This is part 2 of a 2-part post on binge eating. You can read the first part in the series here.
So, how do we stop emotionally overeating?
I've got a handy little acronym for you, that I like to call the The AHAA Moment.
It stands for Awareness, Halt, Act & Assess.
Awareness- become aware of the emotional eating while you do it. This is your Sacred Moment- When you KNOW you will be tempted to emotionally overeat. Plan in advance for these times. Start to learn your sacred moments, tune into the feelings during these times, and notice them without shame. Live in the awareness for a while before considering the next step….
Halt- stay awake and become aware of why you want the food. After you’ve practiced awareness for a while, you can try halting. Ask yourself “why do I want this ______?” And ask it without shame.Then hear the answer, accept it, and just feel it. You can halt before, during, or after you’ve eaten.
Act- You do it or you don’t do it without the shame. Either continue or don’t continue. Either way, you do it without shame
Assess- Follow up with yourself afterwards. Are my thoughts Fact or Fiction? We emotionally eat because we don’t want to feel our negative emotions. We use the food to block out the discomfort. Sit down with pen and paper and thought download. Do a complete brain dump about every thought that is going through your head about the situation. If you reflect after the event, you will gain so much insight into your personal well being and who you are as an individual. And yes, you will find things out that you do not like. Ask yourself- “Are my thoughts facts?”
Interested in taking this work further?
Here is a worksheet to guide your progress:
AHHA Thought Download
Awareness: you become aware of the emotional eating while you do it
Am/was I emotionally eating? (notice this without shame) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What time is it? __________________________
What caused me stress today? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Am/was I anticipating stressful events later today?
What feelings am/was I feeling in my body?
Now live in this awareness…
Halt: you stay awake and become aware of why you want the food.
Why do/did I want this food?
Act: You do it or you don’t do it without the shame
Do/did I try stopping here or do/did I continue? (answer this without shame)
Assess: You follow up afterwards. Are my thoughts Fact or Fiction?
Do a brain dump/Unintentional Thought Download:
Current Thoughts About Myself
Revisit your thoughts (however many you listed)
Is thought #__ true? Y / N
If you answered yes, ask yourself, “Can I ABSOLUTELY, without a doubt, KNOW that it is true?”
How do you react, what happens, when you believe this thought?
What would you do differently without this thought? (get specific)
Now turn this thought around- what is the exact opposite thought? Does this turnaround feel more or less true?