How to Stop Emotional Eating – You’ll Be Delightfully Surprised
Has emotional eating been a challenging part of your life?
This is my personal story… a turning point in my struggle with emotional eating. I was able to be there for myself and quell my uncomfortable feelings instead of turning to food and binging.
Here’s the Biggest Secret About Emotional Eating
I experienced this when I went on the first date after my husband died. I was thirty-nine when he passed away. We were together for eleven years. He was a wonderful man, and I loved him beyond words.
About a year after he passed away, I was with my girlfriend at the Voo-Doo Lounge at the top of the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, where I lived at the time. A handsome man took interest in me, and we started to chat. He was vacationing from out of town.
He asked me out for dinner and a show the following evening. I accepted the invitation. I was excited about the date and got dressed up in a sexy outfit for the evening.
I hadn’t been single for more than eleven years! The last time I was single, I was much younger, so this was a new experience for me.
I met my date at the casino, and he took me to dinner. I remember having a cocktail and feeling as though I was being treated like a queen. After dinner, we went to a show. After the show, he walked me to my car and we said our good-byes.
He didn’t ask me out on another date, and he didn’t even try to kiss me or make other sexual advances. The last time I was single and dating, my experience was that sexual advances were almost to be expected. And you had to prepare yourself mentally for how you were going to handle it. Especially if you realized you weren’t really interested or attracted to the person.
Well, that night I found my date both attractive and interesting. He was a perfect gentleman. Reflecting back – maybe he was married, and keeping that a secret. Or maybe he wasn’t interested. Who knows?
He walked me to my car and said goodnight.
And as I drove home, I began to feel a strong craving to eat, to have something sweet, to fill my belly. I’d already had a nice dinner, and I was certainly not hungry. I was having an uncomfortable feeling. My usual behavior was to numb it with food, often without noticing I was having an uncomfortable feeling.
I remember getting the craving on the freeway on my way home. There was a 24-hour coffee shop right off the freeway, a couple of exits before mine. When I was a mile or so from the exit, I thought about getting off the highway, going into the coffee shop, and ordering a nice big plate of pancakes with lots of butter and syrup.
I imagined how good those pancakes would taste and what a pleasurable experience the first bite would be. I began to get excited thinking about those pancakes.
This desire for food was not uncommon for me.
I had a love/hate relationship with food. Emotional eating was a big challenge in my life. I hated myself for it. When these cravings came for me, the effort to push away the overwhelming desire was so strong that I could never control these urges.
I always ended up overeating more than I should and feeling guilty about it, Even feeling physically out of balance the next day and beating myself up. The behavior of emotional eating always overtook me no matter how much I didn’t want to go there.
This Time Was Different –
I overcame the Binge
This time was different because I was able to connect to my vulnerable little girl inside. As I approached the exit, I began to talk to myself. I took one hand off the steering wheel, held my belly, and talked to myself in a nurturing, compassionate, and even parental way.
I realized I was having sweet cravings due to how the date ended. I doubted myself. Was I desirable to him?
In that powerful moment of time, I told the deepest most vulnerable part of myself, “Honey, you are beautiful. Just because he didn’t try to kiss you or make sexual advances, doesn’t mean you are not sexy. You are beautiful, sexy, and wonderful. You don’t need a man to tell you that. I am telling you that right here and right now, and I want you to know it.”
I continued to tell myself, “Besides, you don’t need those pancakes. They won’t get you where you want to go. They won’t make you feel good. You know that if you go and have pancakes, then you are just going to go home and raid the refrigerator, and that won’t be good for you either. Let’s just go home and dance. I want to take you home and we can dance together, just you and me.”
At that point, I mustered up the courage, focus, or whatever it took, to pass the exit to the 24-hour coffee shop. Instead, I drove myself home.
Dancing Was My Sensual Savior
When I got home, I turned on some sensuous music, put a chair in the middle of the living room, and began to dance for myself. My living room had big windows that, in the night, were like mirrors. I used the chair as a prop, and watched myself as I danced sensuously, erotically, and beautifully to the music.
It felt so good to move my body to the music and feel my sensual feminine nature oozing out of me with every move. I engaged fully in those moments of sensual expression, enjoying it to the fullest degree.
As that ecstatic experience ended, I felt peaceful, centered, and balanced. For the very first time in my life, I had taken myself down a different road than I had always taken in the past. Instead of succumbing to my desire to numb the uncomfortable feeling by overeating, I danced. I felt as if I had found my way home.
This was a transformational experience for me. It was the first time I was able to be there for that little girl inside who wanted to feel loved and accepted. I made contact with her. I was there for her.
And my wise woman was able to guide her in a better direction. A direction of connecting to the healing power of my sensual self. Using dance as medicine for my feminine soul.
What a powerful experience it was for me. Prior to that night, the only way my cravings would go away was to succumb to them and feed my face. I hated that about myself. I had been through it so many times before. Nothing could ever stop me. That night, dancing sensually for myself did.
Putting my hand on my belly, being there for myself, encouraging myself, choosing a sensual pleasure that was life-enhancing instead of life-robbing was what I needed more than I needed pancakes. It was so empowering to know I could shift my undesirable behavior. I felt free! And I want the same for you if you are suffering in a similar way.
What Is an Emotional Eater?
Emotional eating is simply a habit that can be changed. There are many sensual and soul-freeing activities you can do instead of turning to food. Here are some things you can do to create a more sensual, sane, and empowered life, one that supports your sensual, feminine essence.
How Do I Stop Emotional Eating?
10 Things to Do Instead of Emotional Eating
1. Take a bath.
2. Take a walk.
3. Dance sensually.
4. Belly breathe.
5. Cry and hold yourself.
6. Do a guided meditation.
7. Stop and ask yourself, “What do I need right now?”
8. Feel the desire, and see what is underneath it.
9. Go to your favorite yoga class.
10. Clean your house.
Remember the big secret – pleasure is one of the biggest antidotes to food and body image issues and how you overcome emotional eating. Emotional eating is a painful way to live. Learn how to live more pleasurably and your worries about emotional eating will go away.
I’m Anna-Thea, an author and Certified Divine Feminine Educator. If you’d like to learn more make sure you take my Love Quiz. It’s really all about learning to love yourself – more.