Emotional eating, emotional eater, eating emotions away. Can you relate to any of those words? Do you eat when you get stressed out? I sure do. I know and admit I do.
One of the goals I have this year is to try something new each month. One of my goals is to learn and understand what triggers me to eat when I do. I know there are times that I eat when I am NOT hungry. When I get stressed out, instead of going for a walk, doing yoga, I eat. Yeah not a great thing to admit but I do it. They say the first step of healing is admitting here so in front of all of you, I’m openly admitting that I am an emotional eater and that I have an emotional eating habit.
According to the University of Michigan¹, common signs of emotional eating are:
• Changing your eating habits when you have more stress in your life.
• Eating when you are not hungry or when you are full.
• Eating to avoid dealing with a stressful situation.
• Eating to soothe your feelings.
• Using food as a reward. (For example, “That was really a tough job/assignment/argument.
Can you relate to any of those? I do…unfortunately I can relate to more than one. In my attempt to stop my emotional eating, I’ve been doing some research on how to overcome emotional eating. Here are some tips that I have found from various sources that are triggers to avoid. I know many are hard to avoid, but, I am totally wiling to do what it takes to stop it.
Common Emotional Eating Triggers to Avoid
I know you have one of more of these in your life. I do. If you won’t, you are very blessed indeed! I’ve already cut a few toxic people out of my life. There are a few more that I need to, it’s just if I do, it could be ugly and I’m not sure if I’m ready to deal with that extra stress and drama. I do agree with what I have read that the key though is to not give them the power to hold anything over you. I know, easier said then done.
Overloading Your Schedule
Just say no right? That is sooooo hard for me to do! With having one child in high school and one in elementary, means I am dealing with different activities and schedules. This year I did decide to say no more. It’s actually a very liberating feeling! And it has helped our budget as I’m not on the run as much, so we aren’t eating out as much.
Are you one of those who can never say no? I have never gotten one Mom I know who sat down at a meeting and opened her schedule. Holy schedule overload! She was busy doing something from 8 am to 11 pm every single day, even on the weekends. It was pure craziness.
Negative Thoughts and Emotions
Now for me, this is hard. I have awful self-esteem and I always have! I was the easy target for bullies growing up. I’ll go into all of that another time. But life was rough growing up. It wasn’t just from fellow school mates either. I went through a year of counseling because I had finally hit a wall and knew it was time to deal with a lot of my past. It was not fun my friends. Not fun at all.
For me, dealing with those issues is a part of the reason I am addressing and being open that I am an emotional eater and I want to learn how to stop eating my emotions away!
One thing I have learned from my counseling, which worked wonders while going through that is to journal! I need to burn the journal I was writing in while I was seeing my counselor. I haven’t read the journal since but it definitely helped. So I am going to start writing stuff down when I’m dealing with it. Maybe doing that will help see a pattern and I’ll discover a different emotional eating trigger that I can avoid.
I know this process won’t be over in a week and like with healing in another area of my life, it took a good year to finally understand, see, forgive, and start to heal. This, as in all things, takes time.
Have you overcome emotional eating? If so, I’d love to hear your story! If you are an emotional eater like I am, I hope you will join me on this journey so we can overcome this battle together!
Next Monday, I will put up a new post on once you start identifying your triggers, what the next steps are. Until then, find a journal or notebook and start recording what triggers you to eat.