Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

“It happens without my knowledge”

I was talking to a client yesterday and she said something very telling about emotional eating. It’s something I hear very often. She said sometimes it feels like “the desire to eat happens without my knowledge”.

Last weekend she was on her way to Target with her husband and kids. Right before they got into the car she and her husband had a fight. As they headed to the store she was stewing. Tension in the car was thick. She said she tried to change how she was feeling.  Next thing she knew she was thinking, “how awful I look in these jeans”. Then, her very next thought was, “I want a double cheeseburger”.  She says it felt like it happened without her knowledge.

That’s the role body dissatisfaction and food thoughts can play in the mind of an emotional eater. Through repitition, having the same escape thoughts over and over again, we create pathways in our brain that switch right to those escape thoughts whenever we experience a thought or feeling we’d rather not tolerate. We practiced those behaviors unto they became our autopilot defensive coping strategies.  The good news is this. With new awareness, new skills and tools, we can develop new mindfulness and emotional regulation strategies and those can become our new autopilot…because the new tools work so much better than our old body hatred and double cheeseburger thoughts!

What are you doing to learn new skills and tools?

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating issues. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

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