“To use food to satisfy feelings, and when you quench those feelings with comfort food when your stomach isn’t growling”
That just sounds so sucky doesn’t it? I am emotional so I eat. Sounds so “poor me” and yet, I do it.
Anyone who knows me well knows I hate anything to do with emotions or feelings. It’s something I am very aware of and have been working on the past few years. I have really made an effort, to first of all, figure out how I am feeling and then express it. At first it was so uncomfortable for me I could barely stand it, but I made myself do this because I know I will be a better person for it; wife, friend,coach, human being…
I hadn’t really thought of myself as being an emotional eater because I thought “I am not an emotional person”. Emotional eating doesn’t just mean stuffing yourself when you are crying hysterically. E.E (emotional eating)also results from feelings that you aren’t acknowledging or maybe even aware of. You don’t want to feel something so you eat.
Hello, that last part is me…
I was upset with someone this week and noticed that I have been eating and drinking more than I have been. I didn’t care that I was over doing it; I’d deal with that later, right now I want to eat and drink.
I was eating out of many different emotions, but in being honest with myself, I was equally upset with myself as I was that other person.
Why am I sharing this story with you? Because it’s real and my intent with this Blog is to share and help people learn by my own mistakes, successes and triumphs.
So, when I read an article today about emotional eating, my first thought was, “well, that’s not me”. As hard as this is for me to admit, the real deal is, I do feel things, much as I may not want to.
The article went on to talk about how to know the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger:
How to Tell the Difference
There are several differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger, according to the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center web site:
1. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.
2. When you are eating to fill a void that isn’t related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you’re open to options.
3. Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave; physical hunger can wait.
4. Even when you are full, if you’re eating to satisfy an emotional need, you’re more likely to keep eating. When you’re eating because you’re hungry, you’re more likely to stop when you’re full.
5. Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt; eating when you are physically hungry does not.
The article also states:
The types of comfort foods a person is drawn toward varies depending on their mood.
People in happy moods tended to prefer … foods such as pizza or steak (32%).
Sad people reached for ice cream and cookies 39% of the time
36% of bored people opened up a bag of potato chips.”
Basically, I am happy and bored all the time.
So, what to do about these shitty emotions we all feel?
The first step is to figure out how you are feeling. Pinpoint the exact feeling(s). Then I read somewhere recently to do as you feel. So, what does that mean?
If you are feeling lonely reach out to someone who may be feeling lonely too.
If you are feeling angry work those feelings out doing exercise.
If you are sad try and cheer someone else up.
This is definitely a work in progress for me. I could see how I was emotionally eating this week, though, and now that I can see it I can do something about it and take control back.
Questions of the day: Based on what types of food you reach for are you happy, sad or bored?