Monday, November 23, 2009

Why do we overeat?

Overeating is about a lot of things. It is about how we feel about ourselves at the, about self-love and self-loathing. It’s about feeling off balance and disconnected. It’s also about what’s going on in our bodies on a cellular level and about how tired or how stressed we feel. Food abuse has to do with the quality of our relationships and the environment in which we live. It has to do with what our hormones are up to and what season it is of the year. Destructive and/or healthy food behaviors tie in with our attitudes about ourselves and others and the world we live in. It is also about the messages we have carried with us from childhood. What we eat, where, when, how and with whom we eat, are all important pieces of information for us to explore if we are to serve our bodies well and manage our own needs effectively. Selecting what we put into our bodies and the ways that we manage that process are complex phenomena. Urges to eat are amazingly strong and we can feel overpowered by them. We may sometimes feel that we have no say in the matter at all. Urges overwhelm us. We feel helpless to stop or control them.

To be successful at managing eating behavior, it is helpful to understand why reasonable eating is so difficult to accomplish. If we have no idea why we are doing something, our chances of changing that behavior are minimal. Instead, we tend to view our behavior as mysterious and beyond our control. If we examine some of the motives behind our out-of-control, usually emotional eating behavior and gain insights into our own personal reasons for overeating, we can demystify the process and empower ourselves to make different, informed choices.

In the weeks ahead, I will shine a light on some of the reasons we overeat at times. Meanwhile, when you have urges to grab those cookies and chocolate bars, sit still for just a moment, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and see if you can pin point why you are heading towards the treats in your cupboard or in the candy machine. Sometimes just breaking the cycle by doing this can help you ward of your Chew.

Meanwhile, be gentle with yourself and enjoy your day! warmly, Dr. Denise

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