Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eating Boredom

Emotional eating applies to many different emotions. One of the easiest to understand is boredom. And boredom is one of the biggest reasons why most people can't lose weight. It makes losing weight a real problem.

So what does one do with boredom? This is where you will find the weight loss experts replete with tons of advice such as:
1. call a friend
2. go exercise
3. have celery or some very low calorie vegetable to chew on
Think about it. These and a hundred different other options boil down to one thing and that is "do something about boredom." Escape it, run away from it, convert it to something else.

It all makes perfect sense, right?

Maybe I can put a slightly different twist on boredom. Boredom is the result of:
1. plans falling through
2, poor or inadequate planning

And if we can not let it be that our plans have fallen through or that we have poor planning, we will feel bored.

As opposed to denying it, trying to escape it, or convert it to something else (any one of which we might eventually do) let's first acknowledge it and how we feel about it.

"I'm bored and I dislike it or hate it."

Now if you can not let it be that you are bored, you'll do something about it and what you've been programed since childhood to do about boredom is eat. That's right, eat. Not go exercising, or calling a friend or grabbing celery--no you'll grab a comfort food.

This is all because we resist boredom. When you allow you to feel bored, it disappears and you no longer have to use comfort foods to dilute it.

Ok, so let's just experience and feel bored. But it's not that easy. We've also been programed since childhood to avoid boredom at all costs. Programs such as:
1. You shouldn't feel bored with all the things you have to do.
2. Boredom is no fun.
You can make up your own lists of beliefs you have about boredom. It's these beliefs and attitudes that you have about boredom that make it difficult for you to feel and experience boredom.

The good news is that as soon as you allow you to experience boredom, it disappears, but as long as you resist it, you will have to do something about it such as munch.

Let's take it to another level! Now if you can not let it be that you are bored and you munch, what are you eating?

Symbolically you are eating the clock (time that's been planned).

Sure the end result with feeling and experiencing an emotion might be that you end up calling a friend, going to exercise or something else but it won't be to escape boredom, it'll be as a result of planning.

Now if the end result is the same, you might ask why deal with boredom? It's because to be successful with boredom, it's important to acknowledge that you are diluting the emotion by eating the clock. You then have an opportunity to move beyond "I have an eating problem" to "I have a problem when plans fall through or planning activities."

You are now directed to the stressor itself and can stop blaming your over weight condition on food. Plus when you actually experience boredom, it's gone and so is the need to dilute it.

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