Reclaiming Your Power From "Trigger" Foods

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Kisses.

For as long as I can remember, we’ve had a love affair. At times it has been a secret love affair (#shame!) and other times I’ve openly shared my passion for the chocolate and peanut buttery goodness.

For most of my adult life I didn’t trust myself near a an open bowl of candy, or anything more than one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Why?

Because once I started eating them, I felt like I couldn’t stop. I exerted as much self control as possible, but once I started, it was near impossible to deter the compulsion to keep eating.

And, when I’d white knuckle it through, resisting that open bowl or that second packaged cup, I’d find myself searching high and low to get my fair share in some other way. Long story short, I’d end up eating any sugary snack I could get my hands on.

The typical chain of events after eating ALL the food or candy was shame, embarrassment and self-judgement.

So, I villainized the food. Sugar is bad! It's addictive! Willy Wonka planned it this way!

I had to avoid it. At. All. Costs.

I stopped buying candy around any holiday. I couldn’t possibly trust myself around the open bags. When someone offered me a chocolate, I turned it down, knowing that there was no way I could stop at just one.

But the more I avoided these foods, the more I craved them. And the more I white knuckled it to control myself, the more I felt completely out of control around them.

It took a long time for me to understand that my efforts of control were actually setting me up. They were completely backfiring.

Why?

Because by fearing the foods, I was handing my power directly to them.  By fearing, villainizing and blaming the chocolate and peanut butter, I didn’t stand a chance to feel satisfied after just a couple.

Because I consistently viewed the food with a scarcity mindset, I had to get my fair share whenever I had the chance.

Have you found yourself feeling out of control, especially around that one food?

Open your mind to this:

Scarcity ----- > Lack of control ----- > Restriction ----- > Binge eating ----- > Harsh self judgement ----- > Pervasive shame

Annnnnd Repeat.

So, what’s the answer?

The opposite of scarcity.

Abundance.

Abundance is the way to stop fearing foods. Abundance is the key to releasing the power that you’ve felt food has over you.

Today, I keep an endless supply of Hershey Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups in my freezer. When the bag hits about half full, I pick up a new bag and refill.

Friends have told me there’s no way they could keep candy around 24/7. They’d eat it all in a night.

Right. That’s the point!

Because I have the food available all the time, I don’t feel the need to empty the bag. Some days, I might have a couple. Some days, I might have none. But, I get to choose. It's abundantly available to me whenever I want. No longer do I have to fear the stare down at the Wawa checkout or at the open bowl in the office kitchen.

If you want to end your battle with food, you have to open yourself try things you’ve never done.

How would things shift for you if you had access to that one food, all day, everyday?

It just wouldn’t be so special anymore.

 

I'm a therapist and coach in Horsham, PA. I'm on a mission to help women heal their relationship with their mind, body and with food. Do you struggle with anxiety, your body image or disordered eating? Contact me to discuss how I can support you along your journey.