Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while probably already know that emotional eating has been a huge issue for me for so, so long. At times I've been doing better but I know it still is a problem and I really want to focus on stopping this bad habit once and for all.
I can't even begin to count the times I've turned to food when I wasn't even hungry. All those countless times when I was bored, lonely, sad, anxious, stressed, nervous, tired, restless etc. instead of being HUNGRY but nonetheless ate and ate to fill that void inside of me that I wanted to believe was something as simple and straight-forward as hunger. Because hunger is easy to fix, after all! Boredom, loneliness, sadness and other difficult emotions are a lot trickier, and it's so much easier to look the other way and try to numb the pain with food. But we all know it doesn't help! Those feelings still remain, and they come back to hunt you unless you take action and deal with them head-on. Food is not the answer. It just won't help. I KNOW it won't, and yet I sometimes find myself eating everything in sight even when I'm not even hungry. And when I'm in that mindset, it's very, very difficult to stop.
But it needs to stop.
I want it to stop.
Have you ever listened to SparkPeople Radio? I have, and I LOVE IT! I love Lily and Karen, they are so positive and inspiring! Lily often talks about how she lost her extra weight and has kept it off for over a decade, and she said one of the most helpful things she did was to start listening to her body and to only eat when she was REALLY HUNGRY. It sounds so simple, but for people who struggle with emotional eating, it really isn't. It's TOUGH! So often we eat when we're actually not hungry: because it's breakfast time, or dinner time, or because someone is offering us food and we're afraid to say no, or we're snacking mindlessly in front of the TV because we're bored/lonely/whatever. I know I do that quite a lot! But it's actually messing up our bodies. We're not listening to our hunger signals and it's a huge problem. It only fuels emotional eating.
I really want to be more in tune with my body and listen to its signals, and act accordingly. I want to wait until I'm hungry (but not starving or famished!) until I eat. And then I'll eat slowly, savoring every single bite and giving my food my undivided attention, and when I'm pleasantly satisfied, I'LL STOP EATING. I won't be multitasking or watching TV while I eat because I know it's so much easier to overeat when you're doing something else at the same time. When I get an urge to eat something when I'm not actually hungry, I'll stop, breathe deep and ask myself: What is it that you REALLY want? You're not really hungry, so what is it that you actually are craving for? Company? Some fresh air? A glass of water? So often we are actually thirsty when we think we're hungry, so it's a good idea to drink a tall glass of water before eating anything.
It's all easier said than done, but from now on, I'm going to try. It's worth the effort. I want to be more in tune with my body and listen to what it has to say. It's going to be a long process, but I'm willing to take the first step towards a future where emotional eating no longer is an issue. I love how Lily said once that she used to think about food all the time and obsess over what she was going to eat next, and now she only thinks about food when she's actually hungry. I WOULD LOVE THAT.
What do you think? Do you have a problem with emotional eating? How are you dealing with it?