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My Main Struggle: Emotional Eating

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a tendency to use food as a way to cope with my emotions. Stress, sadness, boredom, you name it and I’d find some snack to enjoy to feel “better”. Decades later, not much has really changed except maybe that now I’m aware that this is a tendency I have.

The last few months have been a little busy. It’s the busy “birthday” season for me and my family, lots of friends expecting babies which means lots of baby showers and lots of crochet projects to complete on top of that I was preparing my house for my boyfriend’s visit, planning for his trip as well as launching my Perfectly Posh Business and preparing to launch my Crochet Shop all while staying on top of my 21 Day Fix eating plan and workout schedule! I wanted to set myself up for success and get ahead so that when my boyfriend visited I could focus on spending that time with him. I knew that when he visited I wouldn’t be able to stick to my eating/workout plan and I figured two weeks off would be okay and that I could just pick up right where I left off. However, what I neglected to think about was that pesky emotional eating tendency. As soon as he left, I didn’t care about eating healthy. I didn’t care about working out. I had the blues and that meant the nasty emotional eating tendency was in full effect. Bring on the chocolate! Bring on the greasy food!

Emotional Binge EatingSo this week, that has been my struggle. I’d eat pretty much on plan and healthy during the day at work, but as soon as I get home it was like a challenge to find and destroy any and ALL of the food in the house. Add to that the fact that most of my “healthy” food stock was completely depleted. Late nights are the worst. I’d just go to the kitchen and graze. It’s safe to say my lowest weight no longer applies. I’m not even going to bother measuring myself to see the damage done on that front but I’m not going to beat myself up about it! It’s natural and I already feel myself getting back to normal and I plan to restart the 21 Day Fix on Monday!

I know there’s a lot of people out there who ALSO struggle with eating to soothe those pesky emotions. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Some people may look at me and my success and think I never go off track and always work out, but the truth is, I’m a human being. I have struggles and I don’t always eat on plan. Sometimes I get overly-obsessive about it and forget the importance of eating off plan (it’s actually GOOD for your metabolism to give it a little shock of some “bad” food from time to time) and self-guilt myself for going so overboard. I might even be overly critical and think I ate TERRIBLE when I didn’t even really. It’s all part of the struggle! I thought I’d share with you all a few helpful tips to overcome the bad habit of Emotional Eating.

1. PAUSE and ask yourself if you’re really hungry.

Chances are you are bored, stressed, etc and you’re not ACTUALLY hungry. Before hitting the fridge in search of the quickest snack, try pouring yourself an 8oz glass of water and drink it. A lot of the time we “crave” because our bodies NEED something. No, that doesn’t mean your body need that chocolate, right now. If the water doesn’t satisfy, ask yourself what it is you are specifically craving.

2. Put down the bag of chips and do something constructive.

I know for me if I keep myself busy with other things I “forget” to snack. So start a new project, learn a new hobby, pay some bills, clean house, go for a walk, get some exercise, SOMETHING! Getting out of the house and getting some physical activity is probably the best option because it removes the kitchen from the equation. Bottom line is ANYTHING constructive at all will distract you from making a beeline for food!

3. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks ONLY.

Funny thing about emotional eating is that we typically want the BAD stuff. I go on an all out search for ALL the carbs and sweets in the house! If you keep yourself surrounded with healthy snacks you might even find that when you go on the prowl that the idea of eating healthy in that moment isn’t even all that appealing. If you know there is a particular type of food you CONSTANTLY go to when you are feeling down, you will definitely want to make sure you DO NOT keep it in your house.

4. Remind yourself of the true purpose of food.

Agnes & Churros
Food’s TRUE purpose is to fuel our bodies. Sure, a lot of food TASTES good and is enjoyable to eat, but keeping in mind that food is NOT a fix for your emotions might just make you more self-aware and keep you from eating as a means to soothe your bad mood.

5. Determine what the true problem is.

How are you feeling? Are you sad? Stressed? Is there something else you can do that will make you feel better that does NOT involve food?

These are just some ways to combat emotional eating but you really have to find what works for you. For me #2 is the best solution. I have to pour myself into something else and eventually I will feel better and stop turning to food to comfort myself. Do you struggle with emotional eating? What do you typically choose to eat when you’re having an emotional eating attack?

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