Why do you overeat?
“Because there’s too much stress in my life!”
And who is responsible? You are!
According to Dr. Ed Beckham, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, you may be partly to blame. You may be adding unneeded tension to an otherwise uneventful day. Then, stressed-out at the end of your sabotaged day, you overeat and binge until you can barely move.
What is the recipe for ruining a perfectly nice day?
1. Overschedule. This is a way to produce inordinate amounts of stress. By planning to do twice as much as can humanly be achieved in a single day, you have assured yourself of failure, with the feelings of stress, worthlessness and frustration that accompany it.
2. Worry. It really doesn’t matter what you select, so worry about anything and everything. By worrying about those things that are beyond your control, you have generously contributed to your stress.
3. Personalize. That’s right. Take every mistake or negative occurrence personally. React as if any error in judgment was aimed at you. If you are caught in a traffic jam, consider it an intentional effort to make you late. If it begins to rain while you are out shopping and you are without an umbrella, take this as an act of nature personally directed at you. By the day’s end, you will have experienced the required amount of stress to trigger your next great binge.
4. Be Inflexible. Remember that everyone must do things your way. Demand it! Insist that things must go your way. And since this is simply not possible, you have guaranteed yourself a profound sense of frustration, powerlessness and stress.
5. Demand Perfection. Demand and expect that nothing ever goes wrong. Expect an error-free world. Since an error-free day is rare, and even for the best of us things go wrong, you will find it easy to feel miserable. Even on a day in which things go well ninety percent of the time, there is still enough reason for you to feel stressed-out and frustrated.
6. Be Humorless. Treat a small negative occurrence, failure, or error, no matter how minor, as a terrible tragedy. Do not laugh off trivial infractions and mistakes, whether they are yours or others’. Be grim, unhappy, and frustrated and, by day’s end, you will be filled with great stress (stress that you have created with virtually no help from others).
Since many react to stress by overeating, a change of attitude towards the normal day’s events can dramatically affect your eating behavior.