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Apr 10, 2011

Eating to Fill a Void?

Today's Incident:
Today I saw an older woman struggling with her weight. We talked about Food Triggers and one of her main triggers is loneliness. Eating to fill a void in her life. Many times we eat to replace something that is missing in our lives. It only feels good for a short period of time and, depending on what we eat, we can end up feeling much worse and depressed. We think of food as some treat that will make everything better - but it never does - we are just left feeling sick and fat. You must learn to break that "feel good" food association and begin to address the root of the problem - whether it is loneliness, anger or grief.

The first step with anything you want to change in your life is realizing and identifying the problem. Are you turning to food when you are bored or lonely? Does food help? If the answer is yes - What aren't you doing in your life or what is missing that is the cause of this loneliness or boredom? What are some other activities that you could substitute in place of food that would add the same "comfort" or good feeling?
For this older woman it was a lack of feeling part of the human race. (That is how we described it.) When you are lonely you may feel that the whole world has something going on and you are not a part of it. My advice to her was to get to be a part of it. You do this in small baby steps to get out of your comfort zone. You stop telling yourself that "to get involved you have to be a couple or go with someone", "there are no single people to go out with", "there is nothing that I am interested in". My answer is "no you don't", "yes there are" and "find something - wake up and get excited again". You can believe anything you want to believe. If you believe there is no one available to do anything with than that is all you will ever see in your life. Believe that there are possibilities and attract them into your life. Let the doors open to the opportunities that you never noticed before because you were to busy eating and being lonely. I told her to pick up one of those free Seniors magazines outside of the grocery stores and look at the activities and events going on all around her. She could also look at the long list of volunteer opportunities and pick one. Attend a class about something she always wanted to learn. Put out the intent and watch it unfold in your life. Believe me this works every time!
Yes it is scary to go to something for the first time by yourself. The first time you do something - it may not be such a great experience but keep staying active and eventually - you will find your niche. In no time you will not be able to remember the loneliness you once felt. Now there is nothing you can't do and no fear you can't conquer. Food is now necessary but it is no longer abused. You now have to skills and the ability to get what you really need in your life through the proper channels. In this incident - it was getting involved so you no longer feel like you are watching life go by from the side-lines.

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