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Bad Eating Habit Triggers


Your commute home was a bumper-to-bumper crawl or cheek to cheek with strangers, some without an intimate relationship with deodorant. All you want is peace upon arriving home. Instead, your lover starts snarling about work, your children have drawn pictures on your newly painted walls or your mother calls with concerns on your stale social life. Click, click, click…your emotional triggers are setting set off like a string of firecrackers on July 4. Gone are aspirations for a healthy balanced meal. Instead, your dejected self seeks out old comforts. Cheese laden macaroni and ice cream head most emotional eating lists. Keep your resolve strong for your weight loss journey and learn to avoid the pitfalls. Like getting ready for a hurricane or major snowstorm – preparation is key to survival. Like your body – in its current state. Sure, your hips are too big, and your belly might hang down to dimpled knees, but like your body anyway.  It might only be a shell, and one undergoing major renovation, but whatever its size – it protects something very special – you. Gaze at your hands and be thankful for the kind strokes they offer a crying child, scared pet or suffering friend. Be grateful your arms, in a hug, convey love and comfort. Does a cat curl up on your belly and sleep peacefully? Rejoice that your current physical state has given you courage to seek change. Do not let the media’s proclaimed perfect bodies make you feel inferior. Models show up for work with zits, fuzzy upper lips and proof they do eat pizza.  Thanks to Photoshop, when captured by the camera, evidence of their reality is whisked away skilled computer artists. If false perfections trigger you into bad dietary habits – remove them. Cancel your subscriptions and stop focusing on media that promote untruths.

You feel drained

When your body is at its lowest energy level, unfortunately, decades of television commercials have trained our brains to think only a sugar-laden candy bar or bag of chips can rid us of that fuzzy feeling. Stand up and walk to the candy machine or refrigerator.  Look inside, then with determination, turn around walk into the next room, the water fountain or around the block. Do not let work or family pressures derail your resolve. You are worth spending a few minutes spent recharging yourself.

Note the time

Chances are this the daily time when your energy sags. Be prepared with healthy snacks, a variety of teas and good walking shoes.

Preoccupation with Food

Turn on the television and food is everywhere. From the skills of master chefs to the glories of cupcakes and cakes, food is now celebrated 24/7. You would have to be superhuman to avoid this trigger. When your temptation is at its strongest, when Paula Deen creams another pound of butter or the Cake Boss discusses fondant? Before turning them off, experiment first and try eating something high in fiber like mango slices or oatmeal while viewing. If ingesting a bit of healthy food keeps tour emotional eating at bay – congratulations.  If not, turn off the T.V. and find a new hobby.


Stop and take a deep breath – literally. Pushing air into your lungs and lower abdomen refocuses you from deadlines, inconsiderate spouses other worries of your world that cause you stress. As you exhale, loudly if possible, concentrate on what is bothering you. Do not wimp out with a cursory “everything is bugging me.” Take several cleansing breath to determine the cause of your pressing need to devour a box of Oreos. Your honesty and courage will help you to recognize the signs earlier and refrain from falling victim to emotion eating.

There are many other triggers to bad dietary habits. Recognizing them is the first step to controlling them, rather than losing your resolve to them. If you are unable to achieve this alone, there is no shame in getting professional help. Accomplishing your weight loss goal might require different avenues of assistance.

About LJ Bottjer

LJ Bottjer is a citizen of the world, whose journey began in Manhattan. Now living in Northern California, her garden produces healthy food almost year-round and she enjoys biking, yoga and hiking. www.words4sail.com
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