One day when I was getting ready to eat dinner, I said something to myself I never said before. It was the strangest thing to me. It was so strange I stopped for a second what I was getting ready to do to process what my mind just said. Are you ready for this, I said to myself, “I’m not emotionally hungry right now.” What happened was I had to eat dinner earlier than usual so I wasn’t very hungry physically. I had for so long eaten my emotions, that I was finally learning the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger.
When I really for serious about losing the extra weight I was carrying, I had to confront some things about myself. Over the last four years I have had to learn how to stop the negative self-talk. There is enough negativity coming at me from the outside much less the inside. Keeping a food journal has also helped me confront some things in my life also. When I wrote down the food I ate, it showed me something. I always tried to preplan my meals and if I ate something that wasn’t planned, I would write it down. I noticed a pattern. I ate extra food on days when I was emotionally going through things that were weighing me down. On days when I had a stressful day at work, I would come home and eat double what I had planned. Then I would tell myself how “bad” I was for not being able to control my eating habits. What my food journal was showing me is I am an emotional eater. Actually, I think I am a stuffer. There’s a new term for you. I would try to stuff my feelings of anger, of being tired, stress and any other emotion down. Over the years I have tried to become conscious of the why am I eating a particular food. Desserts were the foods I chose to eat when I wanted to eat my emotions away. The questions I started asking myself were:
*Why am I eating this?
*Am I eating this because I enjoy it or because I want it to make me feel better?
*Is eating this particular food going to make my situation any better I am worrying about?
When I started answering these questions, I just knew I needed to change. The change didn’t happen overnight. There are still times I still eat my feelings. When it happens now, I log it in my food journal, and try to figure out why I just did that. What is bothering me so much I just used food to make me feel better? It’s uncomfortable to confront your feeling when you are used to avoiding them. You will cry, scream and feel emotional pain. And you will be stronger after you get through it. You will eventually notice you make food choices based on physical hunger instead of emotional hunger. This is a journey for a lifetime, not a short time. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
For help with getting your emotional eating under control, check out my book Losing Weight to Gain Control-Loving Your Weight Maintenance Journey. Available for purchase on Amazon.