Posts tagged emotional eating
Why Losing Weight is Hard (pt1): Emotional Eating
For most of my life I have been over weight. 
It has just always been an issue for me. To some my extra 30-40 pounds I have always carried is mortifying, to some you know just what I mean, and to others it may seem trivial. But we all have our own struggles, big or small, and this happens to be one of mine.

I am wanting to share some of the things I am learning along the way and things I am still struggling with. I will be doing it in parts so it doesn't get too long!
Study offers clues to emotional eating
In my most recent current attempt to try and get this weight off, I decided to try a different approach. As I started my better eating and my fitness activities, I also went on Pinterest or blogs to find as much information-slash-inspiration as I could.

For so long my mind had been sick, if I am totally honest it still coughs and sniffles every now and then. But I knew that I had to change my mind before anything physical would or could change.

Here are a few things I am learning along the way.

1) I AM an emotional eater.
There, I said it. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? For a long time I didn't think I fit this description. I though to be an emotional eater you had to have a bad day, be really sad, and go eat. {When in fact I was doing something not all that different}. The picture in my head was that of someone with a bag of chips when their boyfriend broke up with them, and that wasn't me, so I wasn't an emotional eater. Well, think again.

I have read a few of Geneen Roth's books on over eating and I tried to grasp them, but often times I just wasn't in a place to put them into practice. One of the things she talks a lot about is that when you eat to escape, therein lies the problem.

Instead of facing feelings or emotions that one is having, it is easier to sit with our constant companion, food, and feel immediately better and seemingly escaping any uncomfortable feelings we have.

I noticed this one day when my husband and I were having an intense discussion which came from my disillusionment with my life. When I was well emotionally spent and frustrated with no answers my mind wandered to my son's HUGE birthday cake sitting in the fridge. All I wanted to do in that moment was grab a slice with extra icing, sit in front of a good show, and leave that moment.
I have discovered, emotional eating is a way of escape for me. 
And it doesn't always have to be in a negative light.

It has recently been getting warmer here and I am noticing myself wanting certain things that "go with" warm weather. I want to celebrate things that I find pleasure in by making it even more pleasurable by eating something yummy while doing it. As Lysa Terkeaurst calls it, "tying my happy to food". Looking forward to certain activities based on the food that will be associated with it. This is all emotional eating.

Now there is nothing wrong with celebrating and including food, it is a part of our culture, and most cultures for that matter. The problem arrives when every little thing is a celebration and then celebrations turn into excuses as to why I ate 4 hamburgers and fries over the weekend.

This has been a huge pattern in my life for a long time.

I remember one time my friends and I went to Spain (when I was living in Northern Ireland) and we were on vacation! Food and vacation go HAND IN HAND! Right? I remember my friend not wanting to spend money on food by going out when we would be out on the beach. It was beyond me. Part of the experience is eating, right?

To be sure, food is the only addiction that we must continue to partake in, which makes it complicated. I, for one, do not want to eliminate any foods from my diet unless there is a valid reason for it other than "it makes you fat". The food is not the problem, and I think amazing food is a glorious addition to our lives. The problem is our abuse of food, portion control, choosing more unhealthy foods more often then healthy ones.

So vacation will still be tied to amazing food and treats and summer will still be tied to ice cream, but it is not necessary for me to enjoy myself.
{on our cruise back in November}
Emotional eating is any time I am using food to make me feel a certain way or using it to help me stop feeling. Emotional eating is the relationship I have with food. It is, after all, always there. A consistent friend, unlike a chaotic world of disappointments and hurts. Always there to make me feel better.

And naturally thin people, they don't have this "friendship" with food. Food is just food, and it has no control over them and its not the first, second and third thing they think about when considering plans.

Realizing this, and wanting to get to a place of normalcy in my relationship with food, I have to start paying attention. I know this is THE KEY to this issue for me, just paying attention and realizing what I am doing and then trying to think long enough to understand why, as well. It becomes such a habit, it's been happening for so long, it's engrained, I have to start thinking new thoughts.

What do you think about emotional eating?