What do I do if I pass by a bakery and I am triggered to compulsively overeat?
I am so glad you asked this, as the other day I was driving past one of those "thrift bakery outlets," exactly the kind I used to visit every day as a teenager. I worked next door to one, and every afternoon I would sneak out and buy 4 or 5 cupcakes, brownies, or turnovers, all kind of old and stale but filled with preservatives to keep them soft. I’d then stuff them into my mouth as fast as possible, in secret, and get a rush of sugar/fat energy. Only trouble is, that daily habit caused me to weigh 400 pounds at 17. I mention this, as I can truly, deeply understand bakeries and triggers! I know what you’re facing.
Here’s what I did the other day when I saw that bakery, now some 30 years past and many pounds lost, thank God. Instead of pulling into the parking lot, I pulled into the memories. I kept driving, never stopping, but spent the next few hours remembering positive situations and good feelings, instead of choosing to serve the "trigger." I remembered how I loved that job--the great people I worked with and how cool and important I felt having such a great job as a teenager (I worked at a local TV station). I remembered Paul and Glenna Pack, my kind supervisors and friends, and how much they mentored and taught me. These memories led me to feel a surge of good feelings: how I felt energized and happy, the fun I had at work, and how special those times were. This allowed my soul to feel full. In other words, I remembered all the love associated with the job.
The memories were so sweet and delicious; I didn’t need the sugar and fat. My mind, soul, and Spirit felt so alive and happy. I was far fuller from the thoughts than I would have been from a brownie. Then, I focused on God, said prayers of deep gratitude, and felt infinitely happy and loved.
Try this powerful technique the next time you encounter a food trigger. Immediately fill yourself with love thoughts, connections, and memories of warm, positive, full moments. Ask God to help you not give in to the trigger, but give in to the sweetness and fullness of love in every imaginable way.