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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What are you looking forward to today?

So I was asked a question recently by an inspiring woman who has beaten her demons and cracked emotional eating. She suggests (and many have the same opinion, La Flamme and Jenks being two examples) that we eat because we are bored, in a rut and uninspired by life: 
Josie: "So what are you looking forward to today/this week/this year?"
Me: "Ummm... nothing?"
I thought, wow.. that's bad. Even if I had no weight to lose, having nothing that I was looking forward to particularly was a bit sad... could my life have become all about work, the "have-tos" of life, and letting others arrange the fun in my life and just hope they invite me along?
Marc David argues that if we want to lose weight, we need to picture ourselves there. What would being thin look like to you? Picture all the things you would do, be, say, and think and start doing, being, saying and thinking that now! The idea is that this would naturally shift our lives to the level of satisfaction, pleasure, meaning and fulfillment that we automatically assume would happen when we are thin, and as a result reduce our need for food to fill that emotional void.
Ever read about Maslow and his hierarchy of needs? It's the same thing. Emotional eating = unmet needs/ unsatisfied desires, things we want to do but "can't" (or just don't). 

A lot of my emotional eating/feelings of stress happen when I'm at work. And no wonder! This is a key point when my needs for pleasure, joy and fulfillment are not necessarily being met when I am firing out the emails and in meetings all day. 
So, this last 2 weeks I have booked a week in Spain, got my nails done, and bought myself a bunch of flowers every Monday. (Jenks, La Flamme - you would be proud!) Just little things like this have perked me up no end. Suddenly the focus is less on what I weigh, but more how can I inject that passion/life/fun back into my life. Apparently this brings about the skinny ass as well as I have lost 6lb this week and really noticed a difference in how I feel.

It's not always easy though. When the sun is shining - sure it's no problem to pop out and gallivant in the rays feeling great. But, what about a day like today when the March rain is pouring and my pumps are wet through? Today I found my stress mounting, and not just from the hectic work day, but because I felt like I wouldn't be able to have my fun little treat for the day. The little me who had been enjoying getting out the office and having a few treats suddenly felt ignored again (and so up comes that eating stress response). It's amazing how reactive it is, and how much food has been a source of recreation for me. 

So, as I'm still learning how to do this for myself I decided the best thing was to just get away from my desk. It's nearing pay day so I'm broke and don't have money for a pedicure which is what I really wanted. I had about a tenner to spend, so I whipped out my umbrella and fought my way down the street. Hmm... not releasing that stress yet! Still wanting to eat when I knew I was not hungry I allowed myself to grab something from M&S, but purposefully spent longer just looking at the flowers and other pretty things... I felt a bit better. I then bought some £3 daffs along with a sandwich (that I wasn't hungry for yet) and decided to head back to the office. I arrived wet, cold and still feeling frazzled. That would be the time I dived for that sandwich and started firing out emails again. Not this time. I still had the feeling of being stressed because work is busy and chaotic (as it always is), and I still had a need for rest, calm and something pleasurable. So, I decided to sit and write my blog. I gave myself one hour to write something I love and care about, and as if by magic, my shoulders untensed, my anxiety and bad mood disappeared and *shock horror* I no longer needed that sandwich. I swear to God - it's still in my bag. 

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