I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m bored. I eat to celebrate. I eat to keep myself awake when I think it’s too early to go to sleep. I eat no matter what emotion I am feeling.
Being on furlough, I have plenty of emotions to eat through. I am trying really hard to decide if I am actually hungry or just not wanting to deal with an emotion. And it’s hard for me, because most of the time I am not sure WHAT my emotion actually is to know what to do instead.
If I’m bored, I have started a list of things to do. Trouble is, sometimes I just don’t feel like DOING anything. That’s a whole other thing to work on.
If I’m happy, I’m working on Savoring the Moment. There will be a whole other post about those efforts.
If I’m sad, I’m trying to lean into what ever has made me sad and deal with that. That’s where some of these posts come from.
And truth be told, if I’m tired, I’ve just been going to bed. Because I can. I have nothing going on right now, so my schedule is completely my own.
I did a little digging on the internet, and here’s some articles I found that I found interstig.
This does a great job of giving a high end explication of what emotional eating is. It made me think of something. Eating is comforting to me. There’s really no wrong way to eat. So when I’ve having a negative moment, it is comforting. Eating is a way my family celebrates. We spent all our holidays traveling – or having family travel to us – to celebrate over a big meal. When most of us lived in the same general area, we got together each month to celebrate our birthdays over a potluck meal. Eating was a social inclusion event growing up. After church, our family and other families that were part of our “in crowd”, we would go out to eat lunch, socializing during a meal. Eating, taking a meal in together, for me, has had many positive emotions tied to it. So it make sense that when I am feeling down, even just a little, I turn to food to reminisce about those good ol’ days subconsciously emotionally.
Did I ever tell you about the time I thought I was a food addict? Yes, it’s true. I don’t know if I ever told anyone. I snuck off to Overeaters Anonymous meetings. Bought a book that we read during our meetings. It was 12 step based. It didn’t change my relationship with food even just a little. There were NO snacks at the meeting AND we couldn’t go out to lunch after the meeting to be social!? What do you do to spend time with strangers to get to know them?!!
This article talks about how science hasn’t been able to prove food is an addictive element, but they can show how people demonstrate addictive behavior toward food. That’s what I felt like I was doing. I was obsessed with food. When and what was I going to eat next? I felt like that was all I thought about. During this time I was VERY unhappy. My life was not where or what I wanted it to be. At all. And I was obsessed with getting that comfort from my food. I didn’t realize that until a number of years later.
What I find perplexing about this read is in one breath it says rate your hunger and only eat when you are really hungry and in another breath it says to schedule your meals to eat at certain times during the day. Now, I have to subscribe to the “eat when I’m hungry and only when I’m hungry, but not overly hungry, because I had surgery for my acid reflux in 2017. I’ll throw up. I also can’t eat too much or certain foods, like broccoli or dry rice, or I throw up. And I burp a lot!! It’s quite embarrassing. It has really changed how I view eating food socially. The good news is, if I go out to eat, I usually get 2 or 3 meals out of what ever I have ordered and I have lost about 40 pounds since the procedure.
The great advice from this article for me is balance is key and have a list of alternate activities to do instead of eat if you aren’t really hungry. I am working on the balance part and I have a list started (see earlier in this article).
Here are two more that have some really great ideas on helping curb the crave:
Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Have you experience any of these things? I’d love to hear your take on these matters.