Tag Archives for " overeating "
It's easy for us to blame food when we are making poor choices, or say we have addictions to food, or that we are out of control with food. And even easier to blame our body when it gains weight, or doesn't look the way we want it to. We think it's fighting against us.
What I have learned through my years-long struggle with food and body image issues, is that both are blameless. I only blamed them because I wasn't looking deeper at what was driving me to eat the food and hate my body. I had to start to take responsibility for my actions and behaviors, and that meant looking at what was behind my need to set food rules, and what was behind my emotional eating, and all the other crazy ideas I had in my head about food and my body. Food was just the symptom of something else going on that I wasn't ready to face.
How often have you said to yourself, "I will never eat [insert "bad," "unhealthy" food] again," or "I will start over tomorrow and be "good?" Those two lines were famous in my vocabulary for years. I started over a million times, and I swore I would never eat cupcakes again for as long as I was alive. But that just kept me stuck in the vicious cycle with food and my weight, and I NEVER kept those empty promises to myself.
The truth is; our issues with food have NOTHING to do with the food.
In today's VLOG, direct from my Facebook LIVE training, I offer 2 strategies you can use to start to take responsibility for yourself, and to stop blaming the food and your body. These strategies will help you to take a step back, and to begin to relate to food and your body in a different way so you can be more of a "normal" eater.
Emotional eating is something many of us do, without being aware of it. It is the number one culprit to weight gain, and can keep us stuck in a vicious cycle with food.
It can also leave us feeling like a failure when it comes to healthy eating and “staying on track.” Any time you eat without being physically hungry, it’s usually for an emotional reason. These emotional reasons could be boredom, loneliness, anger, needing comfort or soothing, or just wanting to numb out. There are many others, but these are the main triggers.
Eating during times of transition can be a big trigger for emotional eating as well. Especially when we are transitioning to the evening after dinner and life slows down and quiets down. This is a time where we want to feel comforted after a long, stressful day at work or with the kids.
And although we can have good intentions, those good intentions often turn into a whole pint of ice cream on the couch while binge-watching Netflix. Identifying if you are an emotional eater is actually simple. Ask yourself how often you eat when you are NOT physically hungry.
If it’s more than 30% of the time, then that is a pretty good indicator that you turn to food to soothe yourself.
In this video below, which I created shortly after the election when a lot of people were turning to food to cope, I share my top 2 tips on how to overcome emotional eating, and what to do in the moments when you feel like you might spiral out of control with food. I also share ways in which you can identify triggers for emotional eating.
When you find yourself going toward food and wanting to eat, especially if it’s during a transition time (after work, after dinner) STOP and ask yourself if you are physically hungry.
If the answer is YES, then make a choice that will nourish you and feel good for your body.
If the answer is NO, then take a pause and ask yourself what you are feeling. Wait for the answer before you grab food. If you are tired, bored, stressed, lonely, etc, then move on to Tip #2.
Once you can connect with what you are feeling, then you can take an alternate, nourishing action by asking yourself what you need.
What do I need right now?
If you are lonely, call a friend. If you are sad, let yourself feel your sadness. If you are bored, find something that feels fulfilling and nourishing, not numbing. If you are tired, rest or go to bed. If you feel angry, put on some upbeat music and dance it out.
The main key is to attune to your body and your emotions and see what you need. It may be hard for you to know at first, but the more you do this, the more you will be able to understand what you are feeling and what you can do to feel better in the moment.
Start to practice these 2 tips immediately and see what unfolds.
If you want to go even further and learn more ways you can overcome emotional eating, click the link below to download my Food Freedom Guide for FREE!Click here to get the guide today!
When I begin working with new clients and I hear from them that they have tried every diet known to man with no “success,” I always know there is something deeper happening than their desire to lose weight. Of course their desire is valid, but usually it’s not just about the weight that they are carrying and they want to shed. They’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting and cleansing and many other avenues that they thought would get them healthy and lean, but they ended up back where they started or even further back.
The reason I became so interested in food and nutrition, is because I have struggled most of my life with emotional eating and a distorted body image. I must say, it hasn’t been an easy road at all and I have done so much work around deeper healing and looking into why I have this “issue”. Some days I have intense feelings that keep me up late into the night obsessing over the bag of rice chips I ate, or the ½ pint of coconut ice cream that I downed when I wasn’t even hungry. I can also tend to obsess over body image issues…that my jeans are tighter today than they were yesterday, or my belly is not as flat as it was the day before, or if every calorie I put in my mouth is going to make me fat. These times come much less frequent these days and I am not going to say that I have totally healed, but I have definitely dug into deeper parts of myself to see what is running these parts of me and learned how to give myself what I really need in those moments to move through them much more gracefully than in the past.
Eating is something we need to do to stay alive. It’s not like other addictions where we can give up said substance and still survive, even though it may feel like we are going to die without it. Food is our nourishment, our vitality, our life. If we don’t know how to relate to food and our bodies in a healthy way, then we will have issues with weight, overeating, under-eating and so much more. I think you get the picture.
Our emotions and feelings play such a big role in our lives. It’s so important to look deeper into these feelings we have around our body, eating and food as they will give us messages of what our bodies and our souls really need. It’s not about the next quick fix diet, or cleanse or fast. It’s about really going inward and asking your body what it needs, or asking your soul what it needs and most of the time that answer is – Love.
Loving ourselves is such a huge part of learning how to live with emotional eating. I don’t think this “addiction” ever fully goes away, but the more we learn to love ourselves, the more this little, or big, monster will calm down and take the proverbial back seat. I know that some of you may be thinking that you are not ready to look at what it is that is driving your overeating, or emotional food choices or body image obsession, but I am here to tell you that the only way out of this, is through this.
If you struggle with any of the things that I have mentioned, seek out help with a professional, start to write in a journal, begin to really get in touch with “WHEN you are eating, WHY you are eating and WHAT you are eating.” Start to notice what you put in your mouth and why. Is your body really hungry or are your emotions screaming out to you for something else? Are you craving love, attention and affection? If so, how can you give this to yourself? Maybe you could call a friend, or stop and take a few deep breaths – whatever it is that will help you really tune into what is going on internally, before you fill your mouth with an unhealthy food that will not nourish you in any way except to feed your “in the moment” craving for something else bigger.
Begin to really notice those moments when you have a craving and see if you can stop, take a breath and check in with yourself. Do you really want that sugary donut, bag of chips or chocolate bar? Or do you really want a hug from someone? So many of our food cravings are brought about by memories of comfort when we were kids. So it’s normal to want certain foods if we are feeling down or sad, but the wise thing to do in a situation like this is to skip the food and find a way to comfort yourself. I know this sounds strange, but the love we give to ourselves and feel for ourselves is the most important love of all. So where and how can you start to love yourself more so that you don’t become slave to your emotional eating, which can lead to extra pounds, depression, shame and self-loathing?
Just one small, positive action can start to break the cycle…what will yours be?