What’s the benefit of taking control of emotional eating?
There’s a rule in marketing that if you want people to buy, you need to be crystal clear about the benefit of doing so. If you want to sell a widget, you won’t if you can’t convey the reason anyone would want it. We value benefits and results. When we invest our energy or our money in something, we want to know what’s in it for us.
I’ve thought a lot about this truth in terms of emotional eating and overeating. When it comes to taking control and moving beyond, I’m surprised sometimes at how murky the benefits can seem—and how difficult they can be to fully grasp if you haven’t already achieved them. In fact, many women I talk with seem to believe that taking control of their eating will only mean a struggle with willpower and a lot of hard work.
I don’t believe this to be true. Breaking free doesn’t mean winning an ongoing tug of war, it means figuring out a way to put the rope down and walk away from the game.
So what’s the word for this?
Why is it so much easier to describe problems like emotional eating and overeating than it is to describe the benefit or outcome associated with overcoming them?
What is the word or phrase that describes the dazzling opposite of emotional eating? Of overeating? Of stress or comfort or boredom eating? What is it called when you break free and end the struggle? I think our vocabulary for describing this goal is lacking and I wonder why this is.
I know, the goal usually includes dropping some weight and feeling better about how you look. But the opposite of emotional eating is not weight loss. It’s much bigger and broader reaching than that. Ending emotional eating battles means no more struggle. No more wasted energy. No more feeling defeated or out of control.
Learning how NOT to overeat emotionally changes how you feel, how you relate to the world, and how you react to what’s going on. When you stop using food to stuff feelings or make up for other things, you learn how to be more effective in your life, with your emotions, and often, in your relationships. Yep, it’s big. Learning how to replace emotional eating and move beyond it changes how you treat yourself and this has the potential to change just about everything.
I’ve coined the term “peace with food” to describe the opposite of emotional overeating and struggles with food. When a client that I am working with hits her peace-with-food-sweet-spot, something major clicks. Her energy changes, and something much bigger than just eating is transformed.
But I wonder if we can do better. Is peace with food really the best term for this? This phrase nails one aspect of breaking free from emotional eating. It is about peace. But it’s about so much more. And since this is something that so many people struggle with, I’m confused about why we don’t have more descriptive phrases that nail the look and feeling of success. Why isn’t there a delicious word or term that easily comes to mind when we conjure up images of moving beyond these struggles?
What do you think?
What IS the opposite of emotional eating and overeating? How come so many of the potential answers sound boring and colorless—not at all like the juicy, delightful feeling that so many long for—and that is totally and completely achievable? What’s going on here?
I’d love to hear what you think.
Take good care,
PS: Here’s another question that I find myself wondering about. What’s the opposite of Too Much on Her Plate?