Updated: Jan 27
Tough day at work?
How many days get the best of you?
If you’re anything like me, you’re familiar with this scenario:
Coming through the door after a deadly day, my thoughts are on a zillion
things: deadlines, the kids, my next board meeting. There's never enough time.
And then there's dinner. I forgot to take something out of the freezer I notice as I
absently grab the third handful of crackers. Cheese would go well with these.
I open the fridge door willing ideas for supper to jump out at me. Nothing happens
so I close the door and reach into the bag of crackers for the 4th time.
Opening the freezer to finally rescue dinner, I spy the ice cream. A few spoonfuls
can’t matter – I’m suddenly craving something sweet to counter the salty cracker
It's happening again. I'm overtaken by a Hungry Monster who has control. There's
no stopping me now. I give in...I don't care that dinner will be a bit late tonight.
Later in the evening, when everyone is in bed, the Hungry Monster is back and
raging – leading me straight to the cookies waiting in their not-good-enough hiding
spot. Of course, one just isn't enough.
Defeated and guilty, I fall into bed feeling sick and promising myself that it won’t
happen again. Next time, I’ll be stronger. Next time, I’ll have the willpower and
restraint to resist. Tomorrow... I'll be back on track.
Can You Relate?
This was the story of my life. Over and over and over again. It was an unending, vicious cycle punctuated by feelings of failure.
When I finally had enough, I knew I needed to try something different if I wanted a different result and I wasn’t going to stand for feeling out of control any more. I’d had it with the Hungry Monster. Understanding how the cycle worked was the key to taking control of Emotional Eating and getting on the path to a healthy lifestyle.
Emotional Eating is when our feelings, and not our bodies, dictate how much and when we eat.
While many emotional eaters are overweight, emotional eating afflicts people of any size. Using food to manage our feelings is a deeply complex issue because it has nothing to do with our body’s need for caloric nourishment. What’s compelling us to overeat or consume food in an uncontrolled manner is driven by our feelings of being out of control, not being good enough, or being over-stressed.
And who isn’t a little over-stressed these days?
It’s also compounded by influences we’re exposed to or have been exposed to growing up. Advertising, culture, how we were raised to eat everything on our plate, who we hang out with, what we have come to believe about ourselves, all play a key role in whether we become emotional eaters, overeaters and yo-yo dieters.
Here is the insidious Emotional Eating Cycle. Are You Trapped In It?
The first step to breaking free from this trap is to acknowledge your stress and start to think differently.
Understand that stress induces cravings, both physical and emotional. Stress also robs us of sleep, saps our energy and motivation. and reduces our ability to make good decisions and healthy choices.
Stress steals our ability to feel in control. Our body’s natural signals are ignored, harsh judgements about ourselves become our closest companions, and those nasty, niggly little voices whisper how we’re not good enough, smart enough or capable enough of winning our health battle.
Overeating leads to weight gain and more stress. Weight gain and stress leads to lack of self-confidence and the vicious cycle continues.
We become trapped and chained to the next diet and quick fix to losing weight. Self-compassion, intuition, resilience, and all our inner WISER resources fade into the background.
I found a better way!
One of the best ways to break free from emotional eating is to begin exploring your unique relationship with stress and food.
How do they interrelate?
What's the biggest source of your stress? Work? Relationships? Loneliness?
What do YOU need when you walk in the door at the end of a long day other than multiple unhealthy snacks?
Help to Change
The gap between where you are now and what would help you manage your stress more effectively is one of the keys to helping you break free.
Freedom from emotional eating is possible. I know this because I was right there where you are and if I can create a healthy relationship with food and my body, then I know you can too.
Is it time for you to break free from emotional eating?
I would love to partner with you to help you on your path to a healthier lifestyle. You don't have to go on this journey alone. Contact me for a complimentary Create the Life you Crave strategy call. By the end of it you’ll have a plan for success and be empowered with information that’ll inspire you to reach your goal.
Mary Angelou said "I did then what knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."