Emotional eating is fairly common for people struggling with their weight. More than once (this month), I have had a great day of healthy eating only to be derailed by stress of some kind. It’s not as if I am ordering a pizza or hitting up the bakery, I am just eating the same everyday foods that are always in my house. These aren’t usually even bingeing situations either, just eating “comfort” foods (aka carbs) instead of healthy, well-balanced meals. Garlic bread with melty mozzarella is a favorite of mine.
While realizing that I was an emotional eater was not shocking to me, I was surprised to realize the actual physical and mental reaction my body has to stress. Some people want to shop, punch things or even exercise to relieve stress. I want to eat carbs. I will be perfectly satisfied without the least trace of hunger and then a stressful interaction occurs and all I can think about is eating doughy carb filled foods. My mouth waters,my stomach rumbles, my thoughts go back to the food in mind regardless of how many ways I try to distract myself. I find it nearly impossible to resist the urge and always feel guilty when I give in. Taking a long walk (or any aerobic workout) is the only thing that usually works and it isn’t always an option.
Recognizing my reaction to stress generally involves food cravings, has helped me start to control my actions a bit. I am able to stop myself and talk myself down more often than before. I have by no means worked thru all of my issues with food, but it’s a start and further than I have ever gotten with it before. I just don’t want to use food in a way that makes me feel bad because I love food- in a healthy way for the most part. I love the traditions and community that food creates. I love that food nourishes your body so you can be strong and healthy for all the good stuff. I love getting lost while cooking a meal, listening to loud music and drinking a glass of wine. Eating is something you have to do multiple times a day, everyday and I see no reason not to take extreme pleasure in all of it. There is so much joy to be found in a healthy relationship with food and I don’t want to tarnish that with guilt.
What struggles do you face while trying to live a healthy lifestyle?