Food triggers are things that, once I eat them I crave them. These are things I just don't keep around the house because when they are here, I can't seem to control how much or how many I eat. Something physiological kicks in that feels like that old nicotine craving. It's clearly physical. It takes only one cigarette to create enough of a craving to become an addict. But it is impossible to get addicted to smoking if I never have one.
For me, some junk food is the same way. I was in CVS last week to buy some Tylenol, and I passed the Reese's Easter eggs. I wanted to get one but started having a mental battle about it. By the time I went to the back of the store for the Tylenol, I was in my crazy. There was no way I was going to allow myself a peanut butter egg. I don't know why not. So little miss rebellious saboteur got flared up and said "Fine, if I can't have the Reese's, I'll get a bag of Dove chocolates with peanut butter". Which I did.
Clearly the egg would have been a better choice. Now I had a bag of candy at home. All of you who understand and experience compulsive eating know what happened next. Yes. I ate the bag in a day and then felt like...you know, pardon my French.
Emotional triggers happen when our old wounds get poked at. Mine is usually my "I don't matter". It may be entirely in my head, but if I start feeling like someone is treating me like I don't matter, I get flared up. I have come a long way, so I rarely rage at people anymore except possibly while driving. Good thing no one can hear me then. But otherwise, I know that it's my issue and I own it. But sometimes it still takes a pint of ice cream and the subsequent meltdown to remember that what I was feeling could have been dealt with honestly instead of escaped from with the ice cream. I use ice cream to escape feeling that way and it usually takes me a day to figure out what I am really feeling and deal with that instead.
Another trigger for me is the restaurant menu. I am usually fine if I go to a restaurant knowing what I'll order. Ask my friends and family, I have a tendency (more like a strategy) to order the exact same thing every time. That is because as soon as I open a big menu filled with pictures, I go back to the days (decades) when I could not afford to go out ever. My old fears that this may be my only chance to eat out get triggered and I start looking at options like double cheese fettuccini alfredo with cheesecake on the side. But if I can calm down and get honest with myself, I remember that I can go out to eat every day of my life now. Those days are over and everything is great. Then I can take radical responsibility and make a better choice.
Triggers are part of this process. They will come at you in the form of foods, people, and circumstances. What I've learned is I can blame the triggers all I want. I can try to control them. But that won't change anything. What really helped me heal was to understand what they were triggering in me. These old wounds and false beliefs were causing me to make bad decisions. The irony is they aren't true, they are lies! The Truth is I could have had a Reese's peanut butter egg, I do matter, and I live an abundant life. Making choices based on the Truth instead of false beliefs and old wounds is the only way to healing and the freedom we all desire.