There are many ways that we abuse food by eating when we aren’t hungry. One way is to turn to food when we are experiencing some problem that we either do not have the answer to, or we cannot seem to make a decision on. This can bring up feelings of anxiety, worry, and panic, and for many, the learned reaction is to eat. Using food is a learned coping mechanism, however, does it truly give us a positive, helping hand?
Food is an inanimate object. It does not have a brain, it cannot reason, it cannot give us feedback, or make any decisions for us. If it does change our mood, it is only temporary. If we abuse food often enough, we end up with more problems that the ones we were initially eating over. We can create health problems, overweight and/or obesity, as well as self-esteem issues. If we were eating to procrastinate, whatever the task was that we did not previously want to do is still there, waiting for us to complete it.
I have used food both for emotional reasons and to procrastinate. I still have the desire to do so today (usually once a day), and although I am choosing not to give in, I cannot tell you that this is an “easy” habit to change. I learned this behavior when I was growing up, so it is obviously not a new habit. Does that mean that there is no hope, and I may as well just give up? No, absolutely not!
I realize that what I am presenting in this post is a logical way of thinking about food and how we abuse it, while it is the emotional side that gets us into trouble almost every time. My purpose is to give you another way of thinking about this topic. It helps me to break down issues and look at them logically, and I know that there are many others who can relate to this thought process. Essentially, what this accomplishes is to take the power away from food. When you turn to food to solve your problems or make you feel better, you are giving a tremendous amount of power to an inanimate object. The power to change is within you, not outside in that bag or carton of food.
If you would like a to learn about a technique that I recently used to avoid using food for emotions, see this post.