This has been a stressful year, with the death and illness of loved ones, family upheaval, and financial challenges. I live the perfect life for someone who can become a stress eater. I work from home, and am a pretty good cook. So all day long, I am in close proximity to a fully stocked refrigerator and pantry that calls me away from my office. And I travel a lot too, so I’m often in a position of eating at weird times, and foods that are fast–not healthy. It’s the quintessential recipe (pun intended!) for mindless, stress-induced eating.
It’s amazing how food can morph into the answer to so many of life’s hard questions. Happy? Great! Let’s eat! Depressed or bored? No problem! Comfort is only a bite away! Want to celebrate and show your love to family and friends? Cook a feast of everyone’s favorite foods and gorge yourselves! Stressed out? Relief is just a fork-full away!
Eating equals immediate gratification! Problem is, it’s the aftermath fraught with the extra pounds, self-criticism, embarrassment, and feeling “icky” that can set you up for the endless feedback loop of self-sabotaging behavior.
I’m working to change my relationship with food, and have found a great book that is really helping. It’s called, “Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food” by Jan Chozen Bays, MD. It really is helping me to get a handle on my bad eating habits.
I’m just getting started with it, but I’ve already had an “Aha Moment” in reading it. I understand now that there are many different kinds of hunger–few of which have anything to do with the nutritional needs of our bodies. Our senses, our emotions, our habits all have the ability to trigger eating. Transformative stuff!
I highly recommend this book! Let’s read it together, and share ideas–and support!
Question: What triggers emotional eating for you?