The Next Time You Reach for The Cookie Jar

By Lisa Christie
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I just walked by a group of women at Green Mountain who were making cookie jars. Yeah, I know, doesn’t seem like the kind of thing we would do here, does it?

Well, a Green Mountain cookie jar is not your mother’s cookie jar. In fact, it’s a fun play on the idea that when cookies are calling our name and emotional eating seems imminent, this cookie jar has what we might REALLY need, what we are truly hungry for.

Here’s how it works:

The first step is to find or create a cookie jar.

Second, think about what you might really want when you think you want a cookie. When Darla, Green Mountain’s behavioral leader, talks about what to do BEFORE A BINGE, she says:

Before, during and after a binge is filled with many tiny moments. One way to think about these moments is that each one offers the possibility of choice: To eat the next chip in this moment or not to eat it. To sit with the pain and feel it, or to stuff it down with chocolate?

The next time you want to reach for a cookie or 20, remember that you have the possibility of choice. You can decide if you are going to dive into the cookie jar. Or you can decide that maybe something else out of your Green Mountain cookie jar is really what you crave or need. Create slips of paper with those ideas on it.

Here are a few ideas that I’ve put in my cookie jar and why:

- Call a friend (obviously, this is good for when I want to eat out of loneliness or boredom)

- Paint my nails (always makes me feel better about myself when negative self talk is eating at me)

- Sit with it (sitting with the feelings instead of stuffing them down is difficult, but it’s an important part of dealing with emotional eating)

- Check out a body positive blog, such as Medicinal Marzipan (helps me not feel so alone with my food issues)

- Brush or floss my teeth (may reduce the likelihood of wanting to eat the cookies)

- Clean out a drawer (organizing always makes me feel like I accomplished something)

- Look at what happened throughout the day that led me to this point (important to figure out the patterns that precede binges).

I really encourage you to create a Green Mountain cookie jar for yourself if you struggle with emotional eating. After all, isn’t it almost Girl Scout Cookie season? Not to say that we shouldn’t enjoy our favorite kind of Girl Scout Cookies (Tagalongs, of course), but let’s enjoy them for the right reasons, not because we’re really wanting something else in our lives.

What’s in your Green Mountain Cookie Jar?

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