As a teenager in Alateen (a twelve step program for children of alcoholics), I was taught:
H.A.L.T.What that means in my life is that hunger, anger, loneliness, or exhaustion puts me in a precarious position - one where my eating and my emotions (and especially my emotional eating) become at risk.
Don't get too..
I awoke after a restless night.
I had worry and hurt for a friend.
I didn't eat breakfast.
I THREW a Lean Cuisine and frozen veggies in my mouth at noon.
I didn't drink water until after 3pm.
There was an imaginary full moon this afternoon and the middle-schoolers where I work went nuts.
Right now, I feel food-vulnerable. Scary.
What I need to do is eat. Now, before the foodie monster inside takes over and scarfs down anything and everything.
Then I need to look inside and see what else I need. I really don't know what it is right now. To go take a nap? Go exercise? Go get a coke with a friend? Watch Mad Men?
Once again, I'm in that place of knowing what I need to do - actually having the tools - but not being sure I'll make the choice to do it.
The natives on the inside are restless. Must be that imaginary full moon that was creating such havoc here at school this afternoon.
Here's a much better explanation of H.A.L.T. from the internet:
"This tried and true slogan helps us to stay in touch with our feelings and needs. Sometimes the onset of anxiety or a sudden drop in mood can be traced to our having forgotten to eat so our blood sugar levels are off kilter. Sometimes we may be carrying a resentment, or feeling lonely, or we are just too tired. Taking a little time out from our busy day to ask ourselves if we are feeling too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, gets us in touch with our feelings. When we know what we are feeling we can make choices and take the appropriate action to get our needs for food, companionship, or rest, met.
Being too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, are conditions that leave us more vulnerable. Part of recovery is learning to pay attention to these inner signals and practice appropriate ways to meet our needs and resolve issues in a manner that will enhance our abstinence and serenity."
I hope H.A.L.T is a good tool for you, too.