I want to be very clear that there is nothing wrong with you because you are an emotional eater, I actually see it as a gift. I think it’s safe to say that we can all identify times in our lives where we ate based purely on how we were feeling so you’re definitely not alone. This is the perfect opportunity for you to engage in some serious self-care.
The key here is to stop beating ourselves up about your last or next binge. If we can identify our emotional eating patterns we will become more aware of the times we succomb to this behavior. The next time you start to binge on that pint of ice cream in the freezer, eat a few cookies out of boredom, or sneak snacks in the middle of the night, I want you to stop and identify what’s really going on in your life that is causing you to engage in this behavior.
I know that when you get bored, especially at work, it’s so easy to grab a snack as a way to distract ourselves. Instead I want you to use this as the perfect opportunity to take a walk around the block, instead of spending 10 minutes diving into the candy bowl in the break room or chat with a co-worker in the next cubicle about what they have planned for the weekend, etc.
I know it seems like food is everywhere. As a society we are conditioned to eat at celebrations; it seems like treats and comfort foods are present at every special occassion, event and gathering we attend. It’s evident that food is a huge part of our culture and society, but just because it’s there doesn’t mean that we need to let it control us.
For me, if I feel like I need to eat 3, 4 or 5 chocolate chip cookies it is usually because I’m craving a more cozy feeling at that time. I’m sure a lot of you can identify with this.
The next step is to make a list of all of the things I could do to bring on this same feeling for me. Sometimes that’s curling up on the couch with a blanket and a great book and other times it’s bringing in some new bedding into my bedroom to make that space more nurturing. Maybe for you it’s that you’re feeling like you need to feel connected in some way. Try grabbing a cup of tea and calling up a girlfriend to talk for a while.
If you’re still craving your snack of choic after you engage in an activity that you’ve planned to help fill the emotional void you’re experiencing, then I say go for it. Indulge in that craving, but be sure that you find the best, high-quality version you can and really savor it.
For more resources and tips on emotional eating, click here.
Simple actions to take your life back, know your worth & feel alive no matter how drained, overwhelmed and far gone you feel.