Search This Blog

Saturday, January 8, 2011


In 12-step programs, (specifically Food Addicts Anonymous that I once attended), there is an acronym folks are told to be mindful of when going through their day:  HALT.  It means in order to maintain your (sobriety, abstinence, etc.) you should not let yourself get too:
  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired
I can attest that in my own life, these can be a fast track to sabotaging a good eating plan.

If I am too hungry, I can eat ravenously and not even pause long enough to see if I'm getting full yet.  Or I will eat the wrong choices because I just don't care..I'm hungry, after all!  To keep hunger at bay, I know I need to keep healthy snacks nearby and try to not skip meals (or wait too long between them.)

Growing up, I was taught by society that anger was a bad emotion.  "Good girls don't get angry" was the message.  We must not get angry, just forgive people and make nice.  Blah blah blah.  This is  a dangerous message in my opinion, because anger can be very healthy and help move us to positive action.  But I digress.  Since I learned I shouldn't get angry, when I do get angry, I don't have great tools to deal with it.  I need to "stuff" it down, which can lead to overeating. It's better for me to avoid conflict or confrontation or seek a peaceful place quickly, than to stay in and around anger.  (Note: some conflict is healthy, too.  I'm talking about the kind leading me to anger.)

Loneliness is probably my biggest trigger for overeating.  And why shouldn't it be?  I have spent the better part of my life living alone inside of myself.  Just me, my thoughts, and some good bread, cereal or other refined carbs to keep me company.  Just today I found myself in a deeply "alone" place and I walked right into the kitchen and self medicated.  I need to cut it out.  I need to have a better game plan.  Maybe taking out the deep loneliness on the treadmill would have been better.  Or being around people.  There's a thought. Remember one of my goals this year is spending time with people.  I have to figure out how to make that happen.  What I'm currently doing is not working for me and could be the undoing of this whole thing.  I'll make this a topic in future blogisodes.  (is that a word or did I just coin one?)

When we are tired we tend to not feel like chopping, dicing, measuring, cooking etc. and so we go for the quick and easy (and oftentimes unhealthy) choices.  I think when we're tired, we should rest.  And as we plan our days, make sure we aren't burning the candles at both ends.  Build in some down time and a good 8 hours of sleep at night.

Next time you find yourself running to the kitchen in a bit of a frenzy remember HALT.  Are you REALLY hungry or is there another trigger sending you in there?  For me, just identifying that can be enough to preempt a binge!

1 comment:

  1. Carly, i completely understand lonliness. I dont want that for anyone else. please call or text me, i can be there for you. As it will help me also. your loving friend. Rhonda


Sorry to make you type in the "word verification" but I have been getting a ton of spammers lately. Just type in the word that you see and it should go through.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...