Have you ever downed an entire package of crisps, crackers, or biscuits? Ate pizza or cake until you felt sick? Drank more coffee or wine than your body wanted?
Do you remember how you were feeling at the time?
I ask because sometimes we overeat to help distract us from emotional pain. Have you noticed that sometimes when you overeat you’re not hungry at all? What you are is lonely. Or angry. Or sad. Or resentful. Or frustrated. Or something else… or all of them…
Eating can give many people a temporary ‘escape’ from their feelings - but it does not make the feeling go away and more likely than not joined by a lot of extra ‘guilt’ for whatever you decided to use as comfort.
Tap into what is really happening
Wouldn’t it be more effective to address your uncomfortable feelings?
Maybe begin by trying to name them. I like to use the technique of saying ‘There is something in me that is…. sad/angry/frustrated’ - those three words of ‘something in me’ make the feeling not as overwhelming as when we say ‘I am…’ which makes it feel like it is the whole of you.
Simply recognising these feelings is a very powerful first step.
Sometimes we can feel this somewhere physically in our body. I know that when I am anxious about something I have a fist sized knot right in the middle of my solar plexus. I know when that happens that I need to slow down and be with whatever is happening and what I am feeling. Burying it down and pretending that it is not there simply won’t make it go away.
However e-motions are exactly what they say they are - they have motion in them. They are not called e-stucks! When we give them some attention and acknowledgement they can start to shift - the knot can start to untie.
It is important to acknowledge yourself - forgive yourself. “Wow no wonder that packet of biscuits was looking so interesting when I was trying to espace from all that,” “No wonder I think that my answer could be found at the bottom of the wine glass.” However maybe this time I am going to choose what I am going to do next with a bit more forgiveness and awareness of how I really feel…?
If this post speaks to you in a way that you sometimes find hard to deal with - you are not alone. If you would like time to talk about it with someone trained in dimensions of emotional eating, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.