Overcoming Emotional Eating
To anyone struggling with overeating.
You’re feeling really uncomfortable, having eaten way more that you thought was possible. You’re telling yourself that it’s okay, you’ll start a new diet tomorrow. But wait – before you start the diet you need to finish everything you have in the house already Let’s make tonight a “last hurrah” and begin anew tomorrow.
I don’t know how many times I repeated this cycle, over and over again.
I’m prompted to write this because today I ate more chocolate then I have in years. I can hear the echo of the old me on my shoulder whispering “finish what’s in the house, start again tomorrow” and while I can still hear that voice (it’s a faint whisper these days), I don’t feel tempted to give into it.
There’s a great divide between feelings and action. I can feel a feeling, I can acknowledge it’s presence, but I don’t have to act on it.
So what’s my plan? To cook dinner as I normally would and eat when I feel hungry. To treat the rest of today like I would any other day. If that niggling feeling is still there later this evening I will do some journaling to see what it’s about.
You see for me, the answer to my overeating was never about ‘fixing it’. Instead it was to delve into what it really was about. I’m not broken, I never was! That realisation alone freed me from decades of shame and self loathing.
So if you’re like me and you’ve overeaten today, if you are in any way feeling guilt or shame or self loathing, I encourage you to let go of your self criticism (as impossible as it may sound) and instead be very kind to yourself.
Now the self-critical part of you is not going to like this! It’s going to rebel against this enormously. It’s going to think “what? Be kind to myself? Being kind to myself is soft and weak and will never result in lasting change!” I encourage you to question this. Take the time to ask question if saying these shameful things to yourself has worked in the long run? Or has it resulted in you ending up in the exact place you are now? In what seems like an endless loop of diet / restrict, get some results, take a break, binge, and diet / restrict again?
For me beating up on myself only ever worked in the short term.
What if there’s another way?
What if being kind to yourself truly worked?
I am not saying it will happen overnight, but it will happen (Yes I realise I sound like the Pantene shampoo add!)
I’ve been on an amazing journey. I like myself now, I value what I have to contribute. I’ve stopped wearing the external mask of control and ‘everything is fine’ and have been very open with my struggle. Because no matter what happens, I have my own back.
I’ve learned that when I feel the urge to overeat I ‘m not in tune with what’s happening in my life. So instead of berating myself for ‘being weak’ I’m thankful for a behaviour that used to serve me. How I have a whole other skill set, and you could too.
But it doesn’t start tomorrow, or on Monday, or with your next ‘new’ diet. It starts right now, in this moment, in what you DO next. Because your answer isn’t out there in the next thing that you try or buy. The answer is already inside, allow it to dictate the next action you take.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to find out more about how I help women just like you overcome emotional eating I’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com or comment below.
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