Over the weekend I had so many emotions flying around it was crazy and I ended up spending the Saturday of my long weekend binge watching The Stranger Things while eating an entire tub of icecream, chocolate, crackers and goats cheese.
I know what you are thinking. What the hell, as a nutritionist I should know better then to eat these foods. Yes I should but even as a nutritionist my emotions can get the best of me and I give into emotional eating.
I have learnt to embrace my emotional eating where as a year ago I would feel guilty and end up emotionally eating even more.
I am the worst emotional eater ever! A small sign of any emotion wether it be happy, sad, angry or just tired and I am craving everything and it literally is everything. I went through a terrible time where I was so tired and in a bad place in my mind where every night I would finish work stop of at the Chinese store get a medium smorgasboard takeaway container and 6 wontons and then eat it in my bedroom alone watching a tv series.
During this time if there was a day and I was feeling happy and good about myself, I would suggest to my flat mates to get cupcakes and frozen cokes in some sort of celebration to feeling good. If I was a tiny bit upset I would be txtng a friend to bring over desert, icecream and chocolate.
Deep down I was using food to try and cover up the real feelings that were going on and finding comfort in food rather then dealing with the problem.
I have since then, mainly in the last year of this journey, learnt how to be aware of why I am wanting a doughnut and how to deal with emotional eating so that it doesn’t end up being an emotional eating week.
When your craving something out of the ordinary like a doughnut or chocolate or Chinese food ask yourself first “What is it that I want?” My answer over the weekend was icecream. Then ask yourself “What is it that you really want?” My answer: to see my partner (we do long distance). Next ask “How will that make me feel (seeing my partner)?” My answer: happy, loved, wanted. Last, make a list of things to do to get the same feeling.
My list was:
- Ring and talk to him on the phone
Go out for a walk with Hagrid and clear my head
Have a bath, relax and treat myself.
I still ate the icecream after doing these steps in my head but I was aware on why I was doing it and had other steps in place to deal with my feelings instead of using the icecream to not deal with my feelings.
That night I rang my partner. The next morning I went for a big walk with the dog and then had a bath with my favourite wikiskincare bath salts and a face mask. Each of these steps cleared my head and I was able to create my own self happiness and self love.
The hardest step to take with emotional eating is trying to deal with the emotions. There are so many reasons on why they are hidden deep inside us and we choose food and other options instead of dealing with them. Unfortunately until we do deal with them, the cravings will keep happening.
Next time you are craving a food out of the ordinary or can’t decide what it is you feel like eating stop and think “What is it that I REALLY want?”