Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Emotional Eating and Insecurities

Emotional Eating with Chocolate CakeAt a family get together, a business meeting, or at any gathering that includes other people, have you found yourself using food to manage insecurities?

I often tell people who are struggling with emotional eating that emotional eating has very little to do with food. “How can that be?”, they ask, skeptically.

Think about it. Focusing on food helps us distract us from uncomfortable feelings; anger, loneliness, boredom, and/or any insecurity.

Shifting to “mindless eating”(consciously or unconsciously) effectively prevents us from being “mindful” in that moment in life. Mindless eating blocks our ability to observe our feelings and behaviors…and therefore prevents us from using that information, non-judgmentally, to change long standing, self-sabotaging, self-defeating and painful behaviors that are out of line with the life we want to live.

The following experience, shared with the permission of the client who lived it, is a great example of  what can happen for the better when we become our own “observer”, see old patterns, and choose to respond differently.

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“I was away at a conference for two days last week, which gave me a bit of perspective and time to mull things over. Most of my peers in our school division were at this conference.

At one point, just sitting in a session, I noticed that I had started feeling very uncool and like I “needed” validation from some of my peers to feel okay. I recognized that I have felt this way before, but it startled me, because I haven’t see it so clearly. I recognized it as a pattern, and could see how I was interpreting the behavior of others as validating or diminishing me.

I saw that this causes me a lot of trouble, because it leads me to feeling helpless, a victim, and also it keeps me passive. Rather than reaching out and connecting with others, this leads me to almost expect to not connect, and therefore to feel and be isolated.

So I sat with that for a bit, and then I deliberately started connecting with people around me – taking the first steps. It felt very good. Later, at a supper with my school division colleagues, I purposely focused on staying grounded and authentic within myself, rather than being what often feels like “fake me” who is unsure, worried they won’t like me, and tries to impress (!! How old am I again??) and ends up feeling very un-authentic. So I really was connecting much more authentically.

We had the best time! These events can be a bit awkward, but we had so much genuine fun at our table. I was so glad I was really there! :-)”

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YES!  This is what recovery from emotional insecurity and from emotional eating can look like…did you notice that food was not even mentioned as an issue at that table…because she was “there”; fully present, fully engaged and choosing how she wished to show up in the world—mindfully. When living mindfully, the need for mindless eating just goes away. Nice work!

(Need help to stop emotional eating? Check out my FREE Telephone Seminar, “5 Essential Steps to Stop Emotional Eating”. )

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Ellen Shuman is an experienced Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

Comments

  1. Dr.Anjana Chhabra says:

    Connecting with people around is a good way to get over emotional eating habits. Identifying what’s triggering emotional eating and eating only when you really feel hungry can help in curbing emotional eating habits. Great post, Ellen!

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