Can’t stop thinking about food?

IMG_5134The single most universal problem that women come to me asking for help to fix, is not any specific food behaviors, but their chronic worrying and thinking about food and weight ALL. DAY. LONG.

Of course worrying and obsessing about food doesn’t usually help us eat less — in fact, if you’re spending all day long worrying about food, you’re probably also diet-binge cycling, eating emotionally, etc.

Unsurprisingly, the most common question women ask me is “how do I STOP the food thoughts in my head? How do I get rid of the noise?”

Now, I could go on endlessly about how it’s pretty difficult to stop the noise when your core self-esteem is attached to the way your body looks.

Or about how our attempts at food control are coping mechanisms in and of themselves when we feel out of control in other non-food-related areas of our lives,

BUT today I want to approach this question from a slightly different angle,
which is to ask you…

If fixing your food wasn’t a priority project in your life, how would you spend your time? What projects would you focus on? Where would all that energy be spent?

When I ask prospective clients this question, 9 times out of 10, they say they have no idea.

“Food is my hobby,”
“Food is what I do,”
“I don’t even know what my interests are outside of food.”

(which is why some statistics estimate that an actual majority of clinical nutritionists personally struggle with or have struggled with disordered eating — food is their “passion” and thus, they make it their careers).

It makes sense that when all of our focus revolves around “ending emotional eating” or “controlling our food” rather than developing new goals, new passions, new reasons to live, we end up staying stuck in the food noise loop.

Awhile back, I wrote a piece about how the only way to “deal with emotional eating” is to stop worrying about ending it, and start worrying about developing new coping mechanisms.

And the same goes for “food thoughts.”
Instead of trying “not to think about food,”
try actively focusing on something else.

Figure out what you care about other than food.
What excites you in this lifetime?
Explore other passions.
Get a new project.

And if you’re not sure what that would be, now’s the time to start exploring…

As Dan Millman, author of The Way of The Peaceful Warrior says,

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” 

Little food for thought.

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