I know I can't be the only Mama at home with their children, wondering how you're going to make it to their bedtime. We listen to constant whining or fighting all day. We wipe boogers, change diapers, and negotiate our way through housework. We can't afford to go on road trips or to pay a babysitter, so we are stuck where we are at. We try to be good and avoid diving head-first into the fridge in a desperate attempt to eat ourselves through our frustrations. Sometimes we even feel like we might be hungry when we're really not.
Back when my son was first born, and I was starting to struggle with binge eating, I searched desperately for ideas, ANYTHING to help with distracting me from eating my feelings and frustrations. I found ideas, but they ALL cost money! Manicures, massages, you name it, they all cost money - and that was one thing we were VERY short on.
I vowed then that I would learn myself (through trial and error), ways to keep myself distracted enough while at home to avoid the dark chocolate in the pantry calling my name (or the graham crackers on the counter, I could go on forever). Here's what I came up with, and I hope it helps you!
1. Drink more water! Many times, if our bodies are telling us that we need water, it may feel like hunger pains. We are supposed to drink half of our body weight in ounces of water throughout the day. When in doubt, fill up that glass or water bottle and chug! If you're still hungry a few minutes later, you will know it's actually time to eat something.
2. Exercise. I am blessed in that I LOVE to work out (it's my "me" time) - but not everyone is like that. If you are bored or frustrated or feeling anything that is driving you to eat, suck it up, pop in your favorite workout DVD and get to work! I have found that if I am tempted to eat when I'm not really hungry, getting all sweaty and energized helps distract me - and the endorphins after a workout are SO much better than that guilty feeling we experience after a binge session!
3. Get outside! Okay, let's be realistic here: I live in Maine. It's FREEZING and the storms are ridiculous right now. This isn't always an option for us - BUT if it's nice out, bundle up those kiddos and get outside! It's worth breathing in the fresh air and running around after your kids - you almost get a whole new perspective on life just from being outside! This distraction is always free and you get to experience creation and the beauty around you. Let's face it: staring at the same walls all day would drive anyone to the point of insanity. Do what you can to get outside, go for a nice long walk, take your kids to the park if that's an option. Just move! :)
4. Brush your teeth. This may seem simplistic, but I'm telling you, it works! If you're feeling bored, or some other emotion that is pushing you to eat when you're not hungry, run to the bathroom, shut the door if at all possible (it takes my kid about 8 seconds to open the door, so I know how that is), and take 2 minutes to brush your teeth. It refreshes us and seriously, who wants to eat when your teeth are so clean and fresh? ;)
5. Journal/write. I'm not a person who has a ton of time to write. But I've found that if I'm reaching for food when I'm not hungry, there's usually something else going on. Why not write it out? Take a few minutes, and face the feeling you're dealing with. Writing it out forces you to confront it and work through it. We are less likely to try to feed that feeling if you've been able to work through it.
6. Start a Project. How many of us have purchased paint or other supplies to start a house project, and then left it sitting for months on end? If you're bored and thinking about that chocolate cake in the fridge (why do you have it in there, anyways?), pick up that paint and get started! Whatever it is, you will find yourself encompassed in the project and will likely forget about the chocolate cake.. for now, anyways ;)
7. Read a Book. Ok, we have kids. Things are crazy. But they have rooms, right? If you need a breather, send them to their rooms for 15 minutes for individual play time. Then sit on your butt and escape in a book. It can be any book - just take a few minutes to escape and you'd be surprised what 15 minutes of reading can do!
8. Put on Music and Dance! Who doesn't love to dance? It doesn't matter how good you are - get the kids involved, put on some great music and dance away! Dancing is a great workout, fun, and something you can involve the entire family in!
Did these 8 free ideas help you? Message me and let me know, I love hearing from you! :)
- Amanda :)