I like food. Like many folks, sometimes I use it in unhealthy ways like to numb emotions or celebrate something good in my life.
Mindless eating is something I have noticed myself doing more in the last few months as I have started to live on my own. My weight has been up a bit, nothing huge, but more noticeable is how I feel when I acknowledge my relationship with food feels off.
So last Monday after my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, I decided to do something to help me stay more focused and accountable in the coming week.
I came home and drew up two signs, one for the fridge and one on the cupboard that holds most of the snack items.
The notes said: "Am I really even hungry? Food is my Fuel."
Am I really even hungry?
Yup, 5 simple little words.
Forcing myself to at least ask the question before I sit down with peanut butter and crackers for an evening catches me, and makes me think.
Asking if your body really is hungry can bring awareness to the times and reasons why you eat mindlessly.
I've started noticing more that if a show has a lot of food scenes or eating, I'll find myself thinking I "need" a snack; like the snack almost helps me enjoy the show more or something which is not true. I also have a history of mindlessly eating when there are unprocessed, big feelings swimming around; so that's a red flag I need to stop, journal, and get the emotional vomit out of my mind.
Getting more into running, I also enjoy looking at food from the perspective that food is fuel for my body, like gasoline to a car. The right fuel helps me feel good about myself and uses my body to its highest potential. Crashing on sea salt granola bars with peanut butter or mindless eating doesn't help me fuel my body properly.
Sketch up some notes on brightly colored paper. Use sharpie markers if that's you thing. Set some reminders for yourself to help you check in with yourself to see if you're eating because you're hungry or maybe "just because."