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For years I didn’t realize I was an emotional eater.
I ate when I was sad
I ate when I was bored
I ate when I was lonely
I ate when I wanted comfort
I ate when I was tired
I also ate when I was happy!
Back when I was working on losing 100 pounds, I didn’t know, or maybe I refused to see that a lot of the time I was emotionally eating.
So what is emotional eating?
It is when we use food to deal with our emotions (negative and positive).
Emotional eating is us eating to avoid, deny or numb out the negative emotions that are there or to enhance the positive ones.
So then why do we not deal with our emotions, why do we turn to food instead?
What happens is we have no idea what we are feeling, or we may be feeling something, but we don’t like it, It feels uncomfortable. We turn to food to try to make ourselves feel better and the solution that is our old stand by is food.
I was so good at not dealing with my feelings and talking myself into being ok with all I was eating, I remember my line “I love feeling full”, That famous line of mine was just my way of not wanting to admit to myself I was sad, lonely and didn’t think I was good enough.
Guess what, because I had no idea I was emotionally eating, and I knew no different, so this is what I taught my children.
When they were upset and crying, I tried to comfort them, to make it all the better for them and the way I knew how was with some hugs AND saying “let’s go for ice cream,” or baking them cookies. That might not be wrong, but I did show them what I believed, and that was don’t sit and allow that feeling- eat, and all will be better.
Having the ice cream or the cookies isn’t a problem if we do it now and then but if that is what happens over and over this is when our brain starts to associate the idea that ice cream or whatever other food is the way to deal with that sadness, that frustration, that overwhelm; your emotions. It is an answer to what you are feeling.
Emotional eating no longer has a hold on me these days. Yes, I do have times, especially when I am tired that I feel so hungry, but I am very aware it is not food I am needing, it is sleep that I need. Knowing this, I have a choice to eat or to go to bed, and sleep is always my choice now.
Please don’t beat yourself up or think there is something wrong with you because you should know better, we haven’t been taught to be with, manage or cope with our emotions.
I know that I learned that the only solutions to my negative emotions were
-to treat my stress with cookies
-my overwhelm with a bag of chips
-also, don’t forget that ice cream, it solved it all!
What we have to realize is that all emotions, positive and negative everyone feels, and if we reach for food instead of feeling those emotions, it doesn’t make them go away or any better.
Remember a feeling is just a vibration in your body that you never learned to deal with.
Be kind and loving to yourself because you know no different.
Be curious without any judgement so that you can start to learn what feeling is there so you can find a real solution.
There is another way to eating to deal with our emotions, and I can show you how you can end this.
You are worth it!