Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why we eat?

According to psychologist Pavel Somov's book entitled "Eating the Moment" we eat for three reasons:

1. "to satisfy the need of the body,"
2. "to satisfy the need of the mind," and
3. "and out of habit when triggered by the environment."

Exercise 1--first 2 weeks

The following exercise from his book is meant to help you gain insight into why you eat.

1. After you ask yourself, "Why did I just eat?" keep a written log in a notebook.

Were you hungry? Did something in the environment trigger you to eat? Did you eat to cope, to address emotional needs?

If you ate out of hunger, write down "need based". If you ate because of stress, write down "ate to cope", and if you ate on a craving triggered by an environmental cue, write down "environment triggered". If several difference reasons coincide, try to determine the primary motive for eating.

Exercise 2--second 2 weeks

After completing the first exercise, move on to this one. Ask yourself before you eat "Why am I about to eat?" After you clarify to yourself the reason you are eating, then eat or don't eat. For right now, you make the conscious decision. Continue with this for as long as you feel as it is helpful.


So this is my assignment from the nutritionist for the first month.

I did something like this before in therapy many years ago. It was a little different, as I was to write down how I felt on a numbered scale (1-5 or 1-10, I think) when I ate; it wasn't important what I was eating, but why. It was actually helpful. I was still having some issues with bulimia at the time. I did learn a lot about my own triggers and patterns and ultimately at least become conscious of why I ate, which was the whole point. I was definitely an emotional eater. To this day, when I get angry and feel trapped and pushed to the brink of stress, I want some chocolate. Half a regular-size candy bar is plenty.

The writing down everything I ingest is driving me nuts. How many bottles of water did I have today? And I'm supposed to write down my exercise. I consider cleaning the entire house exercise--it takes all day, and it wipes me out. And I don't care what anyone else says, a big solo Costco trip is exercise, too. That store can be full of frighteningly fertile people with a well-developed sense of entitlement--many of them unpleasant--and that could make anyone need a nap afterward.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.