Dieting and overeating are the same thing. A bold statement I know, but if you think about it often one of these polar opposites replaces the other; and the ultimate reason for doing both is control. You’re simply trying to control your emotions, through food (and drink or whatever), rather than addressing them.
Let’s concentrate on emotional eating, but the same applies to drinking too and any other detrimental behaviour that doesn’t serve you.
Your weight is your physical armour that you wear every day; your outward public shell that the world sees and by which it judges you. Perhaps your overcoat of weight does allow you to go into a room and be a crazy gregarious character or cling to the wall hoping no one sees you!
Perhaps that packet of biscuits you ate before bedtime and the crisps you ate before supper or indeed the meals you skipped today adding another layer of ‘control’; when in actual fact you couldn’t feel more out of control if you tried!
I know, I’ve been at both ends of this emotional eating spectrum and you know what I’ve finally realised after all this time? That whilst your outside appearance and weight should never define you; you don’t have to hide behind it!
If you think back, I’m sure there was a time in your life when none of this was an issue. There was a time when you were happily going through life not caring about what size you were or what the latest must-do diet was and then WHAMO; something happens that effects you emotionally or that you connect with on an emotional level and you started your emotional eating (or not eating) journey.
Sadly this emotional eating isn’t something that modern commercial money-making diets cater for. For these diets only address the symptoms; the same philosophy behind most any western medicine. They never address the cause and WHY you’re doing it. Just in the same way we label food ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or tell yourself you’re “trying to be good” or that your “diet will start tomorrow”! Then when you’re not “on a diet” you’re stuffing you face with all the stuff that you’ve tried to limit over time, thus gaining weight again.
So here’s where you can finally say “this is it I’ve had enough“. I’m going to sort out my emotions and emotional eating. You may well need professional help for the next part of your journey particularly if your trigger involves emotional eating in connection to suffered abuse. However, allow yourself time to try and figure out when this emotional eating (or not eating) started. When you’ve pinpointed it think back to what was happening at that time in your life. The chances are it wasn’t a great time. And depending on the severity of the issue at the time are you able to make peace with it now, in this time? Are you able to see the situation for what it was and why the situation occurred? Are you even able to reconcile it and devote no more of your time and energy to it; either consciously or unconsciously?
There will most probably be tears, which are always good for cleansing a situation and seeing more clearly. Sometimes a ritual will help. For instance, you might want to write it all out so it’s no longer inside of you. Then rather than keeping this paper around you might want to burn it as a release. Letting the negative situation disperse just like the smoke. When you do manage to get to that place where you spend no more of your energy on this past event, and no longer let it define you, you’ll feel like lighter than air.
Don’t expect a magical overnight cure. Getting to the root cause of emotional eating can take time and patience but you must not berate yourself if you do go back and anaesthetise your feelings with food. It’s all part of you journey, but as soon as you understand that you’re doing it and why you’ll be on your way. Remember a journey starts with a single step!
I’m here to say there is a beautiful amazing life after you overcome emotional eating. You can drop your ‘armour’ and you will be safe!
Until next time lovelies…