Are you an Emotional or Stress Eater?
It makes perfect sense that human beings would turn to food for comfort. When we were babies and we cried, what happened? Breast or bottle = instant comfort. Later, when we skinned a knee or were bored, sad or in any way uncomfortable, our parents may have (with the best intentions of course!), given us a treat to make us feel better or distract us from feeling our feelings. This, inadvertently, led us to engage in unhealthy behaviors to cope with those feelings, and thereby fail to acquire the tools needed to comfort ourselves.
It also makes sense that food would be the perfect device for soothing such intense emotions or even ennui. Why?
Think about other types of addictions or vices employed to deal with stress and emotions, and you’ll discover that above all others (drugs, gambling, obsessive shopping, drinking etc.), food is the most acceptable and accessible, and often becomes ones “drug of choice”.
The fact that everything above may be true doesn’t negate the fact that emotional and stress-related eating causes us enormous angst. The symptoms that follow this behavior include physical, cognitive and emotional distress. Ironically, the solution we choose to deal with these unsettling feelings, (eating), exacerbates these negative emotions exponentially. We are filled with shame, we berate ourselves for not being able to “figure this out already”, and we may have GI distress as well as sleep disorders. This is true both as a short-term and long-term consequence of binging and emotional eating. This vicious cycle leaves us feeling more hopeless and entrapped than ever.
What if I were to tell you that you could take a detour from this path? You’d be skeptical but intrigued, right?
While it takes commitment, investment and planning, as well as stepping out on that treacherous limb sometimes causing “discomfort”, I know that this is something every person can accomplish.
Here are 6 actionable and specific measures you can take TODAY to get off the emotional eating roller coaster.