One way I use food to avoid life is by making endless cups of tea and coffee. It’s a great way to procrastinate.
I’ll get up from my chair with a sigh and walk away from whatever disaster or problem is unfolding through my computer screen – it could be an email I dread reading or a blank page that needs filling with words to meet a pressing deadline.
I’ll also get up and get a ‘food as a distraction’ fix if there’s something’s on TV that I don’t want to see, or when there’s some chore I want to delay getting on with. Invariably, once I’m in the kitchen making that seventh hot drink in about three hours, I’ll open the lid of the biscuit tin while I’m standing there waiting for the kettle to boil.
‘I’m just sneaking a peek at what’s inside the tin,’ I tell myself. ‘I have no intention of actually eating a biscuit. Heavens, no! I’m just looking, killing some time… oh wait, maybe there’s a broken biscuit at the bottom? Eating a small broken bit is ok isn’t it? That way I’ll just eat half a biscuit…’
So I strategically shake the tin to see if I can spot any broken ones. Happily, there are often a few pieces of broken biscuit in the bottom (a result of the vigorous shaking)… so I eat all of them. They’re probably equivalent to about two whole biscuits but because I’m just eating the broken bits, I tell myself that it’s barely half a biscuit really. A couple of bites, no more.
And while all this is going on, I’m not thinking or feeling about anything else. I’m busy with tea and biscuits. And I can do this for hours.
As Sherry Buffington, author of The Law of Abundance, says in the movie The Abundance Code, distractions are a handy way to not face life.
“It’s why in a difficult period, entertainment thrives,” Sherry says. Because when the going gets tough and reality is unpleasant, we distract ourselves with movies, binge-watching TV shows, glossy gossip magazines, gambling… even in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the one industry that thrived was entertainment. Why?
“So people can distract themselves under the notion of ‘maybe if I’m not looking at the problems, the problems will go away’ but they generally don’t go away until we face them,” Sherry says. “So buying into these distractions can be extremely damaging. It’s an easy thing to do but not the wisest thing.”
We all have our drug – or distraction – of choice. For some it’s alcohol or cocaine while for others it’s food and tv. Ultimately though, they serve the same purpose. These distractions are away to avoid our lives and our feelings. For those who use food as a distraction, the result is often a weight problem.
So what do you do if you realise that you’re eating to avoid facing life? Step one is awareness. Once you realise you’re doing it and you understand why you’re doing it, you can start making different choices.
Step 2 is taking a different action when you notice you’re doing mindless eating. For example, if you find yourself standing in front of the open fridge door and you didn’t make a conscious decision to stand up and go to the fridge. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself ‘what am I distracting myself from?’
Step 3 is addressing your ‘food as a distraction’ behaviour and offering yourself alternatives. One method is with EFT Tapping, for a tapping script you can use to address using food as a distraction, click here. (If you’re new to Tapping and need a ‘how to’ video, click here.)