Introduction to a 7 part series: Managing triggers (non-food) that lead to emotional eating (for me), while in weight maintenance.
( A special thank you to Alen Standish and Amy Johnson's podcast about Lizard Brain that inspired my blog series. Link to the podcast.)
You’d think that by being in weight maintenance for so long (2 years) , that the old urge to soothe with food would be manageable. I spent 40 years eating emotionally. So, the old non-food triggers followed me into weight maintenance.
For me, food choices (no sugar, no grains... aka #NSNG) make a huge difference. If I abstain from my trigger foods, then most of the time, I am fine. If I put "life into living", then it has to be with a food that has <5 grams of processed sugar. Think 85% chocolate, a small piece.
Abstaining is my baseline, but occasionally old memories, reactions, triggers that are non-food cross my line. I catch myself wanting to go back to old habits and behaviors.
When I cross the line and I can recognize it, I consider myself “at risk”. At risk for emotional eating or choosing off template foods. I know that pattern well. If I can't recognize it, and I cross the line, I lapse. It happens once and awhile. I don't beat myself up, but I do take quick action because lapses are 1 step away from a full relapse.
Both weight maintenance and my overall health (migraines, sleep quality) and less mental stress are directly related to how well I manage the trigger, before it happens. For me the pain is mostly emotional, but the pain can be physical. Migraines, joint pain, or cystic acne (wheat, sugar, nuts, dairy).
Okay, that's it. Intro is done. Stay tuned for my 7 non-food triggers,and how I deal with them, in the next few posts.