Travel Can Be Tricky… for a Distressed Eater

15 Apr

I love to travel. I love explore new places and to experience strange cultures. Travel can broaden the mind and present great scope for personal growth. Some of the happiest times of my life have been spent in foreign countries. But despite my reputation as a keen globetrotter, I recently realised that going on holiday can be a source of distress for me… or more specifically, a source of eating distress.

Last week, I embarked on a mini-break away with my family. In the days running up to our trip, I knew that I would be stepping out of my normal routine, and this would include dining out for all meals. This would present a lot of temptation to overeat, but I decided that instead of feeling anxious, I should use it as an opportunity to practise intuitive eating.

Mindful Munchers possess the ability to push their plate away when they are full, even though their meal might not be finished. This is a skill I have yet to master. When you are enjoying the food in front of you so much, it’s hard to say “no”, even when you’re body indicates that it has had enough.

As kids, so many of us were encouraged to finish our meals completely… I remember my mam encouraging me to eat “just one more spoon full”. Parents often encourage their kids to continue eating after they have had enough, and even reward them for doing so with promises of dessert: “Eat your vegetables or there will be no ice-cream afterwards!” These early messages, which support overeating, can be hard to un-learn in adult life.

While on holiday, I did eat and drink more than my body required, and this resulted in a guilty feeling within me. This guilt then triggered a binge on the evening I returned from the trip, which in turn resulted in even more guilt.

Despite this temporary “falling off the wagon”, I learned a valuable lesson: People do sometimes overeat on occasion… The difference between them and emotional eaters is that they don’t beat themselves up about it afterwards. I now realise that being a Mindful Muncher does not mean eating intuitively 100% of time. Nobody’s perfect!

People generally go on vacation to relax, but I find that venturing out of my comfort zone can also bring anxiety.

Do you find that your eating issues often interfere with your holiday fun?

JJ xx

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