How To Overcome Emotional Eating and Start Living Life
Overcoming emotional eating can be very challenging. When you’re in the throws of this vicious cycle it can really bring you down. It’s like something that’s haunting you and you feel you have no control over it. I know, because I used to be in it. But I also know what it takes to free yourself from this painful pattern.
In this article, I want to share with you why emotional eating has a grip on you and how you can start to heal this destructive behavior.
With that said, let me ask you.
- Are you currently suffering from emotional eating?
- How has it affected your life?
- If you were free from emotional eating how would that change your life?
I suffered from emotional eating most of my young adult life. It started when I tried to lose weight as a teenager all the way through until I got into yoga in my late 30’s. That’s a long time to suffer. And suffer I did! I hated how food had control over me and it made me hate myself. But ultimately, there was something going on at a much deeper level within me that wasn’t being tended to. So, I suffered in silence.
The Self Loathing Cycle
The cycle of binging and then beating yourself up the next day is a horrible cycle to be in. You end up having an out-of-control relationship with food. And it’s a type of relationship that feeds self-hate.
Do you find yourself…
- Obsessing about what you’re going to eat.
- Thinking about what you should and shouldn’t eat.
- Being critical of what and how much you eat.
- Strict rules and regulations in your mind about food.
- Looking down at your belly with judgment, loathing, and even disgust.
And still feeling deprived because when you do indulge you eat so much to the point that it doesn’t even taste good. You’re just going through the motions of “stuffing your face” and not really tasting and enjoying the food. Why? Because you have feelings you don’t want to feel. Let me repeat that so you don’t miss it – because you have feelings you don’t want to feel. Or maybe you don’t know how to feel them or don’t have a safe space to feel them.
How Do You Stop Emotional Eating?
Stuck in the grips of emotional eating is a painful way to live. Overcoming emotional eating can seem far out of reach when you’re stuck in it. But there is a way out.
How much has binge eating and emotional eating been a part of your life?
Overcoming emotional eating requires one simple thing. You need to learn how to feel your feelings. That’s it! But what does that really mean?
Well, it’s not about learning how to not feel. You know, “getting over it”, “sucking it up”, telling yourself, “I shouldn’t feel that way.” Instead, it’s about getting better at feeling and giving those feelings a voice.
Your emotions and feelings are your feminine power. When you learn how to feel your feelings, especially your uncomfortable feelings, you’ll be well on your way to overcoming emotional eating forever. Yes, you may turn to food as a way to nurture yourself but it won’t turn into an out-of-control binge.
Why Do You Have an
Emotional Attachment to Food?
This is what you need to know. Emotional eating happens because you are emotional… right? You turn to food consciously or unconsciously because something triggered you and caused an uncomfortable feeling to arise. If you’re stuck in emotional eating habits you probably don’t even notice it anymore. You just go straight to the refrigerator or the store to buy your bing items.
It’s like an unconscious ritual. Before you know it, your stomach is uncomfortably full and you’re beating yourself up. It’s become an unconscious habit. But there are many reasons why you turn to emotional eating.
We are programmed from childhood to turn to food for comfort. Food is normal and natural and good. But when you’re stuck in unconscious eating patterns the food can have an ugly grip on you.
What’s Required to Overcome Emotional Eating?
Here’s a further explanation. Again, as mentioned earlier, ultimately, overcoming emotional eating requires your ability to feel your feelings. That’s because food is a sensual experience. And women are sensual beings. We are naturally “feelers.” But you probably didn’t learn how to feel, especially not your uncomfortable feelings.
More likely, you were taught to be a good girl and put on a smiley face, pushing those uncomfortable feelings down deep. Learning how to process your emotions is the number one biggy to free yourself from the cycle of food obsessions, binge eating, emotional eating, and all that has to do with “stuffing your face” instead of feeling your feelings.
How Do You Fix a
Bad Relationship with Food?
First and foremost, overcoming emotional eating doesn’t require you to fix the relationship you have with food. That’ll happen automatically when you fix the relationship you have with you.
Upping your self-love. Feeling your feelings. Learning how to speak up for yourself and not deny what’s going on inside you – these are the remedies.
With that said, how can you change your mind about food? The next time you are pulled toward emotional eating, stop and go inward instead. Food is a form of comfort deeply programmed into us.
Cultivate a deeper sense of self-love, nurturing, and comfort by
learning “food-free” forms of love, comfort, and self-nourishment.
All you have to do is learn other forms of self-comforting. Especially forms that are sensual. And make those your new habit. I make it sound so easy. I know when you’re in the cycle of emotional eating it’s actually the furthest thing from simple. But keep forging forward with everything I am suggesting.
In addition, and outside the scope of this article, the deeper feelings that make you want to “numb out” with food can often come from a history of sexual abuse. Studies have shown that eating disorders and sexual trauma are related.
I do not want to skip over this lightly. If you’re suffering from eating disorders take a deeper look at your sexuality. As a child was your body honored? During puberty, did you feel supported and safe with all the changes that were going on with your body?
This is a bigger subject than I can cover in this article but it’s really about you reclaiming your body as sacred. Every single inch of it! That’s what made a big difference for me. But it takes time, tools, and learning new ways of being with yourself. And new ways of being in relationships with others. Basically healing your family of origin patterns. And healing the type of relationship you have with your body. Deep stuff! That’s what my teachings are really all about.
I healed myself from emotional eating by learning how to feel my feelings, changing my relationship with my body, and healing the shame I held within my sexuality.
Ultimate, pleasure heals. And learning how to have a pleasurable, loving, nurturing, self-accepting relationship with your body and all her deep-seated emotions, starts the healing process.
So with that said, keep your focus on a pleasurable outcome and not a painful outcome, for example, overeating and then regretting it. Focus on creating more sensually safe and nurturing, activities in your life. For example, I’d rather get a massage than eat a big fat piece of delicious carrot cake. And by the way, I still do love carrot cake. It just doesn’t have the pull it used to have. A nice massage sounds so much better!
It’s really about learning how to transform self-loathing into self-loving. And about tuning in instead of checking out!
Transform Self-Loathing into Self-Loving
I’ve programmed myself to crave sensual comfort. And you can do the same. I have turned my self-loathing into self-loving and sensuality. It’s changed my life. And I’ve become the sensually aware woman that I really want to be. I know how to access and unlock the healing power of my divine feminine energy.
There are many sensual and soul-freeing activities you can do instead of turning to food. Though the underpinnings of emotional eating is a complex behavior, on a very basic level, it’s simply a habit you can change. Here are some things you can do to create a more sane, and sensually empowered life. One that supports your inherent sensual nature and awakens your divine feminine power.
EXERCISE: To This Now!
Take a piece of paper out, yes right now, and make your own list of ten things you can do instead of emotional eating. Put it on your refrigerator, in your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, or wherever you feel it’ll be most effective.
Focus on developing these new sensually nourishing habits and you’ll be well on your way to overcoming emotional eating.
Have you come up with some things to do instead of emotional eating that aren’t on the above list. Please share them! Others will benefit.
I’m Anna-Thea, an author and Certified Divine Feminine Educator. I teach women the art of self-love and emotional empowerment. If this article resonated and please check out my online course that will show you exactly how to process your feelings.