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Self Care/Emotional Eating by Melissa McCreary

Monday, February 13, 2012

HIGHLY EDITED:
Self-care is not a luxury: it is a crucial part of weight loss. Self-care nourishes and soothes your soul and your spirit in a way that carbs never will. Your self-care goes far beyond good nutrition and includes adequate sleep, support, time for comfort and relaxation, physical activity, stress release, and maybe a shoulder to cry on after a tough day. It's usually a work in progress, and it often gets neglected.

Big mistake.

Self-care is essential. Life demands a lot of you, even while you are taking on challenges like weight loss and lifestyle changes. Ignoring self-care doesn’t mean your needs go away. Instead, IT MEANS THAT YOU are very likely to try to tend to them in ways that DON'T really FIX THE PROBLEM and may SOBOTAGE your progress.

Emotional eating (which can be a big cause of overeating, weight gain, and diet failure) includes eating due to stress, boredom, or as a reward for a job well done, especially if you are overloaded and overwhelmed. Emotional eating is really an ineffective (but tempting) substitute for self-care, when what you really craved was some nourishment for your spirit. Create peace with food; achieve lasting weight loss: make a Commitment to Self-Care. I know you are busy. Don’t worry. When you give yourself what you really need, you are likely to be more energized and productive.

1. Create a habit of checking in with yourself. This is how you start identifying the care that you really need. JOURNAL, or SCHEDULE 10 MINUTES at the start of your day to sit or walk quietly and reflect on your needs and priorities. Gradually, you will become more aware of what you need and how you feel. Self-care means paying attention to your needs and addressing them directly, instead of avoiding them or resorting to habits like overeating or procrastination.
2. Take small steps making yourself a priority. Put yourself on your calendar--plan and commit to meeting your needs. Set a goal of doing one lovely thing for yourself daily. Put flowers on your desk, take a short walk at lunch, or make time to call a friend and share a laugh.
3. Give yourself time to get comfortable. Don’t let guilt stop you; don’t feel silly. Learn and tweak as you try things out.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 3016DEBRA
    Excellent advice...sometimes we lose sight of the "little" things that really aren't little things. Rest, relaxation and taking care of our families are as important as maintaining a healthy weight! Thanks for posting emoticon emoticon
    2971 days ago
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