Do you put others' needs before your own? That may be a part of the job for you.
Whether you’re a high-powered professional, a mother, a caregiver, a partner, a worker, a daughter, a son, a friend, or all of the above and more.
We live in a busy world today. Many of you spend your days putting out fires, handling to-do lists, wiping little noses, meeting deadlines and making sure other people aren't going hungry, feel safe, and happy.
The stressors of life can literally beat a person up. If they go unattended too long they can destroy relationships with food and lead to a series of events that prevent a person from living their best life. Emotional eating is real and if we don't heighten our awareness around it, we can easily fall victim to it.
In some cases, the story goes like this.
Life stressors become too much to bear.
You get drained mentally and emotionally.
The time you used to invest in your health and fitness has disappeared.
The clothes that you felt comfortable in are now fitting tighter than you would like.
The sugar and junk food cravings seem much stronger.
The gym membership you have isn't being utilized and the home gym equipment you have is gathering dust.
The bathroom mirror and scale are avoided.
You end up putting your health and fitness goals to the side because changing it feels like the roller coaster ride that never ends.
Food becomes the way you deal with stress.
Food becomes the gateway to helping you feel better.
At the end of a long and hectic day, a big bowl of ice cream can be especially effective in temporarily soothing our exhausted, hard-working selves.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can feel healthy, fit, and good in your own skin.
You can regain control of your schedule and your body. You can overcome emotional eating and cravings.
You can show love and appreciation to others while still taking care of yourself.
Emotional eating can be a direct result of not being conscious of what or why you’re eating. Therapists call this unconscious eating. Unconscious eating is when you’re done with your meal and you continue to pick at it, slowly eating the remaining portion that you intended to leave behind. It can also be putting chips, crackers or any other food in your mouth, just because it’s in front of you.
Find other ways to reward and soothe yourself besides food (and other self-destructive behaviors.) Will these other ways be as effective at soothing you as food? Absolutely not! The things you come up with will help somewhat, But, In order to truly give up emotional eating, you are also going to have to practice tolerating difficult feelings.
Try to remain mindful of what and when you are eating. It sounds crazy but you have to be intentional about asking yourself a series of questions so you can be more mindful of breaking the cycle.
Why am I eating this?
What am I thinking?
What am I feeling?
Who am I with?
Emotional eating is a powerful and effective way to find temporary relief from many of life’s challenges. If it didn’t work so well, no one would do it. In order to stop this cycle of emotional eating, you have to make a commitment to reach deep inside yourself to find a place of grit and strength to break the cycle.
Hopefully the above reminders can assist you in your journey.