2. Find a Replacement For Food
Try to replace the idea that you “deserve” that extra helping of ice cream because you are so tired and stressed that you need a treat, with a non-food treat. That “treat” can be one of the solutions mentioned above – extra help so you can get out – or it can be some material object you’ve been wanting, or some down time in front of the TV. Yes, I know exercise would be healthier, but we can’t always tackle everything at once. But there are ways.
3. Find a New Reward
Try to replace, in your mind, the way you reward yourself. A void will eventually be filled with something. If we deny ourselves the reward of unhealthy food, we need to replace that thinking with something else or our good intentions won’t last long. As with so many things, attitude is paramount. If we can switch our idea of a reward from food to a talk with a friend, a good movie, a book or magazine or some positive and reinforcing form of exercise, that void can get filled. Many people in Overeaters Anonymous fill that void with faith in a Higher Power and with friends who have similar issues. You may want to seek out a group of caregivers who have a similar problem, or you may want to join one of the support groups for overeaters in general. Most of us do better when we get encouragement from others.
4. Don’t Think Diet….Think Health
Try to replace the “I deserve this treat” with thoughts that “I deserve to be healthy.” Order a DVD that teaches dance steps, yoga or some other appealing exercise. Your elder may even get a kick out of watching you do the exercises. It’s a start.
Don’t think diet, think health. Believe that you deserve good health and that eating well is a huge part of that. We’ve all read diet ideas about keeping munchies like carrots handy. Good advice. But most of us willingly reach behind the carrots for the leftover cheese cake, anyway. We need to be kind to ourselves and realistic.
Step Away From the Donut: The Perils of Emotional Eating originally appeared on AgingCare.com