I’m writing this at the end of a one hundred percent certified, no good, very bad week. By the time you’re reading this, things will be better (it’s my self-care policy to never impulsively hit “send” or “publish” on anything until the bleak period has passed), but right now, I’m just happy to say that the week is over.
The awful week blindsided me and completely disrupted almost all of my plans. I was stressed, not very focused, and felt like I was spending most of my time putting out fires and sorting things out.
Ick and Ugh.
But today, I realized something miraculous about this past week.
I didn’t overeat.
I didn’t comfort eat.
I didn’t have an extra glass of wine in the evening. In fact, I didn’t have any wine at all.
And not doing these things wasn’t difficult.
In fact, my eating is one of the few things that felt right this week.
How did this happen? It certainly wasn’t due to a surplus of willpower. This week, I used that up about as quickly as I could generate it.
I realize now that I stayed on track and didn’t fall into the abyss of bad habits and comfort eating because of the good habits I have firmly in place.
Many of these are little habits, small practices scattered throughout my day. Most have nothing to do with food or what or when to eat. But when I do these things – like my daily practice of journaling and planning my day or my “most days” habit of spending some time outside (no matter the weather) – my urges to reach for the comfort of food are far less frequent and sometimes nonexistent.
My eating would not have looked anything like it did this week, without the comfort strategies and the self-care that is already a familiar and fairly automatic part of my life.
Very essential point:
The time to create the habits that prevent comfort eating is NOT in the middle of a no good, very bad week. That’s the time when the habits pay off, but it’s not the time to rely on your creativity, ingenuity, or ability to try something new.
If you want to move through a very bad week handling food and eating in a way that feels peaceful and healthy, and if you don’t want to feel at the mercy of comfort eating, the time to start putting small changes in place is NOW.
The first step to breaking the comfort eating habit is practicing new ways of providing comfort – comfort strategies that don’t involve reaching for something to eat.
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True story: most women who struggle with comfort eating don’t have other, effective strategies for comfort. The idea of giving up the comfort eating feels like a major loss.
There’s a process that you can use to end the need for comfort eating. I teach it in my 7-day course on comfort eating. Essential to this process is paying attention to your needs and yearnings for comfort.
We tell ourselves a lot of stories about what comfort looks like and feels like. The surprising thing is, when you really take a careful look at what’s true, odds are that food isn’t as comforting as a lot of other things. I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s something I’ve learned and that I see unfold in the lives of my clients all the time.
You can soothe and comfort yourself in ways that are more satisfying than comfort eating will ever be.
I’d like to share a resource that might help. It’s part of my brand new Break the Comfort Eating Habit: The 7-day Program on How to Soothe without Food and I’d like you to have it.
30 Ways to Soothe without Food (a Cheat Sheet for Comfort Eaters)
Freedom from comfort eating is possible. The first step out of the cycle is to start building ways to find the comfort you crave in other ways.
Take good care,