Below is a worksheet written by Michelle Morand from the Cedric Centre for Counselling that I think might interest anyone who wants to know how to Free Yourself From Food Stress: How to know what, when, and how much to eat.
Its very step by step so I think you might like it. So, give this a try. And if you get stuck and want a hand, call me (250-216-9422) or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m here to help either online via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout, or in person at my office in downtown Victoria BC.
Remember though, the key to using food to cope less is to be getting your needs met. If you have lots of things stressing you out it means that you have lots of needs that aren’t being met. You are a human being who deserves to have all of her needs met. It’s not selfish or greedy to answer your needs:
This is how folks who don’t stress about food or weight naturally think when it comes to food, without even realizing it. And you’re going to learn how to do it too!
I suggest you print this out or carry it with you on your device (pretty much all of us have them by now) and read it over every day if you want to move through this quickly. Read it over whenever you think about eating if you want to move through this at lightning speed.
It is very common for people who practice this to notice an immediate sense of peace within and a rapid weight loss in the first week, while not dieting at all and instead eating what they really want.
How to get back to normal eating! A.K.A. How to decide when I need to eat, what I should have, and how much to have:
This is your handy handout for how to get back to normal around food. Print me out, carry me with you, refer to me often for a little while and before you know it you’ll be naturally just eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full, relaxing about your choices, trusting yourself around food and naturally looking fantastic without even trying.
1. When you’re thinking about eating, always ask yourself:
Am I truly, physically hungry?
2. And wait 3 full seconds….one thousand…two thousand…three thousand…for a response from your senses.
If you don’t wait the 3 seconds you’re instinctive brain will take over and you’ll hear whatever you want to hear in that moment. (Usually something like: ‘I don’t fricken care! I just want food!! I’ll check in later….really….’ – An irrational thought that we do not want to let go unexplored.)
Waiting that 3 full seconds and connecting to how your body is really feeling allows your frontal cortex to engage and for you to be tuned in to whether you are truly hungry or not. This prepares you well to feel good about eating (if you’re hungry) or to feel open to exploring what’s going on if you’re not.
3. Remember, if you have to wonder if you’re hungry or not i.e. Your answer is ‘I’m not sure,’ you’re not hungry.
If this is the case, this is when you need to pick up your pen and paper/hop on your computer and write out a list of stressors exercise (a Cedric tool for understanding and finding ways to meet your needs – ask yourself, what was I just telling myself and then what does that mean for me) to explore what’s making you feel overwhelmed and think irrationally at that moment. If you feel resistance to doing this, grab some food and your pen and paper. Don’t try to force it, just let yourself have what you need and add the writing/exploration. Overall you’ll eat less and you’ll learn something that will lead to the change you seek.)
4. If I am hungry – regardless of what time it is or when I’m next going to eat – I am going to have something to eat right now. How much and what I have will be determined by your answers to the following questions.
a. How hungry am I? (On a scale of 1 – 10; 10 being ravenous, ready to eat that horse and 1 being not at all hungry, comfortably full in fact – where would I place my hunger level right now? **Your answer to question plus the answer to questions b&c will help you decide how much food to have now.**)
b. How long will it likely be between now and my next meal?
c. What am I going to be doing between now and then; how physically active will I be?
d. How do I want to feel after I finish eating now? How do I want to feel later today? Tomorrow morning?
5. Based on the my answers to these questions: What would I really like to have that would also give me enough sustenance until my next meal and leave me feeling the way I want to feel now and tomorrow?
6. Enjoy – food is meant to be fun and tasty, not stressful. If you follow these steps you’ll have more confidence in your choices and be able to enjoy your food more. (You’ll eat less too!)
Two other questions that you may resonate with: If you like, feel free to ask these in lieu of / or as well as the ones above.
1. Is this choice going to help me get where I want to go/do what I need to do today?
2. How will this choice set me up for the attainment of my long term goals re. health and fitness?
Give this a try and don’t worry if it takes some practice.