I’ve experienced some hard core emotional eating periods in the past. I’ve totally numbed out and ran away from my feelings, all by pushing them down with everything and anything edible in sight.
I’ve not known what to do or how to stop or where to begin.
So the fact that I can now co-exist with chocolate cake in the fridge and not need to immediately eat it all the second I get upset, feels pretty awesome.
Now, I may have come a long way in my personal journey and even written an ebook on how to stop emotional eating (it’s free by the way), but I wanted to clear something up: yep, I still emotionally eat. And I’m OK with it!
We are humans. We are emotional. So whether we like it or not eating is emotional too. We celebrate with cake at birthdays, we socialise by going out to dinner, we love cooking for friends, we love food that makes us feel good, the list goes on. Of course our emotions come to the table with us, it’s just life.
And sometimes, when my mood is low or I’ve had a crap day etc, I just want to eat chocolate. I’m not hungry, my body isn’t asking for it, I just want it. Just ’cause.
However, there is a massive difference to my emotional eating now, compared to how it was in the past.
Past Jess Emotional Eating:
+ Number one, go-to coping mechanism.
+ Fast paced eating, while standing up in the kitchen hoping not to get caught.
+ Stressful, ‘stuck’ experience.
+ Scoff one thing, feel incredibly guilty, so continue to eat a lot lot more.
Present Jess Emotional Eating:
+ Occasional coping mechanism.
+ Eats slow, not in secret.
+ Pleasurable experience.
+ Zero shame or guilt (or a slight amount which is quickly released) so can let it go and move on.
Can you see the difference? Now when emotional eating springs up, I slow down. I let myself enjoy it, I’m “there”, awake, mindful. I allow myself to experience the pleasure of what I’m eating. I don’t feel guilty or at least try to quickly release any guilt. This allows me to move on quicker and continue to follow the 6 steps I talk about in my ebook so I can get to the core of what’s going on and really give myself what I need.
This style of emotional eating means I eat one block of chocolate, not the whole confectionary aisle.
I also want to add that the way emotional eating used to pan out for me in the past, didn’t make me a bad person. So if you feel like that’s where you are currently at, guess what? You’re not a bad person either! There is no right or wrong and definitely no good or bad. It’s just a coping mechanism. A way to proctect and balance yourself in that moment.
The way I emotionally eat now doesn’t make me a better person either, but it definitely serves me in a better way. And I feel more nourished and grounded for it.
Next time you feel the pull towards emotional eating, I wonder if you could slow down with it. Allow yourself to enjoy the experience, be present and see what happens.
Stop fighting and judging yourself. Instead, observe what is going on with unconditional compassion for yourself.