One of the pit falls of eating is what I call “reward meals.” We get involved in a project whether it is physical or mental, which takes us hours or a great deal of effort and as we get exhausted by the task, the first thing our minds trigger in our thoughts is “I can’t wait to eat.” Being hungry never comes into play, because you are rewarding yourself for doing something that was either tedious, hard mentally or physically, it took too long to complete or there was some sort of adversity in it, etc.
We eat when we are sad; we eat when we are happy, when we are tired, when we watch TV, when we are at the movies, in social gatherings, when we are stressed, when we are anxious, when we are scared, etc.
If we were to treat our automobiles as we treat the body then we would put fuel in the car every time we are happy, tired, when we watch TV, when we are at the movies, at social gatherings, when we are stressed, when we are anxious, when we are scared, etc. While a gas tank of an automobile ranges in size, it always stays constant. So if you have a 20-gallon tank in your car, 20 gallons of fuel in the tank is all that will fit. However under this scenario, now we have to find additional places to hold the fuel. The back seat, the front seat and the trunk would have to be filled with fuel. We don’t do this because we are not crazy, maybe because of fear, we are aware of the repercussions that that would develop, because we know the inside of a car is not airtight and because automobile fuel smells awful and it is volatile.
The stomach is the size of a fist, so for explanation’s sake let’s say that that your stomach at its natural size is comparable to your automobile’s 20 gallon tank. So now we start the reward eating, we eat when we are happy, when we are tired, when we watch TV, when we are at the movies, in social gatherings, when we are stressed, when we are anxious, when we are scared, etc.
So now “our gas tank”, the stomach reaches its limit, and while it’s still accepting fuel (food) from you, and it is expanding from the size of a fist to the size of a medicine ball or larger, now it starts to store the food it can’t process. So it starts to put the food in your “back seat” (the buttocks), in your “trunk” (your thighs) and your “front seat” (upper and lower stomach). So the most notable difference in this case between your car and your body, is that the car’s gas tank can’t expand, but our stomach can easily go from the size of a fist to the size of a coffee table and beyond.
Why do we do this? We do this because the inside of the body is air tight and because fuel (food) smells and tastes great and is not volatile. This happens because we have NO FEAR where FEAR SHOULD EXIST. The body will eventually break down, the excess fuel (food) inside your body will in a short time smell rotten and with time it will be volatile.
WHAT DO I DO?: When a “reward meal” thought is sent to your body by your mind, the first thing we must take into account is that the body gets overheated by the difficulty of the task and/or the weather conditions of where the task is accomplished (too hot, too cold, too humid, etc).
1). Drinking water is the first thing that we should do. In fact we should always carry a bottle of water with us so when we fall into a situation described above, we can drink water little by little as we perform the task.
2). Take several deep breaths inhaling through your nose and expelling through your nose or mouth. When we are concentrating on a task we tend to do shallow breathing depriving the body of oxygen. DO NOT inhale through your mouth because you can only get shallow breaths and eventually hyperventilate that way and the only filtering device that we have for breathing is the nose, not the mouth.
3). Stretch your arms, shoulders, core, legs and neck. There are simple exercises that you can do to run circulation throughout the body that will relax you and help you stay focused and will deter your mind from sending you food messages. One of the most effective places to massage is the bottom of your feet and your hands. Use a tennis ball or get a ball at massage therapy.com that is designed to massage the bottom of your feet and bring circulation in the lower extremities. For the hands you can also use the massage ball or your other hand, squeezing and massaging each finger and thumbs.
There’s many other things that can be done to control reward eating and are explained on www.smartnesshealth.com
© Copyright – Hector Sectzer