Here’s a simple truth. If you were more direct, you’d struggle less with emotional eating. Emotional eating is about using food to deal with a feeling or a situation instead of addressing it directly. Really. It’s that simple. When you resort to stress eating you aren’t really addressing the stress. When you comfort yourself with food, you aren’t really responding to yourself with care and compassion (at least it rarely feels that way in the morning). When you binge on ice cream to drown your sorrows, you aren’t actually tackling the sadness or hurt or the situation that is causing you pain.
And emotional eating triggers go beyond feelings. Many people overeat instead of dealing directly with the situations that cause the uncomfortable feelings.
- You’re worried someone’s mad at you. So you eat.
- You are mad at someone and that doesn’t feel good (and you don’t want to show it). So you eat.
- You don’t want to disappoint someone. So you eat.
- You have a truth to tell that you know won’t be popular. So you eat.
- You are uncomfortable asking for what you want. So you eat.
- You need something and it may cause a conflict. So you eat.
Sound familiar? Sometimes emotional eating isn’t only about stuffing your feelings. Sometimes overeating is a way of not taking a stand.
Want to be effective with food? Want to know how to be effective with weight loss? It’s simple. Start working to be more directly effective in your life.
If you want help with emotional eating (or overeating in general), there’s a question that can get to the heart of matters pretty quickly. Next time you find yourself reaching for food you aren’t really hungry for, ask yourself this:
“What am I not facing head-on and directly?”
Be honest, be compassionate, but be firm with yourself. What are you avoiding, side-stepping, or soft-selling?
What do you need to help you be more effective and direct? Sometimes you just need to step into your big girl shoes, take a deep breath, and get the job done. Sometimes you’ll find you need some better tools or strategies. Maybe it’s time to get some support or education or a coach so you can stop stuffing your feelings instead of effectively speaking your mind.
What have you faced head-on and how has it helped?