I know that eating less and exercising more will result in weight loss, so why don’t I just do it? What’s getting in my way? Or, if I do succeed in losing a little weight with a diet why do I usually regain the weight I lost? Why can’t I hold onto healthier habits as a way of life? Why do I overeat despite my best intentions?
The simple reason is that when I diet or go on an exercise program, have surgery or use pills and achieve my goals, I have only addressed the symptoms. According to Alcoholics Anonymous, I need to get down to the root causes.
As long as I treat the symptoms (the weight, or the outward manifestation of the addiction, the weight will eventually return, usually bringing along a few extra pounds with it!
In speaking to people who have successfully addressed their root causes and have achieved long-term success with food addiction, I identified seven common symptoms exhibited by these people, prior to achieving success.
The 7 Common Characteristics of Emotional Eaters
Nothing is ever “good-enough.” I constantly seek to be better, do better, feel better. Life is all about looking good to others. But underneath is the evastating belief, “I am not enough.”
- Tendency to be hyper-vigilant, controlling, judgmentalI am filled with fear and try to control situations and people to insure safety. “When is the other shoe going to drop?”
- Tendency to live in my head; Do not inhabit body
I am very rigid in my thinking. “I ate one donut. I blew it, so I may as well throw in the towel and keep eating.”
- People pleasers and afraid to say, “No.”
I defer to others and make sure I don’t “rock the boat,” so I don’t stand up for myself.
- Take care of others at their expense
Other’s needs are more important than mine. The only way my needs get met is when I do it myself. The thought of asking for help is out of the question, since it means I am admitting I am less than perfect.
- Fear of anger, conflict and other intense emotions
In order to remain safe and in control, it is better to ignore threatening situations and emotions.
- Filled with self doubts, not sure what “normal” is
I am never sure what is “right” so I check what others are doing and copy someone who looks like s/he knows what should be happening.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I am never happy or satisfied with myself, nor with others.
Sandra Lenington, MA is an authority on the psychology of recovery with a purpose of assisting others to experience the psychic change that is sufficient to assure a life of irresistible joy and balance. As a life-long learner and lover of new and fun techniques, she insists that recovery be joyful…otherwise, why do it? The bottom line? If it doesn’t work, try something else!
She also trains other coaches and previously has worked as a physical therapist as well as having owned several companies that develop websites; she has worked for NASA as a research engineer.
International author: Overcome Addiction Now and End Emotional Eating: 40 days to freedom from food