Did the start of a new year mean the start of a new diet for you? Did you lose weight or are you back to your pre-diet eating habits? Most diet programs don’t lead to long-term weight-loss because they don’t address the emotional issues that underlie our relationship with food. We commonly turn to food for some type of comfort – and in turn, gain weight and fail to keep weight off after a diet. Here’s how to tap into your innate creativity to nourish your food-craving emotions in ways that will keep you from turning to food for comfort.
Our relationship with food affects our waist size
Every one of us has an intimate and emotional bond with the foods we eat. It may be healthy or unhealthy, but make no mistake, this significant, long-term relationship affects the choices you make when it comes to food. Understanding how you relate to food is often the linchpin to losing unwanted pounds and keeping them off.
Healthy alternatives to emotional eating
There are so many ways you can be creative to give yourself a healthy emotional outlet instead of turning to food during times of stress.
If you are feeling emotional unease because of a change of circumstances or location, consider writing, drawing or taking photographs to express yourself.
Ease your pain
If you are experiencing the pain of loss, consider developing something new to soothe your pain. Consider making a collage of photos and memorabilia.
If you feel lonely or sad, go out into the garden and plant something — or just pull weeds for a time.
Play on paper
Keep a large box of crayons in your house with a large pad of paper and just “play” on paper.
Get a journal and write down your feelings instead of turning to the refrigerator.
Get to know the new you
If the association that you are struggling with is about identity, consider painting a picture or writing a story about the new you. Getting to know this person in your mind’s eye before your take her out on the streets can keep you from running back to your old emotional eating habits
If what you create is edible, give it to a friend or to others in need. That way, you form a new connection and transform the negative feelings into a positive experience.
Create your new relationship with food
It’s time to walk down a different street and start a new relationship with food. By understanding how you relate to food and how you feel about what you eat, you can make better choices and feel good about yourself. This will put you well on your way down a new path to a healthy relationship with food and a healthy you.