In my latest book, Release Your Obsession with Cheat DAZE my focus is on excuses we use to cave into eating processed foods. You know, excuses like it’s my birthday, or it’s a long weekend, or how about, I’m traveling via cruise through parts of Europe. We learn young from childhood experiences that “goodies” make us feel better and if it’s an event or holiday even better.
Well now, with our “new norm” it’s about eating whatever, whenever because we are in a “lock-down” and heck might as well just eat if we might die anyway. Or, one friend said to me, ” I’m alone and I have nothing else to do but eat because I’m bored.” Or how Jenny who said, “I’m nervous and when I’m nervous I eat.” These are some of the reasons for binge eating I hear daily from patients, friends, and family as we power through these unprecedented times.
It’s not easy to stop life as we knew it and start life in a way that’s so foreign to our norm. It’s not easy to remain calm when we hear it may be worse come fall and that we’ll be back to square one. And for sure it’s not easy to spend days working remotely and evenings without friends and family for days and days that turned into weeks and now may turn into months. So….eating can be a comfort but it also can create anxiety, guilt and shame. There’s a better way…
The goal of Release Your Obsession with Cheat DAZE: Heal from the Inside Out is for readers to break away from the belief that food is going to make us happy, regardless of the time of year or festivities in place. The message I want to send is that you don’t have to be a Food Fester, gobbling up everything in sight, just in case you miss out, or because you are living a new norm that feels uncomfortable so we turn to familiar comfort foods because that’s comfortable..
Yes, food is a good thing—filled with nutrients, and definitely we should enjoy partaking in many of the holidays’ delights whether in lock down like this past Easter, Passover, and other holiday celebration at this time. The problem is when the foods become our only focus and eating is out of our control to the point of misery, shame, and worse—continuing guilt.
The problem is when we give in to the “treats” afforded by the standard American diet (remember SAD?), which consists of processed, unhealthy foods—often the primary offering during holiday time.
Perhaps we’re missing the spiritual food that fills us with love and light. Perhaps the promise of gifts and holiday cheer is steering us from the assurance of a Higher Source’s love, a gift that isn’t costly and covered in glitter and gold, but natural and ever-present for ALL for the taking, regardless of color, nationality, riches or not.
This is not to say gathering with family is wrong, for certainly it is not—strength in loving numbers is a good thing as family gathers to connect. And food is a part of that gathering, which is also not wrong. But today, during these trying times, we can’t gather in large numbers to celebrate.
Food often is part of a celebration with others, including friends, co-workers, and family. We long for the association with others. We long for family connection, but somehow the idea and its reality have merged into the image of food fueling our happiness and food becoming the happiness. No, that’s not what we want to do, because then we make the food our God—our everything, a step from the path, which only brings physical and spiritual ills and confusion.
The representation is that if we don’t eat the “celebratory” foods, then we’re missing out on the holiday season. Or in these uncertain times, we’re missing out on the comfort of favorite foods. Your merriment won’t be quite on target with forced spacing of loved ones. So you eat. And eat. And eat some more, until the food fog takes over, and we zombie walk our way through the restructuring phase I, II and III, packing on weight, guilt, and the jitters that the food fog brings, starting with the leftovers of chocolate Easter bunnies, decadent Cadbury Eggs, drinks, cookies and cakes. Perhaps you’re partaking in “happy hour” via Zoom with all the snacks and cocktails.
It doesn’t have to be a binge through COVID-19 outing but rather a healthy conscious “re-set” for all of us. A time to self-reflect on how we want to move forward with the opening and connecting that is to come at some point.
This is the time to get organized with our clean eating, exercise routine, writing and journaling, and connecting with our God of our understanding. For each of us this can be a time for a spiritual bath—an awakening that can be more profound than we can imagine.
What is your new norm looking like? How have you adapted to being confined to home without your family? Do you find this time is an open invitation to eat out of control? I’d love to hear from you and learn from you.
You can leave a comment by scrolling down to the section that says leave a reply. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hugs to you, I care!
Check Out My Latest Books:
Check out my newest book and explore why you eat out of control when it’s a holiday, birthday, vacation or just your plain ole “cheat day.” Learn the what and why about the foods you eat to better understand why food can cause your moods to swing, your cravings to soar, your weight to increase, your self-esteem to plummet, and your fatigue to rage.
No More Diet Mentality!
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.