Monthly Archives: July 2017

Are You Using Food To Silence Your Emotions?

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We all have to eat to survive. Food is fuel for our bodies and everyone knows that. However, food becomes much more than that when it’s used to try and silence emotions.

When we use food to silence emotions, this is called emotional eating. When it comes to eating this way, you might not even be aware that you’re using food as way to soothe your stresses.

Some people aren’t. They only know that when they eat, they feel better so they eat more. For those who are aware that they’re using food as an emotional crutch, they often find themselves in a cycle of deciding to stop using food that way and being unable to do it.

That’s because ending your habit of using food as a crutch isn’t simple an exercise in willpower. You have to first recognize what’s going on emotionally before you can fix what’s going on and put food use in its proper place.

What Is Emotional Eating?

When you’re an emotional eater, you’ll eat regardless of whether or not you’re hungry. Instead of letting your body’s signals guide you as to when you need food, you let your emotions decide when you want something to eat.

One of the key culprits behind emotional eating is having a lot of stress in your life. This is because stress is the umbrella under which a lot of emotions are found. Stress can lead to you feeling angry or grief.

It can make you feel irritated or anxious and cause you to reach for food to make those emotions feel better. When you engage in emotional eating, it means that the way you view food is out of its proper place.

You don’t see food as fuel, something that’s necessary for you to be able to live. Instead, you see it as a friend. It’s there to offer you comfort and it never lets you down. It’s always available and always takes your side.

This type of eating often lays the groundwork for eating disorders such as binge eating to develop. When your body gives off a true hunger signal and you eat, the hunger signal is appeased.

But that’s not the case with emotional eating. When you’re eating because you’re appeasing an emotion, you can end up having to eat bigger portions in order to pacify what you feel.

Then what happens is that the emotional eating leads to compulsive eating and it becomes almost like a drug habit. You have to eat more to be able to get the same satisfaction – the same pleasure that you got in the beginning of the emotional eating journey.

When emotional eating leads to compulsive eating, you can begin to experience health problems related to gaining weight. When you put on weight to the point that you hate the way that you look, this can make you feel worse about yourself. So then you eat even more.

Warning Signs That You’re an Emotional Eater

There are warning signs that can tell you if you’re an emotional eater or not. One of the first signs is that when things pile up on you at home or at work, in response to the accompanying stress, you want food to make you feel better.

Instead of thinking about going for a walk or doing something else to de-stress, you think of what you can eat. Stress causes a variety of emotions and if you crave food when you’re mad or hurt, when you’re feeling lonely or tired – that’s a sign that you’re an emotional eater.

The reason that emotional eating is so prevalent is because it’s not something that you plan to do. Emotional eaters have a subconscious drive to seek food when their emotions kick into high gear.

Food is the release from the emotions. Just like some people reach for alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to calm themselves, emotional eaters reach for food, especially food that’s not good for them.

Eating things like a piece of cake or a handful of cookies brings solace and after eating them, you feel better, even happy. But the problem is that the comfort the emotional eating gives you will not last.

Another warning sign that you’ve used emotional eating to the point where food has become your friend is when you are incapable of giving up food. The thought of not eating, of restricting yourself, makes you feel upset.

If you’re overweight, the thought of cutting back on food or eliminating certain ones is an impossible thought to entertain for long. You find yourself thinking about food even when you’ve just finished a meal or a snack.

Eating when you know you’re not hungry is a warning sign that the way you see food isn’t healthy. So is eating when you’re so full that your stomach is hurting yet you can’t walk away without eating the last bite.

You think about food to the point that if you have to, you’ll make an extra trip to the grocery store to get something. You begin to develop a close relationship to food. Relying on it to make you happy.

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To comfort you when you feel down. To love you when you feel lonely. It’s also a warning sign if you associate food with positive emotions. Emotional eating isn’t just about the negative emotions such as eating when you feel down.

You can crave food when you’re feeling good, when you’re happy as well. Because you feel happy, you want to celebrate with food because it has become a friend to you. Obsessing about food is a warning sign of emotional eating.

You might have just finished having a big meal but you’re already looking forward to what you’re having next. You can’t wait until a certain time of the day or night if you spend that time with food.

For example, some people de-stress by watching TV in the evening. Along with watching TV, they eat. They associate eating the food with helping them to relax. Instead of dealing with whatever emotions make them feel, they bury those emotions under food.

How Does Food Become a Friend?

Food becomes a friend when we practice emotional eating to the point that it takes the place of the normal ways to deal with emotions. When you feel emotions that you want to shy away from, emotional eating shoulders that burden for you.

It steps in as a friend that you could talk to only there’s silent communication. The first step in food becoming a friend occurs when you decide to numb the emotions rather than experience them.

Some emotions can be overwhelming – especially if you’re dealing with a situation that’s difficult. Food becomes a friend when you turn your back on whatever emotion is going on. Instead of dealing with the emotion, you shut it down with food.

Because we’ve been taught that negative emotions are bad, it can be easy to want to hide from anger or sadness. It can be hard to open yourself up and let yourself feel emotions that you may have deliberately buried because it’s too painful to free them.

Food takes away the sharp edges of emotion and pushes them away. You end up feeling food is protecting you from emotional pain. So therefore, food is a kind, reliable friend that you can always count on.

When you don’t deal with emotions, when you oppress them instead, food is available to make sure that you don’t have to hurt that way. You don’t have to grieve. You don’t have to think.

Food can also become a friend when you see it as a reward, as something that you get to have. You completed something that was difficult to undertake so you reward yourself with food that’s high in sugar.

When you eat certain foods, chemicals are released in the brain. For example, if you eat chocolate for comfort, it releases endorphins and you feel happy. It takes away the stress and the negative emotions. Other foods have that ability, too.

So you learn to crave these foods like you would a drug. Because you feel so much better after eating, you think of food these foods in the same manner you would if it were a person helping you. You begin to associate feelings of friendship with food.

Food Fills Physical and Emotional Voids?

Food is used to fill physical and emotional voids. These are places inside of us that are lacking. These voids are often created in childhood but because they’re not identified and dealt with, they remain with us, following us into adulthood.

We use food to fill a physical void that was caused by scarcity. If you grew up in a home where there was food scarcity, then you learned at a young age that stress was associated with not having enough food.

People who grew up in homes where there wasn’t always enough food, can develop an unhealthy relationship with it. The reason for this is because as kids, they picked up on the stress when their caretakers didn’t have the means to provide.

They might have witnessed the anxiety and felt the fear of the adults and they learned to internalize those emotions. Then when there was food in the home, they sensed the relief and the happiness their caregiver had.

Things became more pleasant. There was happiness because there was food. You witnessed that it could take away stress and bring happiness. So if you grew up without always knowing there would be food, it can be easy to think of food and not realize that you have a void associated with eating.

Subconsciously, you use food in the exact same way in your own life without even realizing that’s what you’re doing. You eat and the stress goes away and happiness is left in the wake.

Food can also be used to fill voids that are associated with a lack of emotions. If you grew up in a home where love wasn’t common place, it can create a void within you that wants to be filled.

Because we’re made to need love, we want to fill that void with something else. This can be something you do subconsciously. That’s why some people turn to avenues such as becoming a workaholic, becoming an alcoholic, using escapism and overeating food. They’re looking for whatever it takes to fill up that void.

Another void that food is often used to feel is the void of unconditional acceptance. When we don’t have that acceptance, it can lead to low self-esteem, a severe internal critic and depression.

Food fills that void because it never speaks harsh words to us. It brings comfort instead. It reinforces happiness. Instead of pointing out flaws or judging, food accepts us “as is” and we learn that no one else offers that complete emotional filling.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Let Food Be Your Closest Friend

It might seem like there’s no reason to change your relationship with food. You eat and you feel better. As long as you feel better, there’s nothing wrong, right? The problem is that this is creating a fake happiness. It’s not reality.

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Food shouldn’t become a friend because when you use food to mask emotions, whatever it is that you’re really bothered by remains pushed inward. Suppressed emotions can cause you to carry stress around and this is bad for your health. Choosing food over dealing with your emotions keeps you from having to deal with whatever it is that’s going on.

This is a way of masking problems rather than exposing them. Masked problems can often cause bigger issues down the road because you’ll continue to eat to feel better but you’ll only feel better temporarily.

When you treat food like a friend, you get caught up in a cycle of eating to soothe emotions. Then you feel better. However, that feeling doesn’t last. As soon as the same emotions or the same problem arises, you eat to soothe again. You end up trapped in a cycle that will never break unless you address the real reason you use food as a friend to start with.

People were meant to emotionally interact and connect with one another, for positive relationships. Not with food. When food is used as a friend, you start to count on it to make you feel better. You look to it for happiness and comfort rather than turning to a real life friend.

When you treat food like a friend, you’re emotionally eating and you’re training your body to connect joy with food. What this does is to create feelings that are not authentic. Your true self is going through the motions of an authentic life but you’re not living it because you’re not experiencing it emotionally.

When food is your closest friend, you open your body up to unnecessary complications. An unhealthy relationship with food almost always leads to weight gain, which can be significant.

This type of gain can lead to obesity. Then you’ll have to deal with physical and emotional complications. You can end up with high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes because of how a friendship with food will impact you physically.

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When Bugging Out Be Aware Of These Regional Threats

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If Disaster Happens And You Have To Bug Out…

You always hope it never happens, but if disaster does happen and you have to bug out, you need to be aware of the regional threats that could get you injured or killed. Even if you plan everything correctly and you execute your plan flawlessly during a bug out, you can’t foresee every single situation that you’re going to encounter.

It’s true that you should make sure that you have all your basic bases covered. You should have food, water, shelter and clothing. You should be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours with your bug out bag.

But you can’t afford to be satisfied with just preparing. You have to be aware of your surroundings. In your area, a threat could come out of nowhere. It could be one that’s huge and easily spotted or it could be one that’s tiny but can wreak a lot of havoc.

Some regions are packed with bears. While you might think that you know what to do if a bear attacks, the real key to survival is not getting attacked in the first place. You can do this by being aware of where you are and what’s going on as you bug out.

This is why you need gear like binoculars. If you know that a bear is sniffing around in the woods just up ahead, then you can take a wide berth around the animal so that you stay off his radar.

A bear doesn’t always attack just because a cub is near. He’ll attack if he sees you because he wants to protect what’s his and that’s his area. Plus, if you stumble upon him, the bear will lash out in startled defense.

You also need to be aware of where you’re putting your feet. Your region could have things like poisonous snakes. Just like a bear, if you startle one, he’s going to strike. Pay attention to things in your region like ticks or mice that can carry disease. It would not be a bad idea to have some tick spray in your bug out bag.

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Watch out for spiders that are common in your area that could be lurking along your bug out path. You also have to be aware of the weather. When your adrenaline is high and you’re booking it out of your house to get to safety, it can be easy to overlook the humidity and the heat index along with the high temperature.

Loaded down with your gear, you can easily overheat. Heat exhaustion can be a problem as well as sunstroke if you’re trying to get from point A to B in a hurry in certain regions.

Just as you have to watch out for the heat, you also have to watch out for the cold. Cooler weather brings with it the potential for hypothermia – especially in the elderly, ill or young children. Mylar blankets are very lightweight and easy to pack in your bug out bag.

If you’re constantly aware of your surroundings, you can prevent disaster from the threats that could cost you your life. Learn all you can about your region as well as any other region you might travel to.

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Finding The Best Location For You To Bug Out When The Time Comes

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When it comes time to bug out, you need to make sure that you’re heading to the right destination. It’s always best to have a plan well before a disaster situation actually happens.

You don’t want to leave anything to chance. If you haven’t chosen a site yet, you’ll want to avoid the mass mentality. Camping out and getting to the woods like touristy forest areas will be on everyone’s mind – so don’t go there.

Remember that during a time of chaos, being in a crowd of people isn’t what’s best. That old rule that there’s safety in numbers doesn’t apply when a disaster situation occurs.

It’s every man for himself. You want to make sure that your location – if you have to head out on foot – is somewhere that’s not as populated. Get away from the people. Head out deep into the woods in a pre-scouted location if possible.

Get to abandoned land spots that can offer you a place to gather your thoughts and rest. The location that you pick should be off the beaten track enough to keep you safe from people, but it should offer things like a water supply, a good area to set up a shelter, like a good camping tent, and the ability to hunt or fish – preferably both.

Work toward buying your own piece of wooded property that you can go too. This doesn’t mean that others won’t try to homestead with you, but it does mean that someone else won’t be throwing you off of their property.

You’ll want a location where you can see others coming so that you’re not easily ambushed. For homestead scouting, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind for when everything around you turns into chaos.

Having a good place to homestead can ensure your safety as well as your long term survival. Ahead of time, know the population count of the area. Figure out whether or not the area will become overrun from an influx of people trying to escape the chaos.

Look for any possible obstacles that might stand in your way that would keep you from reaching the location during a disaster time. The key to homestead scouting is to make sure that the area you pick will not be touched by the upheaval that you left behind.

The area needs to have a way that you can create a sustainable, renewable source of food. So that means you need to know the growing potential of the land. Not all soil is good for growing things.

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You’ll want to know what the weather is going to be like – because if you’re going to be using a rain barrel system, you’ll need to figure what the potential supply could be. You’ll need to make sure that the homestead area isn’t easily accessed by any major roads.

You don’t want those fleeing the chaotic situation you left behind showing up. Your homestead area should have shelter structures on it that you either planned for in advance or you can turn into long term shelter if necessary.

The area should also be one that isn’t in a flood zone. You’ll need room to house animals like cows and chickens to help sustain life. Prepare all of this before you need it if you can. If not, scout the location that you believe will allow you to be able to set up a new normal again.

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