Food: Do You Play the Blame Game?

by Joan Kent, PhD

Does your eating ever go off-track? Do you sometimes eat more than you “should” or foods that you “shouldn’t”?

This post poses 3 questions on eating behaviors.

Who (Whom!) Do You Blame When Your Eating Goes Off the Mark?

I always blamed my mother. She pushed food on me relentlessly, whether I wanted it or not. When I didn’t want it, she told everyone I was a picky eater.

But I wasn’t a picky eater. I was just constantly pushed — even forced — to eat food I didn’t want. It never gave me a chance to be hungry.

So eating food I didn’t need originated with my mother.

BUT!

My mom tried to sway me in other ridiculous ways — like making me afraid of dogs — and those didn’t work. Why did I let this food thing in?

Taking 100% responsibility means not blaming my mother for any mindless or unnecessary eating. I made the behavior mine, for better or worse.

Let’s explore 2 other eating behavior questions.

WHAT Do You Blame?

When it’s difficult to resist desserts or other junk you know isn’t good for you, WHAT do you blame?

I always blamed my sugar addiction.

Over 25 years ago, I was writing, reading (in varied science journals), and teaching my clients about sugar addiction.

That was way before everyone started comparing sugar to cocaine or heroin, or saying sugar was the most addictive of all.

And my sugar addiction was obvious (to me) many years before that — before anyone even acknowledged that sugar is addictive. Many people smirked when I mentioned it.

Sugar addiction was my go-to scapegoat — the reason for any struggle I had with food.

But taking 100% responsibility means I can’t do that anymore. As the world’s foremost(!) Recovered Sugar Addict, I know my recovery is the point.

It eliminates my old excuse completely.

So when my eating goes off the mark — for me that’s usually more about quantity when I’m stressed, not junk I shouldn’t have — I don’t have my sugar addiction to blame anymore.

It’s all about me.

I have to deal with stress in other ways.

What have you been blaming for any bad — or odd — food habits you may have?

Finally, WHEN Do You Blame?

Once you’ve identified WHO and WHAT you blame for your eating “excursions,” the next step is to identify WHEN you resort to blaming those people and things.

This can go a bit further than simply recognizing your triggers for out-of-control eating.

It’s helpful to know that you binge eat — or eat the wrong foods — under stress, for example. But does stress instantly trigger blame, a finger-pointing response?

In this example, stress may not always push you to get into blame, even if it does push you (maybe consistently) into out-of-control eating.

I’ve noticed that I get into blaming when I feel somehow victimized — say, when one thing after another is going wrong, and it feels as if that will never end.

And that’s when my other blame patterns come up — blaming my mother for pushing food on me, or blaming my sugar addiction for making me so sensitive to certain foods that it’s necessary for me to be overly rigorous about controlling what I eat. Yeah, poor me.

You know your Who and your What. Can you identify your When?

How will you take responsibility for your eating behaviors? More importantly, how may I help you?

If you’d like help with any aspect of your eating, including exploring or ending food habits that have been standing in the way of your good health and good moods, perfect. That’s what I do. Just visit www.FoodAddictionSolutions.com/Coaching and grab your free Last Resort Nutrition® intro. Find out how easy and painless it can be to get foods working for you, not against you. Small changes can yield big results!