Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feeding Your Feelings

Food - We have to have it to survive, we consume it when we are with friends and family, and I don't believe I have ever met a single person who does not enjoy eating. Food can be used as preventative medicine, it gives you energy to function both physically and mentally- but what happens when the food turns into the poison? What happens when food begins to stress you out, make you sick and cause you to isolate yourself?

I live with a food addict. My father LOVES to eat, and he will eat non stop. He will be the first to tell you that it is a problem. Now, my Dad is not a big man, but as far as his health goes, he is battling everything from diabetes to high blood pressure to obesity. His recent health scare sort of gave me a HUGE wake up call - I don't want to end up like him. What I mean by that - I never want to end up with diabetes.

Just a few weeks after his hospital visit, I ended up doing Weight Watchers. So far I have lost 9 pounds and could not be happier. I'm making healthier choices, choosing healthy snacks and trying to not let food be my "comfort."

I never thought I was an emotional eater, but as I am consciously looking for snacks, I noticed that I crave certain foods. Not so much for their taste, but because they are so filling and sort of sedate me. I began to think, "Oh my goodness! My chips and dip are like a drug to me." So I said- Enough is enough!

One of the companies I follow on Twitter is Everyday Health. They offer tremendous tips on taking steps to a healthier, happier life. Recently, they released a fantastic interview with Jillian Michaels about compulsive eating and I just had to share this with you guys:

As I was watching the video, I thought about my stressful days in Birmingham. I thought about the times I would stop after work for a bag of chips and ranch dip and just head home, plop down on the couch and consume the entire bag and container. I'd be too tired to go to Zumba, too tired to clean, too tired to do anything. The worst part? I felt guilty about it. I would always say to myself, "Okay, Nicole. This is the last time you will splurge like this."

Throughout this new phase in my life, I am trying to think of better ways to deal with my stress and to reward myself. I sometimes see my sister reward my niece with a trip to McDonalds - which makes McDonalds suddenly a "good thing" in the child's eyes. She's not the only one, how many parents out there are doing the exact same thing? When I was a kid, after a year of hard work in ballet and a wonderful recital, we would celebrate by splurging on a banana split at Dairy Queen. See - everything was around food.

Aside from what is conditioned in me, if you asked me if I wanted fried chicken and mashed potatoes (one of my favorite comfort food meals) or to go get a massage, I would choose massage. So why is it that when I want to reward myself or I am feeling stressed, I opted for the bad?

What about you? What are your weak points when it comes to food? Think about the times you did on impulse buy  junk food - what was going on at the time?

It's all about healthy choices. It's the biggest battle of all.

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