Do you find yourself driven to eat by unwanted feelings?
Do you emotionally eat?
Then you my friend have joined the the other 7.4 billion people on the planet and may now officially call yourself human. See there is no way to NOT emotional eat. We are not machines, we can't just turn off our feelings at whim and that goes for when we are eating as well, so in reality there is no way to separate your emotions from eating which this makes us all emotional eaters.
We eat to celebrate, like for a birthday or graduation, we eat to feel love and community as we sit around the table with loved ones, and yes we can eat to de-stress and release anxiety at 11 pm with a couple bowls of cereal and some chocolate. Our emotions are always present and to be honest we wouldn't want them to disappear as this is what keeps us alive.
We do want to regulate and be aware though of the emotions that we are bring to the table, because the wrong emotions can lead to unwanted behavior .
Unfortunetly, our society has taught us to shame our emotions, stuff them away and pretend they don't exist. We aren't "allowed" to be angry, sad, frustrated, or even too happy and joyous. This comes from a fear surrounding these emotions, a fear because for the most part we haven't learned how to deal with these emotions properly and so we are afraid of the unknown or uncontrollable. We accumulate emotions though throughout our day and our lives from everything that happens to us and when we don't properly move through those emotions and metabolize them, they can show up on our plates. We can go to food to feel better, ground us, and put us in a better mood. Food you could say then is used to regulate our emotional metabolism.
This is gonna happen and honestly that's okay, but it's when it becomes a chronic thing where every day we are bringing negative emotions or emotions not associated with food from other areas of our lives to the plate where it can be affecting our choices, digestion and the relationship we have with food. This can lead to that over-eating, stressed eating, and emotional eating that can damage our relationship with food and get us feeling guilty and shameful for what we just did. We then associate food with something negative when in reality it is something that should be celebrated as it is what keeps us alive!
Learning to deal with emotions outside of the kitchen is vital if you want to keep your relationship to food positive.
When you can start to embrace yourself and forgive yourself for those times that you emotionally eat and start to embrace all the emotions of life we start to heal our relationship with food. When you start finding other ways other than food to deal with your emotions and let yourself express them in healthier ways, your relationship with food will heal and the unwanted emotional eating will stop.
No need to summon up a bunch of will power in order to “fix” your emotional eating.
All you need to do is understand that your food experience is a mirror of how your doing in life and the emotional eating is letting you know “hey something needs to change, you are on a bad path!".
So listen to that, honor it.
Ask yourself “What is my emotional eating trying to tell me? What can I learn from this experience? What in my life can change so that is unwanted feeling doesn't keep on expressing its self at the dinner table so that I can start enjoying and loving my food and body again?"
If you want more tools on how to deal with emotional eating then check this blog post, "5 Ways to Stop Reaching the End of the Chip Bag".
As always, finding health and coming back to balance is a journey, one that we may from time to time need help on. This is not a weakness! We are here to learn to let others help us and gain support from those around us. I am here for you inf you want to dive into your emotional eating and together we can find ways to make eating a joyous experience again!
Set up a coaching session today and find food freedom!
Therapeutic Nutrition Councelor
Certified Eating Psychology Coach
BPH Public Health- emphasis health promotion