Emotional eating is a large factor in body image and self-esteem.
We equate food with love, and when we feel let down or unloved we feed ourselves to recreate that feeling of security and contentment. Food is also a positive way to connect to our emotions.
So how do you know when you are eating to create a positive experience or eating to subdue your feelings? Listen to your internal dialogue:
- You feel guilt about what you are eating and you say, “ I just don’t care right now, so I will …”
- You feel unsatisfied after eating it. “I had such a bad day I deserve another…”
- You forage for more food and different tastes like salty and then sweet, and you feel unsatisfied by both. “Something is wrong with me. I won’t ever be happy.”
- You can’t stand the idea of calling a friend or reaching out. “No one understands me, it’s just me and the …”
- You have no energy to walk, stretch or breathe deeply. “ I am sinking under this feeling if I can just eat… and watch TV, I can handle this later.”
- You hide the food. “I am disgusting that I cannot control myself.”
- You eat it very fast so that you cannot enjoy it. “I don’t deserve love, success or to enjoy this food.”
To stop emotional eating you need to change that dialogue. My favorite positive mantras to repeat when you start hearing those negative voices are. I have been in those dark places and focusing of my personal empowerment and self-worth really changed my life.
- “I had a hard day today, but I have been through worse and succeeded. I can and will handle this, but now I deserve a hug.”
- “I feel alone right now but I know that my own company is valuable, and I can be a good friend to myself first.” or if you are a person of faith add that you are not alone ever.
- “Some things are beyond my control but how I treat myself isn’t. I deserve to have love and kindness in my life no matter what and If I need to escape a bit that’s OK as long as it is not hurting me or others.”
- I know that we can all give ourselves the love need first and save the snacks for when we will really enjoy them.