Help, I eat when bored!
Do you eat when you are bored? Whenever you have any downtime at home, do you promptly find yourself in the abyss of your kitchen searching for a new snack to devour? The kitchen seductively lures you into the cabinets, even if you don’t actually feel hungry?
Let me be honest with you. The two most common reasons people eat (when they are not actually hungry) is from stress or boredom. Funnily enough, these are opposite sensations. Boredom is not enough stimulation, and stress is an overload of sensation on the nervous system. But both are very common in our life!
I eat when I am bored!
So, in those bored moments, you might find yourself sitting alone watching television in the evenings, or having a rest on a Sunday. Because life can be a hectic juggle of ‘go go go, busy busy busy’, you find this sensation of ‘not doing’ quite uncomfortable.
Moreover, if we decide to eat when we are bored, it becomes a bandaid solution. Why? Foods high in fat and sugar will give us a hit of dopamine and endorphins causing us to feel good. But only temporarily. So, we will inevitably feel bored again. And most likely eat, again….(cycle repeat – forming a habit)
I see this boredom sensation as a wonderful opportunity to interrupt the dominant pattern and do something we enjoy. Something that stimulates us. Our feelings are never the problem, it’s what we decide to do with them. Ultimately, we can all learn how to respond to our feelings, bodily sensations, and emotions. And a great way for us to do that is to cultivate awareness of our behaviors. It’s like shining a light on a blind spot!
Empowering activity if you eat when bored
Grab a piece of paper or your journal. Ask yourself the following questions:
1} Why am I eating at this moment?
Often, it is not about what we eat, but more importantly WHY. ‘I am bored. I don’t have anything to do. I feel lonely.’ Ask yourself if you can wait until you are finished your activity and eat later? PS- waiting until hunger sets in makes food 1000% more enjoyable. Hunger is the best seasoning and spice! Food tastes so much better when we have an appetite for it. So learn to check in with actual hunger cues.
2} How am I eating?
Am I eating consciously and being present? Or am I eating fast and secretly so that nobody can see me? Are you hiding the wrappers? Are you eating fast and on the go? Am I eating mindfully and slowly so I fully enjoy my food?
3} When do I eat?
Am I eating every time I have an internal bodily sensation that is uncomfortable (such as stress, boredom or sadness)? Am I angry or frustrated? Lonely? Do I eat because it’s a certain time of the day?
4} What am I eating?
What are the types of foods you are eating?
Reflecting on why you eat when bored
These questions allow us to become compassionately curious about our eating. So, put on your investigator’s hat. Without judgment, just observe what is going on. Frame your writing around the central idea of ‘How can I learn about myself right now? ‘How can I grow?’
5} Identify your ideal
After answering these questions, we can then ask, what is my ideal?
If we don’t know what we want, it’s really hard to achieve it, right? Because we start doing all sorts of random things. But if those actions do not fully align with our desires and goals, then we won’t actually go where we want. So, decide your ideal way of eating and write it down.
6} What will you do to close the gap?
Then, decide what you are going to do to close that gap between where you are now, to where you want to be.
Take the first step to stop eating when bored
What is the one step you are going to do? You might decide, from now on, every time I am bored I am going to do this writing exercise. Or every time I am bored, I am going to do some exercise or do some art. It could be anything that resonates with you as something joyful. For instance:
- gentle stretching
- learn something new
- read a book
- call a friend
Boredom is not the problem
At the end of the day, boredom is not the problem. We can choose what we do with boredom and how we respond. This journaling process will help you identify where you are, where you want to be, and how you will close the gap! Eating when bored provides an opportunity to do something that gives pleasure, meaning, and joy! Let me know how you go. I would love to hear from you. Eugenia x
6 KEY STEPS TO
END BINGE EATING CYCLE &
RELEASE EMOTIONAL WEIGHT
Regain power over food!
Binge eating and emotional eating is not a food problem, it is an emotional problem.
We can’t rely on will-power to stop binge eating. In this e-book I am addressing the underlying reasons why we use food as a drug and what our body is trying to tell us.