Giving Away and Grieving Your Friend
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.
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:
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.
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
From this list, write down on a
separate sheet of paper the same feelings. Hold on to this list for
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
this a healthy
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