Mistaken Identity---How we mistake hunger for other things
Posted on August 24, 2011 by Cheryl Cope
How to recognize when we are mistaking hunger for something else and suggestions to help stop that cycle.
How often do you mistake hunger for something else? Thirst? Boredom? Comfort? It’s the mistaken identity syndrome.
Stop Mindless Eating
Before you mindlessly reach for that junk food, STOP, and ask yourself, “Could I actually be thirsty and not hungry?”. Drink a full cup of water and wait a few minutes. Perhaps your “hunger” will disappear.
Are you eating out of boredom?
STOP, and ask yourself, “Could I actually be bored and not hungry?” Make a list of things to do when you get bored that have nothing to do with food. Post the list in a spot where you will need it the most (your fridge, near your desk at work). The things on the list will be dependent upon your personality, but a few ideas are to do a crossword puzzle, intercede for someone, go for a short walk, call a friend.
It’s not hunger…it’s loneliness, emptiness, depression, rejection, grief…
STOP, and ask yourself, “Could I be in need of comfort and not food?” Pray and ask the Lord if you have any emotional needs that are driving your mindless eating and what they are. Depending on what the Lord says, come up with healthy ways to fulfill those longings. Again, this can be anything but some typical areas of need are to spend more time in communication with God, to spend more time with family or friends, or to give of yourself in some way, perhaps volunteering for a cause.
What you at first perceive as hunger, is not always the case. Make a mental note of or write down these three questions (underlined for your convenience) and then use them whenever you are tempted to eat in a mindless way, especially outside of regular mealtimes.