They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I say it starts with a trip to the bathroom. Or maybe a visit to the ATM.
The other thing that can launch a journey of that magnitude is an epiphany.
I had that kind of moment recently. I was sitting at my desk with a computer mouse in one hand and a box of Lucky Charms in the other, when it dawned on me that the first step toward change is a willingness to seek the truth.
Emotional eating and truth don’t usually go hand in hand. In fact, denial often launches our binges as we eat to avoid pain or stress. And once we start eating, denial keeps us going strong. After all, do we really want to know how many calories or carbs we’re consuming? I think not.
But lately I’ve been trying something new. Whenever chaos, change, or crisis threatens to send me on a junk food safari, I’ve tried hunting for the truth instead. I ask myself three things:
1. Am I experiencing any discernable signs of real hunger? Stomach pains? Fatigue? Headache? Anything at all?
2. If not, then what am I feeling right now? Sadness? Loss? Stress? Can I put a name to my emotions?
3. If I close my eyes and imagine myself experiencing different emotions, does the craving suddenly feel a little less urgent?
The next time you feel the urge to merge with all 19 doughnuts left over from your son’s science club meeting, reach for the truth instead. Ask yourself what you’re really feeling.
Then pay attention to your answers. The answers just may surprise you.