—whether happy, sad, or somewhere in between—can be more intense than we realize.
3. You are bored and want something fun. And let’s face it, eating food is a party for your tongue.
4. YOU ARE EXHAUSTED. At least 50% of the people I speak with are going through this one.
5. You want to connect with another person. And part of the way we connect with other people is by doing the same thing as them; if they eat lunch, we want to eat lunch, too.
6. You are having a ton of fun (at a restaurant, at a party, out with friends), and don’t want to have to pay attention to your body. Eating becomes just another activity that is lost in the swirl of the event. You are talking, laughing, eating, listening to music…why does eating have anything to do with hunger and fullness?
7. You feel awkward at a social event—a party, dinner, gathering—and want something to do with your hands. Or maybe you want to look busy because you aren’t exactly talking with anyone right now. Awkward.
8. You are afraid of not being able to eat later. Carpe freakin’ diem.
9. You are afraid of not getting the chance to eat such extraordinarily delicious food later. Carpe double diem.
10. You are being pressured to eat by a friend or loved one. Because if you just give into the peer pressure, it’s not like they will be pressuring you about other things later…
11. You are just crazy busy. You have clients to serve, children who need breakfast and to be signed up for summer camp, errands to run, laundry to do. There is no time to listen to your body.
How do you stop using food to solve these problems? Well, here’s one way to start, and it is my challenge for you this week:
- Sit down in a quiet space, with paper and pen.
- Think of a time recently when you ate when you weren’t hungry.
- If you really analyze it, what problem do you think you were using food to solve? Could there have been a non-food way to deal with that issue?
I’d love to hear what you find in the comments below!
And if you really want to really go deep and deal with these food issues for real?
Join The Dessert Club. It’s a supportive, small-group 7-week program where we laugh and radically change how we approach eating. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what one recent member of the Dessert Club said:
“Thank you, thank you SO much, Katie, for leading such wonderful sessions and writing such an awesome blog! You truly changed my life and helped me out of a cycle I thought I'd be stuck in forever.
“I used to overeat all the time making my stomach really hurt, and I would feel helpless, depressed, and upset about it, but ever since I learned about intuitive eating from you I've stopped overeating and the stomachaches have stopped! I feel so happy every day waking up knowing that I can eat whenever and whatever I want as long as I'm hungry and I stop when I'm full. No gimmicks, dieting, restrictions, guilt — it's wonderful to feel free. Thanks for the wonderful ideas you share with so many people — keep up the great work! I'll certainly recommend the Dessert Club to anyone I know who is struggling with food. Thank you!”