News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™ 
Joy, Love, and Peace for 2021
October 2021
Over-eating and Emotions

Overeating, Addictions, and Emotions
           What if I told you a new diet called the "It's Not About the Food" is gaining popularity and causing significant numbers of women to shed pounds along with old habits and excess baggage? I bet you’d at least give it a second glance, and perhaps even investigate further.
           Getting control over your eating is not rocket science. It’s not about counting carbs, reducing calories, eating celery, or drinking a gallon of water. Regular overeating, and therefore weight gain, is all about not dealing with your emotions, most especially fear. We’re looking for comfort and to fill what I call our “black hole of unworthiness.”
Usually underneath being overweight is a food addiction. Our addictive behavior started when we needed a way to comfort ourselves because we were feeling a ton of emotions and didn’t know how to handle what was going on.
           Attitude Reconstruction recognizes that unexpressed sadness, anger, and fear keep us stuck in destructive habits and keep waistlines expanding. We want to fill our emptiness or loneliness, mask our anger, or appease our fear. We're not present, and we're not relaxed. So instead of speaking up, we head to the candy stash. If a partner says something hurtful, we default to greasy potato chips. If we’re stressed at school or work, those second helpings help us feel relaxed.
The Prescription
           The Attitude Reconstruction diet prescription does involve physical exertion to help fix the problem, just not in the way we're used to. Emotions are just pure physical sensations, and if we express them physically when they arise or at our earliest convenience by crying out the sadness, pounding out the anger, and shivering out the fear with abandon, then we make conscious choices about what to eat, rather than automatically going for the comfort food.
Breaking a habit like binge eating is difficult. However, regardless of your addiction, whether it’s binge eating, beer drinking, porn viewing, or picking your fingernails, when the overpowering urge to say yes to your “comforting old friend” hits, there is an effective alternative. According to Attitude Reconstruction, at those crucial choice points, instead of justifying why this time is an exception and denying the good intentions you affirmed just this morning, pause for just a second and ask yourself “Do I need to cry, pound, or shiver?”
Then do it! Emote. Take just a couple of minutes and express whichever emotion is most accessible because that’s what really is screaming for attention. If you release the pent-up emotion in a physical and constructive way at those crucial choice moments, you’ll be able to calm down and make a more conscious decision. Each victory will feel like gold.
Besides all the real and imagined injustices and violations, restricting food intake will bring up anger. So that means, find a healthy way and safe place, to pitch a fit. Stomp around, scream into a pillow, or pound the heck out of cardboard boxes, while just making sounds or reminding yourself: "I am just feeling angry. I need to move that energy out of my body."
If you feel hurt, empty, helpless, hopeless, inadequate, or blue, cry, but while the tears run down your cheeks, tell yourself: "I'm just feeling sad. I need to cry. It's okay."
When you feel the impulse to wolf down something you know is problematic, shiver, quiver, tremble and shudder all throughout your body for a minute or two. When feeling anxious and releasing your fear, remember to accompany your physical movements with only nonverbal sounds (eek, brrrr) or reminding yourself: "I'm just feeling fear. It's okay. I just have to move the energy out of my body."
           So, say you’re feeling bored, frustrated, lonely, or overwhelmed by the day, the call, or the circumstance. Instead of stopping by the store for that quart of ice cream, first express your sadness, anger, or fear! Just a bit of full-tilt shivering, crying, or stomping, will release the energy that is behind the desire to binge and escape what you are feeling. It's like letting steam out of a pressure cooker.
           Just try it once, with vigor, and when you are done, savor your victory. Now you’ll be able to make a more rational and healthy choice about whether you are going to eat that box of cookies. Acknowledge each victory. Savor its taste.
Preplanning is essential to break your old ways of coping
To overcome an addiction preplanning is essential. Start by getting clear on your goal, write it down, and remind yourself of it often throughout each day, such as “I want to feel good about myself. I want to make a change.” Having a clear and precise idea of your goal will keep you oriented and motivated. Shout your goal at those choice points!
Also figure out what you can do instead after you emote… pick something that’s easy to do, constructive, and rewarding. Walking out of the vicinity is good. Take a modest portion and throw the rest away. Eat some fruit. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, eat slowly, and chew thoroughly.
           Be forewarned! You’ll have ample opportunity to make a new choice again in the near future when the next impulse and emotion arises. Maybe five minutes later, maybe an hour or the next day. Repeatedly let those emotions out, several times a day at first, and you’ll break the cycle. You’ll be on top of the world. You’ll realize that food is not going to fill you up.
And when you make a choice for the old, don’t beat yourself up. That won’t help. Be gentle with yourself. Shiver and start again now.
Hey Jude!

Does giving up an addiction mean I have give up my friends?

Often giving up an addiction means giving up some of the company you keep. Change means new choices. Your new routine should take you out of the vicinity of temptation. Just as it doesn't make any sense to have chocolate in the house if you're trying to break a sugar habit, it's not advisable to hang out with your pot-smoking pals when you want to quit getting high. Likewise, if you want to stop buying clothes, stay out of the shopping mall or cruising online.
Thanks for reading to the very end. I hope you found some strategies for working with your "addictions", or at the very least are reminded that you have a choice at every moment what to do. You are responsible for changing your behavior.

I'm always happy when I hear from you, even "feedback."

I wish you a good coming month as we roll into and through this holiday season.

With love,