Some women spend a lot of time trying to understand their emotional eating struggles. Others I talk with are very frustrated with the pattern of eating and overeating to cope with stress or boredom or heartbreak or nerves, but they haven’t spent much time examining why they do it. Their preferred approach is to apply “tough love” to themselves and just “knock it off.”
Often, these are women who are used to hard work. They just want to dive in, get tough, and solve this problem once and for all. They are smart women who are used to managing quite a bit and have been successful in many areas of their lives. They may be business owners, successful professionals, supermoms, or even “all of the above” (is this starting to sound familiar?).
This “get tough” approach is usually unsuccessful—at least in the long run. That’s because, if you are using food as a coping tool (as busy women who are juggling a lot often do); if you are using food as something to help you feel better or different; or maybe to not feel anything; taking the food away is going to leave you with the feelings you didn’t want to cope with in the first place. If you don’t ask the question, “Why am I overeating?” you won’t be on the path to developing solid alternatives that will help you NOT overeat in the future.
Asking the why question can be hard to do because we often don’t know what to do with the feelings and answers we find there—at least not right away. Hard or not, it’s an essential question, and asking it can help you get on the path you want to be on with food and with weight. Once you ask the question you’ll be much better equipped to start looking for the tools, tips and strategies that can help you take the care you need of yourself, get in control with your eating, and lose the weight once and for all.
Take good care,