BlubberBusters Tips from Lucy

Giving Away and Grieving Your Friend Food

Many kids and teens know they eat when they do not need to. They eat when they are bored, sad, nervous, stressed, mad, and other feelings too. Eating for feelings instead of hunger happens a lot. Many people are overweight because of this. This happens so often that many kids and teens say that food is almost like a friend to them.

If you eat for feelings instead or hunger, you may notice it is really tough to change your habits. Just knowing you are eating for feelings may not make it stop. This is not because you lack will power. This is not because you are weak. This may happen because you need to take some steps to say good bye to food. Follow these steps. They may help you change your relationship with food:

  1. Accept you have used food to help with feelings. Not every kid or teen who is overweight eats for emotional reasons and there are many that do. If you are not sure, keep track of when you eat for a few days. Keep track of WHY you eat. Notice if you are eating because your stomach is growling or if you are bored. If you learn over those few days that you are eating for emotions, then write down which feelings draw you to food. Click here for some examples of feelings.

  2. Next to every feeling, write down HOW food helps you. Maybe eating when studying helps you concentrate. Or, eating when bored is fun. Make sure you think of as many reasons why.

  3. From this list, write down on a separate sheet of paper the same feelings. Hold on to this list for later.

  4. Write a letter to Friend Food. Thank Friend Food for helping you with those feelings. Let Friend Food know the relationship needs to change now. The food is making you too large and damaging your health. You have decided to eat only when you feel hunger physically. You are not going to let Friend Food help you anymore.

  5. Place the letter in an envelope. Address the envelope "Friend Food" and drop it in the mail. Know that you will not see this letter again.

  6. You may find yourself missing Friend Food. You may notice you miss it most when you used to have Friend Food around to help with the tough feelings. Missing food like this is called grief. Grief is when a person feels tough feelings when someone or something is gone. You may have grieved when a person you knew died. You may have grieved when you moved to a new school. Eating food differently may feel just as tough as these.

  7. When you miss Friend Food, let yourself cry, punch a pillow, talk to someone or come on this website. Many other people here will be doing that too. Click here to find other activities to help grieve.

  8. Remember that other sheet of paper from #3? Take out that list again. Next to each feeling, write down a few things YOU can do instead of eating to help you feel better. You may find this list helpful here too for ideas.

  9. Practice those activities many times. You may think they are not working as quickly as food. You maybe right yet the food cannot be your friend anymore. Keep practicing these other activities. Over time, they WILL take foods place.

  10. Lastly, do not put yourself down when Friend Food slips back into your life. That happens and that's okay. I encourage you to choose the next right thing to do: Say goodbye to Friend Food again.

Make this a healthy week!

  (Click here for past week's tips)


Please ask your healthcare provider if these tips are right for you and please read our disclaimer.

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