I find talking about sensitive subjects such as emotional eating – very hard. Its difficult. But I am now at a place where I want to share my experiences in hopes I can either help or relate to you.
What is emotional eating?
an increase in food intake in response to negative emotions
I have been battling with this (still am) for a while now. 10 years to be exact. I always have found comfort in food whenever I was going through a sad time, a stressful time or to just forget about reality. I often eat when I feel I am not good enough or just when I am on a all time low. Have you ever felt the same?
It never truly affected me as I guess I never knew I when doing it. When I was younger I was lucky enough to pretty much eat anything I liked without it affecting my weight. But as soon as it did – thats when I spiraled and ended up on this constant roller coaster. From the age of 20 I was a size 10/12 and was pretty content with it.
But with the stresses of uni, family and then my break up with my long-term boyfriend I found myself eating a lot. Even when I wasn’t hungry. The funny thing that often frustrated me, I knew what I was doing it. But its like I wanted to punished myself for being hurt, for feeling sad. I ended up feeling depressed for eating and gradually putting on weight. So rather than feeling blue about the real things in life. This dark cloud of eating and putting on weight consumed me.
It was then I noticed in myself how my self-esteem and confidence decreased. I hated myself. I always wore dark colours and baggy clothes so it could hide my figure. The lower I felt, the more I ate.
My turning point…?
About 5 years ago I remember I went shopping and wanted to buy a pair of jeans. I managed to buy a great pair in NEXT and couldn’t wait to try them on at home.
They fit! I was thrilled. I remember my mum taking a photo of me so I could see how they looked. I was in shock. I saw a person that was not me. It was not the reflection I was used to. I often didn’t look at myself in the mirror so I didn’t realised how bad things had got. I had now gone into a size 16 and put on 3 stone.
I knew at this point I had to face this. I had to make a change. So I did. I made drastic changes to my eating and did a 1200kcal diet and exercised pretty much whenever I could. And its funny now looking back – I felt motivated and driven but in actual fact I was again consumed with another emotion of losing weight and hating food. I managed to lose just over 3 stones and went back to a size 10. But I was still unhappy. I was scared to eat. I was worried what to put in my mouth in case I went back to putting on more.
I was in this constant battle with food and it was tiring. It was either hating food due to my emotional tie or because I was scared of it.
Well since losing the weight, I have put on 7 pounds and now a size 12. I am still not where I would like be. But want to take a better care of my mental state as well as my physical health. With that I am doing regular walks every day and trying to eat sensibly. I do still have these constant thoughts and battles with my eating. Everyday for me is still a struggle but trying to take it day by day.
If you are struggling with food too – something I tend to do is question myself.
‘Do I need to eat this’?
‘Why am I?’
‘How will I feel afterwards?’
These are the main three questions I ask myself as its important to always find the main route cause of why…. If you cannot find a reason or if you find they are based on a negative emotion only you can try and stop. Because really is it worth it?
Its OK to still have bad days… heck it was only last week I found myself indulging in my favourites because of a fall out I had with someone I love. But you be will fine. I find things always work out.
We need to be more kinder to ourselves.. so why not start today…..