Am I an Emotional Eater?
Am I an emotional eater? Emotional eating is where food is no longer just fuel for your body but rather used as a coping mechanism that helps deal with your emotions. Food becomes an escape or a tool to control uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings when they become too difficult to handle.
- Do you spend your days thinking about when and what you are going to eat or not eat?
- Do you fantasize about how much better life would be if you were a different size or weight?
- Do you have persistent feelings of emptiness that you try to fill with food?
- Do you feel guilty after overeating or eating the “wrong” foods?
- Do you turn to food when you are not hungry but instead, sad, lonely, or upset?
Do you see yourself in this vicious cycle? Do you identify with the feelings and behaviors shown?
Why Do I do this to myself?
Eating is part of our daily life. We need food to survive. Most traditions and social activities revolve around the consumption of food. There is no getting away from it. However, for some people, food can represent a constant struggle of eating too much, trying to not eat, and continuous thoughts and cravings about food.
Many people who have an unhealthy relationship with food will find themselves trapped in unhealthy eating patterns. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?
- You are constantly dieting, trying one type of diet after another, hoping that this will be the one to work. It’s impossible to consistently follow these diets so you begin to “cheat” or maybe give up altogether and gain back weight that you lost. You feel hopeless for a while then hear about the next best way to lose weight and try that.
- You eat when you are unhappy then feel unhappy because you ate. You feel comforted while eating, then comes the feelings of regret, shame and guilt for overeating, again. You are trapped in a vicious cycle!
- You use food to help you calm down when you feel stressed or angry. Arguing with a loved one or conflicts with coworkers leads you to Ice Cream therapy. You know you shouldn’t, but you just can’t help it, it provides immediate relief.
- The pounds keep piling on. You are constantly eating “all the wrong” things. You know this isn’t healthy, but you can’t seem to stop yourself.
- You have an unhealthy relationship with food. Once you start eating, you cannot stop until you are overly full and uncomfortable. Do you prefer not to let others see what you are eating and try to hide your snacks from others? Maybe you were given unhealthy messages about food when you were growing up. Clean up your plate even if you were full or was food a substitute for love?
If you can relate to any of these scenarios, please read on. You’re in the right place. Together we can change your relationship with food so it can become a source of pleasure rather than a source of pain. Are you ready to make peace and break free from your relationship with food?
THERE IS NO NEED TO JUDGE, SHAME OR PUNISH YOURSELF ANY LONGER!
Compulsive eating is eating when you’re not hungry and not stopping when you have had enough. Do you turn to food when you are not hungry but emotional? You are trying to comfort yourself but instead of leading to comfort it turns into shame and self-loathing. Do you constantly ask yourself, why do I keep doing this? Learn what is underneath you turning to food. It’s time to forgive yourself and to let go of the self-hatred. It begins with learning how to be kind to yourself. You’ve asked the question, why do I keep doing it? Together we can learn what is underneath your issues with food. Together we can break this vicious cycle. Treatment that just focuses on healthy eating is too narrow and misses why a person is self “medicating” with food in the first place. Whether you have always battled with these issues or they are newly developed problems, I can help you understand how your own emotional and situational factors contribute to how you are eating now. If you are no longer willing to tolerate the vicious cycle of overeating and the negative emotions that go with it, I am here to help. Together we can begin to uncover and deal the problems that lead to you eating emotionally. To begin, we will identify your emotional triggers to overeating, and any other causes that have not been properly identified or addressed before such as co-occurrence of mood disorders, perfectionism, relationship difficulties and self-esteem.
We will look at the thoughts you have that are not helpful to you and trigger feelings of distress and of things being out of your control. We will then develop your own personal toolkit of coping strategies so that you begin responding to negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, anger and sadness in a healthy way without guilt and shame.
I will help you gain confidence in your ability to make healthy choices in a reasonable way without being overly harsh on yourself. We will change how you think and feel about food, eating and body image. We will increase your self-confidence in yourself, your body and learn how to cope with the thoughts that leads to overeating, over-exercising or just general feelings of helplessness.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. Many people feel a sense of failure because they believe they should be able to control their eating themselves. It is okay to reach out for help. It takes courage to acknowledge you can’t do it on your own and asking for and accepting support is a sign of strength.
I want to be that support for you. Please reach out, you don’t have to do it alone.