Not many doctors would admit this to you, but here it is:
I’m only human.
I have my fair share of bad days. And when I do, sometimes I get the same overwhelming urge you do–to turn to food for comfort.
Let me give you a quick example. A few months ago, I’d had a string of bad luck…nothing major, but enough to put me in a funk. To make matters worse, it was cold, and I had way too much work to do, and couldn’t just relax.
So I drove myself to a little local bake shop determined to soothe my troubles with a coconut cupcake. On the way, I came up with a dozen excuses as to why I “deserved” a cupcake. Of course, the truth of the matter was that I was sabotaging myself.
But then something strange happened when I walked into the store. I looked around, took in all the frosted, sprinkled, and glazed sights…breathed in the yeasty-sweet air. It smelled so good in there. And then I stepped back, took one more deep breath–and walked back to my car.
Suddenly, I no longer “needed” that cupcake.
It turned out, just knowing it was there–seeing it and breathing it in–was enough to satisfy my cravings.
It sounds crazy, I know. Most diet plans will tell you the exact opposite–to stay away from temptation. But sometimes the sights, the smells, the visceral cocoon of the moment is all it takes to get that same feeling of comfort that you think you can only get from the food itself.
The moral of my little story is that turning to food for comfort, for satisfaction, for anything other than what it’s meant to be-sustenance-happens to everyone. But you don’t have to give in to it.
If my strategy doesn’t work as well for you, try to find a trick of your own that simulates the same comforting experience without the “eater’s remorse.”
After all, we eat with our brains, not our stomachs.
And please, feel free to share your own tricks with me here. While I can’t promise a personal response to them all, I will go through them, pull out the best and share them in a future issue of my Reality Health Check. Just be sure to send it to the following email address, as replying to this email may not make it through the system: firstname.lastname@example.org.