One challenge I face regularly with IE is the fact that, because of my work schedule, I eat most of my meals away from home. I find this difficult because my food choices have to be preplanned, I eat in front of others and may have to listen to their food issues, and almost anything purchased (fast food, vending machine item) lists nutrition facts. I am going to make a little "trigger buster" list of things I've found helpful in dealing with away-from-home IE:
IE Trigger Busters
- Having to plan to eat away from home: I have a large lunch bag and also a snack drawer at work. This helps with keeping a good variety of options on hand. I also give myself permission to go out for lunch or buy a snack if I have a specific strong craving or really don't like my premade choices.
- Eating in front of others: This can be embarrassing. People tend to be curious (nosy) and comment on my food options. I try to have a sense of humor about this and/or ignore them as best I can. I just focus on the fact that I like my food choice and am enjoying it. It's not their food!
- Hearing triggering talk: This is a regular struggle for me. I work with a lot of women so it can be hard to avoid diet/fat talk. I am not terribly comfortable with challenging this (working on it!) so I typically disengage from the conversation at this point to protect myself and nonverbally communicate I'm not interesting in participating in such a group conversation. I also try to remind myself that it is someone else's issue to deal with, not mine.
- Nutrition information: I HATE that almost any food has the nutrition information listed boldly on the package. I understand that some people appreciate this but I find it extremely triggering and guilt-inducing. Particularly with sweets, I have started ripping off the packaging with the nutrition facts and throwing it away without looking at it. This has been really helpful for me in eliminating food guilt and enjoying my snack.