Saturday, June 16, 2012

What triggers you?


Triggers

Riva plopped into a seat and sighed. “Ice cream is such a trigger food for me.  Yesterday, I had a good day at work and I was happy.  I came home and I was chilling in front of the TV, when all of a sudden, Ben & Jerry’s was calling my name.”
She leaned in, her tone emphatic.  Calling my name.”
She sighed in disgust, clearly feeling hopeless.  “Nothing was wrong.  I wasn’t upset or worried about anything.  I just have no willpower.  I’m addicted to Chunky Monkey.”
I asked what she had been watching on TV.
Riva lifted her shoulders, shrugging.  “Just an old rerun of Charmed.  I love that show.”
The episode highlighted conflict between the sister characters.  Riva began to recall the difficult relationship she had with her own sister.  The episode had stirred up feelings of loss, betrayal, anger and sadness about her relationship with her sisters. 
However, these feelings were so intense that Riva could not let herself be consciously aware of them.  She immediately turned to ice cream for comfort.  By getting angry with herself for eating ice cream, she effectively repressed painful feelings about her siblings. 

Riva was triggered by painful feelings about her sister, then turned to ice cream for comfort and distraction.   Sometimes what you might think of as “trigger foods” may indicate the underlying conflict or emotion, the true trigger.  Which of these are triggers for you?

Smooth foods such as ice cream, pudding:   (comfort)
Rejection, shame, betrayal, fear, apprehension, suspicion, lack of trust




Filling foods such as cake, muffins, bread:  (filling a void)
Loneliness, loss, deprivation, abandonment




Crunchy foods such as chips, pretzels, apples:  (anger)
Anger, fury, frustration, annoyance, anxiety, guilt



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20 comments:

GreenGoddess said...

Love this. Printing it out now and going to keep it in my purse. My issue is overeating to the point of being pretty much paralyzed, and this will definitely help get myself grounded and figure out what's really going on with the crazy cravings.

Tiffany68 said...

I tend to go more for comfort foods. There's definitely some fear and apprehension stuff going on. This is a great list.

Alyssa said...

I feel rejected so much by my last boyfriend. He left me for someone who in my opinion is prettier than me just because she's thinner. She seems more fun. Anyway...I feel so alone.

Brenda said...

Here's one not listed above: I often get a craving for chocolate when I feel lonely. It's usually a way to compensate for not having any kind of physical intimacy or affection with someone for awhile.

Karen said...

This concept piques my interest. I myself don't even realize why I want to eat sometimes. It sometimes takes me hours later to understand what was really bothering me at the time I first chose to overeat.

Julie Anne said...

That hurts. No one wants to feel like they're not good enough. I've been through this as well.

Julie Anne said...

I'm adding this comment to address two other people at once because I've experienced some of the same issues.

Brenda, I often substitute chocolate for physical affection or intimacy for fear of being hurt and/or out of loneliness.

Karen, I also had occassions where I would eat/overeating compulsively. It might take me awhile to realize why I did it.

Trevor said...

I agree, Julie. No one wants to feel like they don't measure up. Everyone has issues and everyone has faults, but no one wants to feel they are unworthy of love.

Brad said...

The above scenario is far too common for people. I might not even know at all why I crave a certain food-thinking it is just the power of suggestion from the TV. However, that certain food might remind me of a time when I felt more secure about myself or it was one that was present at a time when I had the company, friendship, relationship, etc. that I needed.

Stephanie said...

Even after losing weight and getting close to my ideal physical shape, I still have the same old cravings. I don't give in nearly as often as I used to, but it's interesting how the subconsious works. I still don't have all the answers regarding why I desire certain foods, and this post can help me explore those untapped issues.

Rachel said...

This list explains to me why my cravings change. It depends on the kind of negative emotions I am feeling.

Renee said...

I think you said it right. It helps me understand more fully what's going on with me as well.

Sweatpea said...

Usually the dairy foods such as cheese help calm me down when anxious. I don't like chips much.

Theresa said...

I get the impression that trigger foods are associated with post-traumatic stress, which includes many of the feelings mentioned above.

Nora said...

I am amazed at what our subconscious processes without us realizing it. This post has enlightened me, and I agree with most of the comments people have made regarding this.

Miles said...

This sounds like me. I eat too many donuts and sweets.

Julie Anne said...

This is something I didn't really connect to my own life until I read this blog. I myself became used to eating certain comfort foods and treats as a child, and I remember these were during some happy times in our family. However, for use it was mostly the candy and chocolate (which I guess also is in Chunky Monkey) but sometimes too many noodles and bread.

Sarah said...

This really is more of an eye-opener than I ever imagined. It's amazing how are body responds to situations without even realizing it. That is, unless we are aware.

Kerry said...

This does trigger some emotions in me. I realize now that family Problems kind of sneak up on us. Our subconscious mind deals with them in a way our conscious mind is unwilling or unable.

Harold said...

I never tried to categorize the different types of foods as ones that would be eaten to represent different emotions. This is new to me.