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Comfort Eating (part 1)

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Heh. I put part 1 as I will probably end up mentioning it again.

I have a litle interactive thing for you to do tonight. 🙂

Firstly, I want you to get some paper and a pen. Go on, I’ll wait.

(note: Get off your fat ass and get some paper.*)

Got paper? ….. I’m not continuing until you do.

Now? You do? About bloody time. Good Let’s continue 🙂

Right. Comfort foods.

Simply what it says on the label. We want to eat these foods because they comfort us. However, the problem is that comfort foods can be more than just the unhealthy foods that we see everyday. a.k.a chocolate, crisps (chips), french fries (chips!) and burgers, pizza, cakes, etc. Sometimes comfort food is “normal” food.

What makes a comfort food? Is it the high calories? Is it the “I shouldn’t be eating this I’m so naughty.” or is it the connections we have to it? Well, in reality it’s a little bit of all three. The connotations of eating or doing something we shouldn’t plays back to the simplest of human psychology. I can’t have it, so I want it. That’s why restrictive diets that completely cut out “bad foods” don’t work! The body wants what it can’t have.

Fair enough, if you don’t like chocolate, don’t eat it problem solved. But if you’re the chocolate nommer of San Diego then we’re in a bit of a pickle aren’t we….

Anyway. What I want you to do is think. (OOOooh tough I know, but don’t hurt yourself!). Think. What’s your guilty pleasure? Is it roast beef? Chocolate? Hummus? Rice Pudding? Coconut? Peanut flavoured soup. Write it down.  Is this food one of your compulsive eats? Doesn’t matter if you think of more than one, write them down on seperate pieces of paper and after we’re finished you can do it again if you want. (It may help if you do). Again, knowledge is power.

Right. Think about how this food makes you feel. Question why? Explain why. Ask Why again?Let me offer an example as a support. A comfort food for me is Chocolate. (Baring in mind I haven’t eaten chocolate in three days, I’m going to go insane if I don’t have a little nibble of some soon….)

Okay so Chocolate  makes me feel happy. Why? It tastes nice and I associate it with a treat. Why? Because when I had a good day at school, my mum would treat me to a chocolate bar. Chocolate was a treat, therefore I want it all the time (slight exageration) to emulate those feelings reinforced from childhood. Understand? I hope it makes sense. Another reason? Often when I’m on my period (sorry guys) chocolate was given to me in an attempt to cheer me up/make me feel better. Does it work? No, however, this reinforces the IDEA that it might.  Yes?

The IDEA that we are going to enjoy this food is a comfort to us.
I’m going to follow with another story of my childhood. xD

When I was in primary (elementary) school, my gran and mum used to take me to a little cafe sometimes called “La Sparenza” (if you can translate this for me in the comments that’d be grand). I used to get a filled roll (barm, bun, dunno what you call ’em) for lunch. The whole cafe used to smell like chicken tikka and that was was I would get on this roll. Chicken Tikka. The oddest thing about this chicken tikka was that it was pink! Not red, not reddy pink, bright pink! PINK. HOT PINK.  But it was so lovely. Even today I can barely remember the dusty white flour from the rolls cloudying up my fingers, the sweet chewy taste of the chicken tikka, the smell of my gran’s coffee, but I would still love to taste that chicken tikka again.

One day not so long again I went back to La Sparenza to get a filled roll and looked around for my chicken tikka filling. However, I couldn’t see it so I asked the woman behind the counter.

“Oh! Did you stop serving chicken tikka?”

To which the woman looked at me in confusion before pointing to a mouldy-brown coloured filling with a few lumps of chicken sticking out of it.

“It’s right here.”

Well, needless to say I was gutted. They changed the recipe. They ruined my chicken tikka, and to this day I have never found my lost pink chicken tikka filling…. 😥

However, the principal is the same. We want to emulate those feelings of comfort and safety we found as a child, especially with stressful situations, oh I’ll come to that in a later post. Don’t worry!

 

Anyway, once you discover why you eat these things and why they bring you comfort, you can enforce new foods in a similar way, such as salad or healthier foods. Maybe even remove the temptation to eat these foods. However, I should prolly point out it is NOT a good idea to cut out comfort foods altogether straight away. If you stop completely you’ll yearn for these foods and end up overdoing it. No, the trick is limiting it, or making space for it by exercising or cutting back on some other luxury. At least, that works for me. I substitute sweet things with my weightwatchers jelly. It’s sweet, comforting and at only 10 calories, I can have 19 more before I eat more than the calories in a chocolate bar….. given that I can only eat three at a time, that’ll be a laugh.  The trick is finding the foods that work for you.  I stress the importance of this. If you have to eat three pounds of  ham and a packet of cheesy wotsits, chances are, you’ll be better eating the cheesy wotsits right amirite?

Kind of….. it’s not healthy, but it will stop the pounds creeping up. Well, there is some level of hard work involved here guys. Self control. It sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but I’m really not. Like I said, find your strengths and work to them make it a little easier on yourself by working harder. 🙂

Anyway, I hope that made some sense and you learned something new. 🙂 Later’s taters. x

*If you take offence to this you are acknowledging that you have a fat ass and that my comment was directed at you personally which it was not ;P

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