You're Not the Boss of Me

I had to chuckle when my husband and I were in church this weekend and the preacher shared the title to the current series: "You're Not the Boss of Me." The Lovebug and I have playfully used this phrase with one another (and our kids) hundreds of times over the years! I found it even more interesting when the preacher noted that the "You" he was referring to (as in "YOU are not the boss of me") is EMOTIONS! He is going to spend the next several weeks talking about how our EMOTIONS are NOT the boss of us... unless we let them be. 

You may or may not be familiar with the 10-week class I do three or four times a year online. In this program, I refer many times to the fact that we do not need to let our feelings "drive the bus!" This is exactly what the preacher is saying when he says that our emotions are not the boss of us! 

So often, people refer to themselves as "emotional eaters." When you are an emotional eater, you are definitely letting your emotions boss you around! You are putting your emotions behind the wheel of the bus - and they are not going to drive you anywhere safe! They'll drive you to the fast food joint or the ice cream parlor or the bakery and that is NOT where you want to go if you are serious about improving your health by lowering your weight and if you are serious about improving your quality of life by lowering your weight. 

We need to learn to talk back to our emotions if they threaten to take us to places we will later regret having gone. We don't want our emotions to lead us somewhere that will result in our asking, "What was I thinking?!" 

One way to prevent your emotions from bossing you around is to literally talk back to them! (You may want to have the conversation inside your head... unless you want everyone around you to leave you alone. In that case, go ahead and have the talk out loud!) When your emotions want to lead you to the candy jar, the vending machine or the break room where all the baked goods are, say, "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME." Then remind yourself that your emotions, your feelings, are not FACTS. They are bodily sensations resulting from whatever you are thinking! If you're angry at your spouse and you want to "swallow" your anger by eating donuts, say to the anger, "YOU are not the boss of me." Remind yourself that you are a healthy adult and healthy adults know that food will not change your spouse - or your feelings, as least for very long. 

If you are upset at your actual work boss, and you say, out loud,  "You're not the boss of me," your boss might look at you like your job is in jeopardy... So if it's your actual boss you're upset with, I'd keep the words "You're not the boss of me" inside your head! Besides, it would be the FEELINGS related to the situation with your boss that you were talking to! 

Do NOT let your feelings dictate your behavior. You do NOT need to eat in response to your emotions. They AREN'T the boss of you. Use healthy coping skills like calling a friend to talk through your emotions before you eat or spend money you don't have or take a drink or flirt with someone with whom you ought not be flirting. Don't let your emotions dictate your behavior. Engage in healthy, adult coping practices. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Take a five-minute walk to clear your head. Read your favorite quote that centers you. Say a prayer. Write down five reasons your emotions aren't factual. And remind yourself that feelings pass. Treat yourself with kindness and respect, which means avoiding self-sabotaging behaviors. 

Have fun with this! Say it over and over, "You're NOT the Boss of Me!" Then take action, and like a good boss, and sort through what's going on, making healthy decisions that serve you in good ways. 

The preacher then noted another thing i repeat over and over in the Gain While You Lose Class (a great course for anyone struggling with regain): Your emotions are the results of your thoughts.

We'll talk about THIS in the next email! Oh - if you want to listen to the Andy Stanley series "You're Not the Boss of Me," the link is