I made it to 3pm, my cutoff time for taking the stimulant. Hooray! In the meanwhile, I distracted myself, and the pervasive food thoughts emerged. I scrolled through probably 15 restaurant menus. However, as soon as I landed upon something I “wanted” the hunger pull subsided. It was then I realized I was not truly hungry.
Consider this: Have you ever felt an irritation that drove you to drive to the grocery store or restaurant/cafe, and once you set foot in the building, that irritation subsided?
When “the bully” in my mind was vanquished for stimulants, I did not feel a tangible reward come over me. Perhaps this is where food kicks in. Food is packaged to be appealing, the smells of a restaurant overtaking, and the boost from a coffee recognized immediately. Food, therefore, is a chase and accomplishment you know you can win. It is like a guaranteed smile from your favorite movie; a nice wrapped up story that you know the beginning, middle, and end. In this case, food is the plot and the hero is you. Once your story is over, or for me, when the chase is over, the reward/prize is gone, yet the longing remains. If you overindulged, then you find yourself to be the villain. Once again, the longing to be a hero again sets off another story and you may find yourself in a binge.
Change the chase:
- Make a list of what you need/want to do today
- Even if you do not want to force yourself to do the easiest one first. Perhaps it’s 20 lunges.
- Once you’ve done that, take at least 10 seconds to thank yourself with a physical, engaging movement; whether it be a fist in the air and saying “oh yeah!” or physically patting yourself on the back. The point is make it palpable.
- I like to have a physical list that I get to check off, though to some, seeing a physical “To Do” list may give you anxiety. So, if you want one that is less on your mind, there are apps such as Wunderlist where the completed tasks vanish after completion.
- Lastly, do not forget the fact we are social creatures and isolation is where our fearful thoughts thrive, if you have nothing to do today, send a text of appreciation to someone you know. It could be as short as “Hope you’re having a great day!” the point is not to wait for a thank you or response, it is knowing that if nothing else you showed someone you cared today, and that is a admirable.