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1 is Too Many and 1,000 is Not Enough

1 is too many and 1,000 is not enough …. I say this to myself many times when I am facing down a trigger food.  I know myself well enough if the conditions are just right for emotional eating (boredom, feeling like a victim to some sort of circumstances) that I have to put my guard up and protect myself.  Protect myself from the trigger food and downward spiral of emotional overeating.

Some people can eat just one of something…..if I am feeling one of my trigger emotions, I know that 1 is too many and 1,000 is not enough.  I can’t eat 1 or even 1 bite.  That may sound limiting or restrictive to some people but not to me.  The knowledge and awareness of myself in this way is actually very empowering.  The saying “knowledge is power” is applicable here because I have the inner awareness to know myself well enough to make empowering choices with trigger foods.  Just like Superman was powerful to all things except kryptonite, I know my kryptonites and I don’t go there with some foods in certain situations.

On some things, it isn’t black/white for me and I can eat in moderation.  Some foods (i.e. Krispy Kreme donuts especially) are a food (are Krispy Kreme’s really a food??) that I have to be black/white.  I have a friend that loves pretzels.  She could eat an entire bag.  For me, I can eat a couple of pretzels and be done with them.  No problem.

Last night I was irritated, annoyed and one of my trigger situations was going on.  I was thinking that I would just have “a bite” so this saying came to my mind.  Just “a bite” sounds so harmless yet that bite, for me, under the right circumstances can lead to more unhealthy choices for that day, stretched into a week or longer.  By reminding myself that this particular food item fell into the 1 is too many and 1,000 is not enough.  In fact, a few years ago when I regained 30 pounds, it started out with just a bite.  That bite led to many more (more than 1,000!!!) to a weight regain.  Thankfully, I lost that weight regain but gained a very valuable lesson of 1 is too many – 1,000 is not enough.  Even recently, I had a hard lesson of this again as I’m up a few now so I’m back to learning that yet again!  Certain foods, mostly sugary, grab on to me and take me down a road where 1 is too many – 1,000 is not enough.

What are Trigger Foods:

Trigger Foods are specific foods that set off a pattern of overeating where the person’s self-control toward the food is lost.  Usually, trigger foods are calorie dense and usually have combinations of sugar and fat OR fat and salt.

Examples of Sugar/Fat trigger foods are cookies, cake, ice cream, pie types of choices.

Examples of Fat/Salt trigger foods are potato chips, french fries, tortilla chips, popcorn with butter and salt types of choices.

I’m focusing on my issues with sugar.  I struggle with emotional eating and sugar, specifically sugar/fat combo foods.  I’m in the process of writing a post on my issues with sugar.  Whether sugar, salt or another substance, please check back (which I hope you do regularly!) for my inner work on my issues with sugar and emotional eating.

What are my Trigger Emotions:

In addition to trigger foods, there are also trigger emotions.  Trigger emotions can be any emotion – good or bad.  The particular emotion becomes a trigger emotion because it will ignite a period of overeating.  Knowledge and awareness are imperative with trigger emotions.  In order to manage your trigger emotions, you need to identify them first.  For example, if boredom causes you to want to fill your time (or enable your procrastination) by overeating, then boredom is a trigger emotion.  Whenever you’re bored (or experience any trigger emotion), you’ll need to create positive strategies to copy with those emotions without the aid or abuse of food.

What is a Trigger Environment:

A trigger environment is a certain situation, people or place that is the catalyst to set off a period of overeating habitually.  Examples of trigger environments could be visiting a certain family member, going to a specific restaurant, a buffet restaurant (all-you-can-eat!), movie theater, meeting with a specific friend.  Just as we must manage trigger emotions and trigger foods, we must become aware of these trigger environments.  First, identify the specific environment – people, location, event or get-together that sets up the habitual overeating.  With trigger environments, one way to manage them is to avoid them entirely.  If you can’t avoid the trigger environments (people, locations or events), it is imperative to create strategies that will eliminate (or reduce) your overeating.

For 1 is too many and 1,000 are not enough triggers:

Create some “Me Minutes” so you can identify your “1 is too many and 1,000 are not enough” triggers.  Identification is so important because when you are aware and acknowledge the triggers in your life, then you can create strategies that work for you so your triggers don’t shoot your healthy lifestyle to smithereens.  I’ve found by creating my own list of trigger foods, trigger emotions and trigger environments, and strategies for handling in a healthy positive way for myself, they become much less of an obstacle for me.

One of my strategies to combat emotional eating is to know my kryptonites, stay in control and remember that 1 is too many – 1,000 is not enough.  Make it empowering to you so you know your weak areas and turn them into successes you’ve overcome!!


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