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Wondering Why You’re Eating So Much? An Intriguing Exercise To Get To The Bottom Of Midlife Indulging

Episode 27 | (00:00):

Hey there, friend. Have you been wondering why you've been eating so much lately? I mean, no offense, maybe you haven't, but I know I have. I've been eating a ton of extra food. I ran outta groceries early this week.

I was trying to figure it out and I was like, "Whoa, a little too much overindulging going on here, Michelle. What's happening?"

So today I'm gonna give you an intriguing little exercise to help you get to the bottom of midlife indulging, of the midlife eating that has you sometimes wondering, "Why did I eat that? I wasn't even hungry." Today we're gonna be looking at that a little more closely.

I love this exercise. It has been very effective for me over the years and rather than keeping it to myself, I thought, "Hey, why don't I share that with the listeners?" Listeners like you, my wonderful Easy Ager. Are you ready to find out what it is? I know, it's a good one. It's a really good one. So what are we waiting for? Let's go!

Hey there, Easy Ager. If you are not already on the Easy Aging Insider's list, go to and sign up right after this episode, okay? It's real simple, All right. So I wanted to talk to you about something weird that happens to me every single time we have a time change.

We just switched our clocks last week and I'm dragging. I mean, generally takes me two, sometimes three weeks, to adjust to all of this. I'm waking up late. I guess I'm staying up later too. My body isn't adjusting. I am napping. Oh my goodness, that's just kind of my new pastime and worst of all, I am eating every single thing in sight.

I mean, I'm not even thinking about it. I just aimlessly wander into the kitchen. I open the pantry, I open the refrigerator. And then I turn around and I open the pantry again and I open the refrigerator again. I'm not quite sure what I think has changed in between the first time and the second time I open those things but yeah, nothing's changed.

I just wander and bump around the kitchen, and I'm in there even when I'm not hungry. I noticed that I was feeling kind of bloated the other day and I said, "Wait, what is happening?" And when I realized what I was doing, I was like, "Whoa, okay, hang on. It's been a week but we are going to get this under control like, right now."

What about you? Do you do this too? I don't know if the time change affects you or maybe there's just certain parts of the year. Maybe if you're a CPA, you just go crazy right before April 15th and all of that. Or maybe you just do this all the time. 

But when we go through stuff like this, we might wanna do something like say, "I'm just not going to have potato chips in the house any longer." And that's great. That's a good first step.

But it's really important to understand why we're doing it. Getting the potato chips out of the house is just the action. Have you ever thought about why you're taking the action?

Because when we start evaluating the why, then we can start making permanent, lasting change in our lives. You know, questions like "Why am I eating so much? Why am I wandering into the kitchen?" These were my questions.

So when we start asking these why questions, it really gets us back to being aware and paying attention to the thoughts and the feelings, all those good, wonderful, delicious things going on inside of you, right?

When we pay attention, we get clarity. Yes, my friends, the wonderful, amazing clarity that we're all looking for. Clarity means you can finally know what you want and then put some action to it so you can move forward in your life.

And we need this clarity on the why behind the thoughts, the feelings and the actions. Because when we have this type of clarity, then we can start really getting a plan. Here's the deal: We go on autopilot all day long. We numb out with the alcohol or the streaming or the online shopping or whatever it is.

Then we sit there and every now and then we look in the mirror and go, "Why am I not further ahead in my life? This isn't the life I wanted. This is not the life I signed up for."

Well, duh, we're on autopilot. We're not paying attention. That's why we're not further ahead, right? Because not paying attention means not being clear, and not being clear just means we're not gonna take action.

We are more than likely going to just stay comfortable and maintain the status quo unless somebody's there forcing us to, like an employer or something, right?

Now, if you're content and you're really happy with your life and the way things are going and you think, "Hey, you know what? It doesn't get any better than this. I am thrilled that I'm living this life," that's a different issue. That is not what I'm talking about.

But I tell you what, if you want more out of life, maybe you want a richer life. Maybe you want a more exciting life. I mean, you do wanna have a life that you're enthused about, that you're excited about getting up in the morning to.

You wanna have a life that you're proud of, that you can just invite your family and friends in to join you in this incredible, amazing life you have. If that's what you want and you don't have it, you're gonna need to get some clarity because clarity is crazy important to upgrading your life.

Now I'm gonna give you a little acronym that's going help you ask the big "Why" question so you can become more aware, start paying more attention, and that's gonna help you stop the bad behavior and start implementing the good behavior.

Yay! Because isn't that what we all want? I don't know about you, but I wish it were a lot easier to just start implementing the good behavior and move on with my life.

With this acronym, I know I'm talking about eating but you can also use this for other things in your life. Maybe when you're watching a lot of television, you've just kind of been binging Netflix a little too much. Or maybe when you sit down for five minutes to scroll through Facebook and two and a half hours later, you stand up.

Yeah. Hello. Guilty. I admit it. I've done that before. So by using this little acronym, it's gonna help you understand the why behind your behavior. It's also been used for folks who are in addiction recovery as well.

So let's hear the acronym. The acronym, which you may have heard before, is called HALT. H-A-L-T. It stands for hungry, angry, lonely or tired. So the way you would do this is just basically ask yourself the question, "Why am I overeating? Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Am I tired?"

And you go through this whole list of a potential emotions. I'm going to give you a quick overview of each one of these so you can just see how they might apply in your life, okay?

Am I hungry? When you ask yourself that question, the real question is, "Do I have a growl in my stomach?" It's not necessarily, "Am I hungry, what time is it? Does the clock say noon so I need to eat lunch?" No, no. It means, "Do I have a growl in my stomach?"

If you have a growl in your stomach by all means, eat. Eat something. If you do not have a growl in your stomach, I would encourage you to go find something else to do or you could be like me, bumping around the kitchen at all hours of the morning, evening and night. So let's stop that behavior, okay?

Second one: Am I angry? You know, anger's a funny thing. I think for some reason, we all seem to kind of ignore it. We just wanna put it into a little shoebox and stick it away on a very high shelf in the closet, don't we? But it's a normal human emotion.

What are we doing? Why do we wanna treat anger this way? There are times in our lives when we are exposed to situations or people on a daily or weekly basis, and they're making us angry or they're irritating us, or we're getting very agitated because of the situation or the person.

And half the time, we don't even know we're angry. So I would encourage you, if you can't directly answer No to this question, am I angry?, you might wanna take some time, sit down for a little bit, maybe with a nice cup of tea, a little herbal tea, and figure out what's making you angry.

Because when we're angry (even if we're not aware of it), that anger creates unneeded stress in our bodies and the stress can create inflammation and then we can get sick. So we don't wanna do that.

Let's just focus on, if I cannot answer the question, Am I angry? really directly with a big, fat No, it might be something to look at, okay?

Figure it out. Maybe find a way to lessen your exposure to these situations or people that make you angry, right?

L is for lonely. Now, I am a person who spends probably a good 95% of my time alone, but I never really feel lonely. I do have to add though, I have never felt so lonely in my entire life as I did during the pandemic.

I mean, it actually felt like a physical type of pain, you know? And now, I get it. I understand when people talk about being lonely. I feel like I have a lot more compassion for them when some people talk about their loneliness like it's a companion, it's just a regular part of who they are. And I'm thinking, Whoa, that's gotta be intense to have that much loneliness in your life.

And the reality is, it's not like I was actually alone. I mean, I was having regular Zooms with my brother and friends around the country. I talked on the phone regularly. I texted with a lot of people. It's not like I was alone.

I think what I was the most lonely about was just being around people, especially in the early days of the pandemic when we didn't know what to do. "Oh my gosh, I just bought groceries. Do I need to get a Clorox wipe and wipe them down? Should I put soap on the fruit?"  I mean, what are we doing, right?

I refused, absolutely refused, to do any online ordering of groceries or anything because honestly, that was the highlight of my week. Getting out, seeing people wandering around the store.

 mean, the biggest highlight for me was talking to that little clerk at the grocery store who was standing behind the Plexiglas and the masks and the gloves and all that stuff.

That made me feel almost normal, and that made me feel a little more grounded. Again, loneliness is another thing that can create stress in your body. And that can lead to overeating because you're stressing.

So if you can't answer this with a big fat No, you might wanna look and see if maybe you could go out a little bit more since things are loosening up. If you wanna wear a mask, wear a mask.

Get out a little bit more, or connect with friends a little bit more than you have been since the pandemic started. But this, this was a huge revelation for me and oh, I do pray that I never have to go through that type of loneliness again.

And our last one, T stands for tired. Oh my goodness, my midlife friend, this is the one I can relate to the most whether there's been a time change or not. What about you?

You know, I tell people, there are two things in my life that you do not mess with. The first one is my family. The second one is my sleep.

And depending on how tired I am, that second one may move to the first one. Yeah, they may switch spots. ;)

You know, sleep is so essential to having good physical health. We all know that, but it is critical for us to have good mental and emotional health as well. Because you know, if you're tired, you go on autopilot and that's kind of like sleepwalking through the day and then you get home from work.

And at the end of the day, you grab the remote. Yeah, I know. I know. You know where I'm going with this, right? You grab the remote, you grab the bag of chips or the, oh, the Oreos. I love me some Oreos and some chips (just not together.).

You start eating and you're not paying attention. And you're not thinking of what you're doing. Just eat, eat, eat, eat, eat as you veg out in front of that television. This is something that I do if I'm not paying attention. So again, this gets back to paying attention and being aware, and being very clear on what I want to accomplish.

Stuffing myself and feeling bloated before I go to bed is something I do not want to accomplish by the end of the evening, right? As much as my circadian rhythms are in a complete shambles right now, I know that in the next week, I'm gonna be pulling out of this.

But if you're doing this type of behavior on a regular basis and you don't want to do it anymore, this is a quick, easy way for you to hop in there and ask yourself a couple of questions. Linger on a couple of those questions if you can't answer with a big solid No.

Am I tired? Am I lonely? Am I angry? And if you're hungry, eat. Eat something nutritious, of course. When in doubt, halt and ask yourself HALT. All right.

Once again, if you're not an Easy Aging Insider, go to and sign up right now, okay? So until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!


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