Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

At Risk for Emotional Overeating

emotional overeatingDo you know that feeling? You wake up and know you’re at risk for emotional overeating today? That’s how I felt yesterday.

It was Saturday and when I woke up all I wanted to do was NOTHING. I had planned to run several errands but I didn’t feel like doing any of what I said I was going to do. I needed to go to the post office to return some things I had ordered online. I said I was going to a glass & mirror store before it closed at 1pm to order a new bathroom mirror. I needed to pay some bills, take the dog for a walk, do some posting on this website. But I didn’t want to do anything; not even take a shower, get dressed, or eat breakfast.

That feeling, that resistance, was very familiar. I recognized I was facing several of my “setback warning signs”. I knew those at-risk signs well because I have them on a list (SetBack Warning Signs; A Weigh Out Membership Tool # 21).

But I also did not want to careen out of control with food; an old habit I’d practiced for years, whenever I didn’t want to face a day…or deal with any obligation I preferred to ignore . I was quite mindful of that! So, I compromised; mindfully, planfully. I paid attention to what I wanted and could do, without any real negative consequence, and what I really needed was a day to do “almost” nothing. That was self-care. So, I made a new plan.

I got out my schedule and decided to go to the post office after work on Monday. My anxiety about returning those clothes stopped immediately. I decided I could order the mirror this coming Thursday afternoon. There really is no big rush on that.

Then, I made myself an omelet for breakfast. I let my dog run around the back yard for a while. I spent most of the rest of the day reading, watched movies online, and catching up on emails and calls to friends. I posted on the website forum in the afternoon.

I also got on my exercise bike for 30 minutes before I made dinner (watched a movie while peddling). I knew I needed some physical activity, following a sedentary week. I had that flat feeling; a warning sign that a little depression was coming back. That was a contributing factor to my lack of motivation yesterday.  I also knew if I caught that feeling right away, I could stop the depression from coming back. That’s what I did.

That’s what I am willing to do yesterday. I did not judge myself for changing my plan. Therefore I did NOT need to go numb though emotional overeating. Even if I do nothing I had planned to do, I did so consciously; mindfully. When I am mindful, the need to use emotional overeating; to use food to go mindless, goes away…

How about you? Do you know your Setback Warning Signs? Do you know how to regroup and practice self-care when you feel unmotivated?


Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of binge eating disorder treatment; a Coach who specializes in helping people overcome binge eating, binge eating disorder, emotional overeating, compulsive eating, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out  Life Coaching & Members’ Circle, Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present). She is a 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.


  1. Wow I’ve never heard someone describe me so well. That is exactly what I went through this past week. I was doing so well until I had one of those days. Unfortunately I gave in and am still trying to break free from the results of my binging that being weight gain, depression and anxiety.

  2. Ellen Shuman, Emotional Eating Recovery Coach; A Weigh Out says

    I sooooooo understand!

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