SOCIAL MEDIA

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

How To Stop Giving In To Emotional Eating & My Personal Experience

Emotional eating is one of the most complicated forms of self-sabotaging. I know this is true because I too have been struggling with emotional eating. Emotional eating brings temporary comfort. A temporary comfort that I crave while I’m under depression, anxiety, or just stress.




I am a sugar addict who yearns to have something sweet on my taste buds to help soothe my frustrations. My emotional eating has led me to have poor oral care, worsen symptoms of lymphedema, reoccurring yeast infections, acne, and weight gain.

For years, I have kept my emotional eating a secret. I’m pretty sure it was shown to my dentist, hygienist, gynecologist, and family that I had an underlying issue. I couldn’t play it off anymore. I could not shake my temptations to give in to my emotional eating for over 10 years.

I did my own research before consulting with a therapist or life coach in my area. I needed a feeling of fulfillment that I knew that I tried before seeking outside help. If you struggle from giving into episodes of emotional eating, you do not have to suffer alone.

According to Help Guide here are alternatives to emotional eating:

If you’re depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better. If you have a dog or cat play with them, or looks at a favorite photo or cherished memento.
If you’re anxious, expand your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.
If you’re exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
If you’re bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy (woodworking, playing the guitar, shooting hoops, scrapbooking, etc.).
Identify what triggers your emotional eating.
Holding onto your emotions – Harvesting pain from the past, feeling guilty, depressed, or upset about your current circumstances can all have a negative effect on triggering your emotional eating.
Feeling bored or lonely – Have you ever gave into emotional eating because of being bored or lonely? It can feel like you are just passing time away with snacking. I know because just giving into eating momentarily distracts you from underlying feelings of dissatisfaction and uselessly with your life.
Stress – Stress can make you hungry! Our body produces high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for those sweet, salty, and fried foods. These type of guilty pleasures for many give you a burst of energy and happiness. Think about it like this, the more uncontrolled stress in your life, then it is more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief.
Childhood memories – Think back to your childhood memories of food. There are people who grew up poor and hardly had food to eat. Many people are still holding on to repressed emotions from their childhood. There are people who were rewarded with their favorite food or dessert on special occasions. Also, they are people who went through traumatizing situations during their childhood that can spark episodes of emotional eating.
Social influences – Have you ever felt nervous in a social setting that caused you to overeat? Gathering together with other people for a meal is a great way to relieve stress, but it can also lead to overeating. Your family friends may encourage you to binge eat along with them or because they cook. It is easy to overindulge on eating when you have people around you that are not judgmental.



Here’s an example of what a full day of secret binge eating looked like for me:
·         Morning: I would indulge on two bowls of cereal before heading off to work around 8-9am. I then would snack on a chewy granola bar because of my sweet tooth.
·         Afternoon: Snack time in full effect on Oreos or a slice of frozen cheesecake that I would stash to the back of my freezer. I also would eat a half bag of pizza rolls with a large cup of sweet tea from my local Race Trac gas station or Mcdonalds.

·         Early Evening: Around this time my sweet cravings would be through the roof. I would snack on ice cream and potato chips for the ultimate balance of sweet and salty.
·         Evening: I would check in with my husband to see if he possibly wanted me to cook a quick dinner or go out to grab something to eat. During this time, I use to be a sucker for overstuffed Idaho potato from a local spot.
How I stopped giving into emotional eating.
I started letting go of my emotions with journaling. I was holding onto a lot of suppressed emotions and allowing myself to feel defeated by my shortcomings. I was eating because I did not want to deal with the root of my stress. I was eating because I knew it was going to take my mind off my life. I challenged myself to stand and eat in front of a mirror. (Yes, I was that serious.)
My self-confidence and self-esteem were greatly affected by my binge eating. Once I started watching myself eat when I was emotionally upset, I started backing away from doing it. Instead of binging on pizza rolls, I would make myself a cup of dessert tea. 
Tea would curve my sweet tooth. I also used water enhancers to flavor my bottle/glass of water or whenever I would dine out. My binge eating went on for four years until I became a mother. The most I ever weighed was 200 pounds at 5’6 and with lymphedema in my feet. I am now maintaining 160 pounds and have the motivation to lose more weight. 
I want to encourage you today to do not give up on yourself. Do not give up on your health. Giving in to your cravings when you are trying to cope with something emotionally is only as easy as you allow it to be. Take steps to help yourself not fall victim to your emotions.


Feel free to share your story with me in the comment box below. You may be an inspiration to someone else.
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