This week emotional eating is once again on my mind, but not because I am back to filling my emotional emptiness with food, but because I met a person, who really reminds me of myself in the past- the past where I buried my emotions under piles of food.
This person made me think why we, people find it so hard to start eating healthy. You know what I am talking about. Every night you go to bed determined to start eating clean tomorrow and have a healthier lifestyle. Then, you wake up in the morning filled with enthusiasm, but as the day goes by, your daily tasks take over your life and everything is as it was yesterday. Seems as if you never find the strength to change your eating habits and your lifestyle.
Why does it happen like that?
Don’t get fooled that I always used to eat so clean. I know what it is to start over every single day, to fight with yourself and the desire to eat pizza, cakes, chocolate. I was about 3 pounds heavier and back then it seemed like a nice, fit, athletic body was just a mirage… something that was the privilege of fitness models.
You are looking for the reason behind your failure with healthy eating, everywhere but where it actually is!
Since we were kids, we were taught to use food to satisfy our needs and in the moment, when we decide to ditch food as a mean to cope with life, we feel as if we are left alone, we lose what gave us comfort, what brings us satisfaction and we feel too weak to cope with our own life and what we’ve been avoiding for so long!
Nowadays people use food as a mean, to help them cope with things that overwhelm them, confuse them, depress them… changing your nutrition habits, means that you should find something else, that will accompany you in the tough moments.
You don’t trust me? Give it a thought!
We use food as a way of showing our love.
We use food as a reward.
We use food as a mean to cope with stress.
We use food as entertainment.
We use food to socialize.
We use food as a mean to kill our boredom.
We use food as a substitute for everything that is missing in our lives!
If we decide to change our eating habits, that would mean that we should find another alternative to cope with and overcome everything that happens in our lives! And that is when most people find it too hard! Change, new things scare us. They just contribute for the overwhelming emotions, that we can’t cope with.
That’s why most of us, find it easier to live the old way, instead of standing face to face, against their emotions and fears; instead of refusing to avoid them, searching for comfort in food!
Personally it took me a long time to REALIZE that I was trying to avoid my emotions, searching for comfort in eating everything I could get my hands on. I knew it, but I didn’t realize it! I didn’t know how to cope with this! Until the day, I understood that it is not gonna happen overnight. It was gonna take me some time, to change my habits, to find knew ways to cope with my life.
Slowly I started turning to “healthier” alternatives. I started living consciously and I refused to give in to momentum, emotional outbursts. A lot of times I really felt like reaching for food for comfort, but right in that moment I refused to be weak and give in to the unconscious urge. Contrary to that I tried to rationalize my actions and my feelings. I analyzed my behavior and my emotions and I had an inside monolog with myself, trying to reach to the root of my problems and find a better outlet!
Some of my “healthier” outlets were and still are:
Long walks– every time when I feel the burden of the day and the disappointment, when the narrow room starts choking me, when I feel overwhelmed by my inability to cope with what’s happening in my life, I take my keys and I go out. I walk, sometimes without direction, sometimes I go to the park, among the nature where I feel calm and in peace with myself.
Reading- a person always need a new, wise, healthier point of view. When you are alone and there isn’t anybody to provide you a new point of view, books are your best friends. There you could find everything you need! Just let them open your eyes!
Friends– nowadays it is hard to find people, who you could call friends, but I am lucky enough to have a few. People, who somehow always find the right words to say or the right things to do in order to make me feel peaceful and take me out of the hole, I am trying to dig myself in. Everyone needs some people in his life, that every now and then will kick him in the ass and show him that life ain’t so difficult, it is just our point of view that makes it seem this way!
Workouts– as you know this is my cure. The cure I prescribe for all pains and suffering, and the sure way to cope with difficulties!
Crafts and painting– this is something I do not do very often, but something I enjoy doing. Sometimes art just takes over you, it takes you to another place… it can’t be put into words, but it brings so much peace. Even if you are not the next Picasso, just try to do some handmade crafts or make a board with quotes, that will be always in front of your eyes, when you think that life is being mean on you. The quotes will give you your daily dose of motivation and inspiration, which won’t let you get depressed very often!
These are the things that helped me. You need to find what is gonna work for you! Decide what you are gonna do, when the emotions are trying to swing your harmony and peace, so you won’t find yourself unprepared and surprised, and eventually turn to food for comfort!
Thus with time, every time you refuse to give in to emotional eating and instead of that you substitute it with something that rises you up, and doesn’t even you with the ground, you will notice how slowly, but surely you are getting closer to where you want to be!
Now an athletic and fit body, as well as healthy eating won’t be a mirage anymore!
Do you struggle with emotional eating or did you find a way to cope with it? What is your outlet?
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