Hello, my beautiful people! I feel like at this point, its just a requirement for me to apologize for how long it has been since my last post. Lol clearly, i suck. I have been working a lot at Cheesecake, a lot of shifts, a lot of doubles, so when i do have a day off… i don’t want to do anything but relax… i’m working on it lol.
This particular post, i wanted to have published last week because it is something that i went through the weekend before. But, since i didn’t post it then… we are gonna talk about it now.
Let’s talk about Emotional Eating…
I felt as though this is an appropriate topic because two weekends ago left me feeling a lot of feelings. Let me tell you what happened. So two weekends ago, i was supposed to have company visiting from New York. It was something that i had REALLY been looking forward to for over a month. So, Friday comes, the day they were supposed to get here and…. the flight got postponed. Okay, thats fine…. fast forward a few hours and… their flight was canceled. They weren’t coming. There weren’t any flights into New Orleans the rest of the weekend, so the weekend was a bust.
Needless to say, i was devastated. I had a great weekend planned out, i had taken off of work, and now the weekend was a no go. I was really upset, sad, bummed, you named it- i probably felt it. One of the plans for the weekend, before it got cancelled, was to go to District Donuts… aka the best donut shop EVER. So on Saturday, in an effort to cheer me up, Morgan took me to District Donuts. I got the carrot cake donut, Morgan got the tiramisu donut…Delicious. But afterwards, despite feeling satisfied.. i kept thinking about the blueberry cheesecake donut they had also had at District.. i wanted it. We left District to walk around the strip mall and i kept thinking about this donut. “Should i get it? I bet its bomb. Maybe me and Morgan could split it? I bet its better than the carrot cake one i got”. I could not stop thinking about this donut…. and why i wanted it.
I wanted that blueberry cheesecake donut, not because i was hungry, but because i was annoyed. I was annoyed that my weekend didn’t turn out as i had planned, that i wasn’t spending the weekend with the person i wanted to be with, I knew that’s why i wanted the donut…not because i was truly hungry. So, i didn’t eat the donut. (Will i be going back to District next time they have the blueberry cheesecake donut? Absofuckinglutely lol). But it’ll be when i am truly hungry and not just eating the donut to cope with my feelings. That is my recent experience with emotional eating and I know that i am not the only person that experiences situations like this from time to time.
What exactly is Emotional Eating? It is using food to make yourself feel better. It is eating to fill emotional needs rather than to fill your stomach. Often times it’s triggered by emotions, often times negative, such as feelings of stress, annoyed, boredom, being upset, exhausted, sad, etc.
Emotional eating is not necessary a uncommon thing… we have all eaten when we weren’t hungry… such as celebrating a holiday (Easter, for example), dealing with a break up, etc… However, it should NEVER be your only or primary coping mechanism. It should not be how you deal with stressful situations or used to numb emotions that you do not want to feel.
*Now, for this particular blog post, i am NOT talking about binge eating disorder. Yes, sometimes emotional eating is binge eating but for this particular post i want to focus more so on the occasional emotional eating. Binge Eating Disorder is a lot more complex than the occasional emotional eating… so perhaps i’ll do a separate post on that later.. but for today’s purposes, we’ll talk about the basic. (However, my sister did post a really insightful, emotional post about her BED and if you too struggle with binge eating, go read her story here*
So you had a stressful day, you’re going though some tough times.. maybe you’re the type of person who turns to food in times of stress… and if you are, you are not alone. Here are a few tips i have come up with to help you turn to something else, besides food, to handle those negative emotions.
- Identify your feelings. Whenever i wanted that donut from district, i knew i didn’t want that donut because i was hungry… I wanted it because i was annoyed and sad.
- Be OK with said feelings. Often times we don’t want to feel the negative feelings we are feeling, so we turn to food for a temporary “numbing” feeling. Food makes us feel good…especially if it’s delicious donuts. However, momentarily masking those emotions with food does only that… when you’re done with the donut, you’ll still be feeling sad, anxious, stressed, annoyed, etc. Be okay and sit with your feelings. Know that it is okay to feel things.. you’re only human.
- Utilize nonfood related stress relief. Now, that you have identified that your stressed, sad, what have you, move away from the donuts… and go do something else to relieve these negative feelings. What did i do? I went and walked around the outlet mall and did some shopping. I didn’t buy anything but it got my mind off the food and the negative emotions. Some other things that i really enjoy doing when I’m stressed? I love to journal. I did a blog post previously about ALL the benefits of journaling, go read that here if you haven’t yet. You could also color, go for walk, go to the gym, call a friend to chat.. whatever makes you feel good that is a healthy outlet… do that.
- Know your triggers. A “trigger”, when it comes to emotional eating, is a specific food or situation, that sets off a course of overeating where control is often lost. Personally, i know that i am prone to emotional eating when I am stressed, annoyed, or I didn’t get enough sleep the night before and find myself exhausted. Know yourself and what your triggers are. Why have you emotionally ate in the past? Look at past situations where you have used food to cope and be able to identify those in case a similar situation occurs in the future. Because let’s be honest, emotional and stressful times will likely reoccur at some point because life can be stressful, man.
- Eat when you’re hungry. Emotional eaters tend to under eat in general. Don’t starve yourself. Fuel your body appropriately with nutrient dense food choices and foods that make you feel good. Listen to your body. Your body does a damn good job in telling you when you are hungry and need to eat. Respect your body and fuel it properly.
- Eat mindfully. Take the time to actually enjoy your food. Don’t just scarf down your food mindlessly in front of the tv. Turn off the tv, get off your phone, and taste and savor your food. When you are in tune with your body and take the time to chew and “be present” while eating your food, you’re less likely to eat past the point of feeling full and satisfied.
And my last tip, if you did emotionally eat… ACCEPT that you emotionally ate and GET BACK to your NORMAL routine. You do not need to cut calories, do extra cardio, whatever. Doing so, just puts you back into a vicious cycle that is extremely hard to get out of. Don’t punish yourself. Just get back to whatever your “normal” is… drink lots of water, get back on your macros, intuitively eat, don’t restrict… I promise you, you will be OK and things will even themselves back out.
Have you ever struggled with emotional eating? In what instances do you identify that you have a tendency to emotionally eat? What are your triggers and what other healthy outlets do/can you use to cope with your emotions besides food? Leave a comment and share below.
I hope those of you reading this blog post are able to relate and utilize the tips above the next time you are feeling sad, angry, annoyed, exhausted, etc. Emotional eating is something that so many of us go through and it is important to know that you are not alone.
Please give this post a “like” if you enjoyed it and please “share” this post on your various social medias if you think others would find this post to be helpful and informative. I hope to have another blog post coming at you guys by the end of the week, so feel free to leave any ideas for future content in the comments section.
Happy Tuesday, friends.
Talk soon ,