Monday, August 3, 2009

Chapter 2: What Really Makes You Eat

About a month ago, I started and five days later stopped reading "The Beck Diet Solution." I suppose I stopped reading it since it imposed on my free-for-all eating binge that I've been on for the last few weeks, even months. This is another reason why I wanted to commit to writing about my progress. I have to think about the content more than if I was just reading it in passing each morning. Reading "Day 2: What really Makes You Eat" has made me think more about my reasons for eating. Just like Dr. Beck says, it always starts with a trigger and thought.

The key things that I learned today are:
- Although it very much seems like it is, eating is a choice it is not automatic.
- Eating starts with a thought which is brought about by a trigger.
- Triggers can be environmental (see, smell food), biological (hungry, thirsty), mental (thinking of a past food-eating experience), emotional (feeling happy/sad/bored) and social (friends/family encouraging you to eat).
- How you respond to the thought that comes after encountering a trigger, will determine whether you eat or not.
- Responding to these sabotaging thoughts is a skill that can be learned and will help keep weight off permanently.
- Which muscle do I want to strengthen? My resistance muscle, or my giving-in muscle?

This made me think about what happens when I eat (overeat). I don't crave junk food at mealtimes, but between meals, I'm always thinking about snacks and not the fruit and vegetable variety either. Especially if I'm alone. I think to myself: I'm alone, what can I eat now? Is there any ice cream in the freezer? Did we buy any treats this week during grocery shopping? Are there any leftovers from last night's dinner?

Rarely do I question the sabotaging thought to eat; the thought snowballs into action. I start hunting the kitchen. At times, I've resorted to eating baking chocolate. If nothing is available in the house, I'll start thinking about the food possibilities available by car or at the grocery store in the building at the office. Sooner or later, my thought about eating leads to overeating.

So with no specific tasks for today, I'll start to question when a trigger plants an eating thought in my head. Now that I know that I'd rather strengthen my muscle to resist.

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