Friday, December 16, 2011

The Power of Directing Your Feelings

Your thoughts along with your feelings create your actions. Your attitude can direct your thoughts and your feelings, just like your thoughts and feelings can create your attitude. So therefore it could be fair to say that your attitude is the key to creating your actions. But before we discuss that, we need to realize the relationship between actions and feelings. When I started evaluating myself and why I just couldn’t lose the weight, let alone have a 6-pack stomach... I looked at what it was that made me eat. Hunger, sure… but looking deeper than that, things became interesting.

I realized that I was like so many others. I linked food with emotions and feelings.
Much to my dismay and attempts at denying it, I had to admit to myself that I mostly ate for the wrong reasons. I ate when I was stressed, frustrated or unhappy. I even ate to deal with nervous energy or boredom.

If I was home frustrated and trying to escape my feelings by watching senseless, negative television… watch out! 2,000 to 3,000 calories of junk food could go down my throat in less than an hour's time!
I realize now that I had a food addiction. Something quite recently that Oprah admitted to suffering with herself.

In fact that is really the definition of addiction, isn’t it? Doing something -- drinking alcohol, smoking, taking drugs or eating -- in order to change an emotional state, to escape from a feeling, and/or life’s daily stressors. I was using food as a coping mechanism to feel better.

Do you ever do that?

This negative emotional connection with food, this powerful impulse to reach for unhealthy food, was a conditioned response and had to change, if I was ever going to release the shackles that bound me and reach my dream health or an overall better version of myself.

I also realized that these responses were conditioned responses, a reflexive response to stress or negative emotions. Emotions are normal and healthy, so I didn’t want to deny these feelings; but rather I could do things to prevent my disempowering responses, or in fact, change my responses. I could also start to exercise my "emotional muscle" and take control of the situations causing the stress.
So, I began to do things to change my negative relationships with food.

This is an excerpt from my book Mindset for Weight Loss which is available on Amazon.

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