"I need help to Stop blaming Stress for Causing me to eat foods not on my Plan. How can I stop myself from trying to make myself feel better with food?
I can also see that this topic is a serious one for you, or you wouldn't have capitalized the “S” in the words Stop and Stress, "C" in Causing, and the letter “P” in the word Plan. The fact that you did this subconsciously is an indicator that stress is a big underlying distraction for you and may be causing problems for you in other areas of your life.
The reason I bring up this possibility, is because I have yet to find someone that experiences pressure and stress in only one area of their life. Most often, if you have stress in one area, it has a tendency to transfer over into your work, your relationships, how you feel about yourself and your overall happiness. The few I've met that say to me ..."Oh my life is good in every way except for my work, my job is where my stress is..." they're usually not being completely honest, looking at the whole picture accurately, or they're not taking other people's views into account.
Regardless of how much pressure or stress you may be experiencing, the goal is always to shift your pressure points and stress from something that controls you to something that motivates you.
How you deal with pressure and stress; how you manage your emotions; and how you act or react to anything in your life, determines: how much pressure or stress you'll have in your life; how it affects you; and for how long.
Let's look at your situation. I'm Stressed...Therefore I Eat!
Stress is the "thing" you blame for your eating habits.
Blame is what you (along with most people in the world) do to protect yourself from experiencing more pain, to avoid conflict, to achieve immediate satisfaction and to deflect responsibility and feelings of failure.
Do you remember what BLAME means? It means you're not being completely honest with yourself and/or with others and you're not taking responsibility for your choices. This does not sound like your "core you", which is where the inner conflict comes from that keeps you feeling unsettled, shameful and guilty.
I think if I were to ask you: Are you a responsible person? Without you going right to your perceived failures, I believe you would say that you're responsible, YET, you'd throw in an honesty disclaimer afterwards that sounds something like: Well I am most of the time; Or, I am except for when it comes to my diet.
When you do this, I don't see your disclaimer as...you tearing yourself down. I see it as your desire to set yourself free from the burden you've been carrying around; a desire to be honest; a desire to create positive change.
What creates positive lasting change?
Besides you and your choices, there are a lot of things that help create change that lasts and among those are: Awareness, Honesty, Clarity, Internal Drive, New Perspectives, Propelling Dialogue, Physiology, Strong Reference Points, Focus, Sound Actions, and Commitment.
To simplify let's stack these components into the following groups that are easy to remember: Clarity, Consistency & Commitment
I'd be happy to address lasting change in a future entry and I will title it as such: Clarity, Consistency & Commitment Creates Lasting Change, but for now
let's address Pressure and Stress, since it's the "thing" you blame for your eating choices.
Strategies that focus on creating comfort in, and associating true gains with, being honest and taking responsibility for your choices are essential for you to use and learn from so you can prevent yourself from blaming other things or people in the future. This type of Strategic Intervention will help you create the changes you want and need.
Yet, to stop blaming STRESS you also need to better understand pressure and stress and how they can serve you. If you do, then you'll stop feeling or looking at stress in the same way. What may have stressed you out before can now become an empowering tool.
That said, let's answer these questions: What is pressure? Where does stress come from? How can you use pressure or stress to create positive change?
First, take note that: Pressure is a "Stress Inducer".
You can feel a sense of pressure to perform, to follow through, to achieve, to love or be loved, to be accepted, to be good enough; only a few to be named among many pressures.
Secondly, take note that: Pressure comes in many forms, at any time, and differ in levels of intensity.
Thirdly, take note that: Pressure is not a bad thing. You can choose to control it and use it to motivate you to create positive changes in your life. It's only when you allow pressure to control you that stress then influences your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors in a less productive and destructive way.
For example, if you're feeling a lot of pressure to look a certain way for an upcoming high school reunion and you're not happy with your physical appearance, you can use this pressure to motivate you to clarify, set and achieve some goals to lose weight, get fit and find an outfit that feels great. This is a healthy perspective and a procedure that will help you reach your end goals, if: you clarify why you're making these changes, you're consistent in your actions and you're committed to achieving your end goals.
Yet, if you allow this pressure to control and dis-empower you, then the stress kicks in and your procedures will take the form of procrastination, addiction or blaming; your perspective turns into one of overwhelm, impossibility, and pain.
In other words, stress is present in your life as a result of how you perceive and deal with pressure.
Since you capitalized the word "Plan" in your questions...make sure that your plan is not causing you stress. If it is, then go back to the drawing board with your program and your advisor. Create a healthy sense of pressure (also known as a form of motivation) that is based on clear cut reasons for why you're following the plan in the first place. Also make sure that the plan makes sense to you; that you had a part in creating the plan and that your end goal is more than...I want to lose 60 pounds.
As for your question that says: "How can I stop myself from trying to make myself feel better with food?" My answer is:
1.) Interrupt your pattern when you first become aware of your habitual actions.
2.) Change your focus away from the food and onto what it is you're really after.
3.) Create a list of comfort alternatives.
4.) Choose from your list of alternatives, the things that will give you comfort while they help you feel better about yourself.
What you lack is not will power.
You lack clear options, comfort, pampering and true fulfilling happiness.
The wonderful thing is...
If you want to have and experience all these things and more, YOU CAN!
If you need some help creating positive lasting change, reach out to someone or contact me. I'd be happy to help you set and achieve all your goals, while creating positive changes that last.
For a specific strategy on how you can apply the 4 steps I mentioned above, Read my Q&A entry titled: Eat The Cookies!
For my answer regarding your statement: "I feel so guilty about our financial debt issues." Read the Q&A entry titled: Guilt Over Financial Debt
BSG Event Answers For Healthy Woman Members
by CJ Harlan
© copyright 2014