Hey, y'all!! So glad to be back after a week over on Instagram! If you aren't following us over there yet, we have been covering a lot of material regarding gut health, and the opportunity we each have to live a life OUTSIDE the box of the diet culture. Being able to set goals, achieve goals, and live amongst the beauty that life is, despite the judgement we may receive from even our closest loved ones.
Today I want to cover the triggers some of us may be experiencing that lead us toward a habit of overeating. I know for me, it happens in what feels like an instant. One moment I have had a fabulous day, full of connection with others, time outside in the sun, chores checked off my list...you know, a day that has felt productive and happy! ...and the next moment something sets me off, and I am in the midst of a binge [which I will define here as eating to cover an emotion]. Too soon, I am giving myself ALL the reasons why it shouldn't matter what I eat, or how much, and that I can start again tomorrow...or even worse, I can exercise to cover up my 'mistake'.
Is any of this familiar to you? I won't get too in depth to my personal experience ... I'll leave that for another post. But I do want to familiarize you with some very real triggers, in hopes that together we can be more aware of how we eat, why we are eating it, and what we are truly hungry for.
Triggers are often unconscious: which makes them so powerful. We respond automatically without thinking. Grief, pain, sadness, crying...they can all be triggers of hunger--but a false trigger. Your body secretes hormones and enzymes connecting the hunger center in the brain with the stomach and digestive tract. As a baby, this was the ONLY trigger we knew how to respond to. But now, as adults, we have added many more stressors which lead us to over-eating.
There are two categories that we will put these triggers into. We will call them physical and emotion triggers. Here are the physical:
*I am busy and distracted at work
*I am rushed and on the go
*I'm with other people who are eating
*I am tired...I didn't get enough sleep
*I am in front of the tv or computer and need something to do with my hands
*I am out at a restaurant
*I feel I must clean my plate
The triggers listed above will be the easiest to overcome. It will still require work, but with practice, not impossible.
Here are the emotional triggers some of us have encountered, and may still be in the midst of trying to overcome:
*I feel anxious
*I am depressed
*I am lonely
*I feel unattractive
*I am experiencing negative thoughts about my body
*I am under stress
*I want to be comforted
Our pathway can not be deprivation. We must find satisfaction in things other than eating. If most of your triggers come from the second group, you are probably hungry for something else. The first step is to notice the triggers before we eat. I am not saying fight your hunger; but rather give your brain time to process the choice, rather than robotically reaching for the food.
Food is a blessing! Something that provides us fuel, joy, connection, experience! But our hopes is that food becomes something we chew slowly, celebrate fully, and connect with healthily!
Happy eating <3