Throughout my journey to become a health coach, I've had a rough relationship with food. I used to struggle with emotional eating, which led to my weight gain and unhappiness. I created a chaotic yo-yo cycle from being healthy to stuffing everything in sight into my body. Along the way, I read countless books on how to “fix” this, but none of the tips actually worked for me.
One day, I came to the realization that I didn’t need to be fixed …
I had labeled myself as an emotional eater, and was putting so much pressure on myself to stop managing emotions with food.
Who’s to say it was bad? I used to feel like such an awful person because I ate for the “wrong reasons.” I wasn’t bad, I certainly didn’t need to be fixed, and I was eating for all the right reasons. The problem was in my head.
Who is to say that managing emotions with food is any different than meditating, running, or taking a relaxing bath? As humans, we seek pleasure. When we are stressed, sad, overwhelmed, or even happy we look to pleasurable activities to harness our emotions.
Food is no different than any other method. It's pleasurable. When you change how you feel about eating food and allow yourself to do it whenever you want, you will have a permanent mental shift. You wont have to think about how to fix yourself or stop emotional eating.
How freeing does that sound?
Here are the three questions to ask yourself that will help you tap into a healthier relationship to food. These will allow you to eat for any emotion without gaining weight, feeling guilty, or sabotaging your health.
1. Are you coming to the food like a crazy maniac? If so, take a deep breath and relax your body before you take a bite.
2. How are you eating? Are you inhaling your food? Or are you slowly savoring each bite, allowing the sensation of the food and taste to calm you down. Its not about what you're doing but how you're doing it.
3. Do you eat everything in sight? Or just enough to experience pleasure? When you slow down, you will not need to eat everything in sight. To get started, I want you to go purchase your favorite treat. Practice sitting down and savoring each morsel and bite. Be present and feel the pleasure as you eat.
Next time you're stressed or overwhelmed, run through this questions and you'll feel relaxed, peaceful and happy.