Emotional Eating: Feelings vs Food
Feelings vs food. The constant battle. Have you ever had one of those terrible work days where you come home and instantly want to down a bottle of wine? Or maybe it's just been a jam packed day and a package of ramen sounds way better then cooking a full on meal. If you've been there you're not alone. With wine and ramen being two of my favorite go to's I had a realization a few months back.
When I first picked up the book The Goddess Revolution author Mel Wells talks about emotional eating. She brings up the topic for the reason why you could not be losing weight or actually gaining even though you think you're on the right track. I skimmed through this part because I thought "no way this part isn't for me". But as I sat in the Taco Bell drive thru a week later after one of the most stressful work days, the only thing flashing in my mind was that chapter. I went back to the emotional eating part and read it. And I realized something, we all do it! Maybe some more often then others, but it's actually pretty normal. But what isn't normal is when your emotional eating begins to get the best of you.
For anyone that's like me, when my anxiety is in high gear thats when you'll find me pigging out. I begin to adapt the mentality that "I don't care" and "whatever it's just one meal" sort of attitude. But I truly began to see the bigger picture. It wasn't so much about what I was eating but more of I was feeling an emotion so deeply that I had to fill that void with food. Sounds bizarre right? But it also kind of makes sense.
How many times have you heard someone in your life talk about needing sweets, or alcohol or tacos- whatever their go to is because they had a stressful day. It is typical for many of us to eat away at our emotions rather then really confront what's going on inside our minds. When I feel my anxiety coming on I truly feel it, from head to toe. And for a good amount of time I would sink back into my "I don't care" mode and eat whatever I wanted. Within 20 minutes of my meal I felt like shit, my stomach would be bloated and my emotions were worse then before. So, solution you may wonder?
I'm still figuring it out. Sorry! Just kidding- sort of. We're all different. We are different people with different issues. But I can tell you my few secrets that keep me from eating my emotions.
Secret #1: When I'm having a tough time with a situation or person I excuse myself, even for 10 minutes, grab my headphones and go meditate. Meditation is one of my favorite ways to clear my mind, stop it from racing and really focus on myself.
Secret #2: Talk about it. Sometimes the situations we are in aren't as bad as we think. Sometimes we already have the answers within us, we just need someone to be our sound board. Find someone to bounce your thoughts off of or just a great listener. It's much better then binging fast food!
Secret #3: Before you reach for your favorite snack or hop in the car to pick up some take out, have a little chat with yourself. Most of the time you already feel guilty before you eat because you know deep down it isn't aligned with your goals. Ask yourself why you're going for the fast food or the quick snacks that you normally don't go for.
Secret #4: Sleep it off! If you are fortunate enough to walk away from your day for a half hour, nap it out. If not, make it an early night and allow yourself some extra sleep. After a rough day, there is nothing better then pjs at 9pm.
Secret #5: Get your sweat on. Go for a run, take a fitness class or hit the weights. It might be tough to push yourself at first but after the first few minutes you'll break through, feel the adrenaline rushing through you and ease the pain.
Secret #6: My personal favorite- write. I love to write (clearly) and have been since I was little. The best part about journaling for me is being able to go back to past issues and see where I am now. The second best part is when I begin writing by the time I have finished my entry, I usually have answered my own problem!
Comment some of your tricks when it comes to keeping yourself on track, below!
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