Conquering Emotional Eating

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I remember the moment it ‘clicked’ for me. I had just given birth to one of my babies (I have 4. It’s all a blur).  He (or maybe she) was in the living room with Dad and I was in the kitchen. Just as I had many times before, I heard his (or her) high pitched scream and I headed straight to the pantry to reach for something.
Anything.
I didn’t even know what.
It was something I’d done many, many times before, but in this moment I realized what I was doing.
The stress of my baby crying was a trigger that drove me to find something to help me cope.
That was a life-changing moment for me.
I don’t claim to be a nutrition expert, but I can speak from experience as a hot mess mom who sometimes just wants to feel that comfort a cupcake can give me vs. face the emotions I’m dealing with.
Working so closely with women over the past nearly 20 years (and being one myself!) I’ve learned one of the biggest issues we deal with regarding weight loss is emotional eating.
We can be so dedicated to our workouts for weeks, even months, and not see the results we’re hoping for.
It’s only when we evaluate our nutrition do we recognize how unbalanced it is.
Why do we reach for food? Because it’s instantaneous. Going for a run or taking a bath or watching a movie to get our mind off it takes a long time. Not to mention making the arrangements to take some time to ourselves.
What we’re really searching for is that feeling of relaxation or satisfaction or pleasure to give us a temporary escape from the issue at hand.
Many people use food at that band aid.
If we think in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish (just feel better, more relaxed, optimistic, worthy, fill in the blank) we will be better equipped to make different choices.
I know it’s easier said than done, but try to think outside the box to other things that can fulfill that.
Nowadays I choose a run, a quick dance party in my kitchen, squeezing and hugging my babies (the ones that still let me), vegging out and watching a mindless movie or sitting alone at a coffee shop with my earbuds in.
Try to think ahead to an hour later with what you’ll be feeling if you indulge in that food craving.
And use that feeling to help guide you to make a healthier choice.
It’s not easy, but with practice, you can become an expert at recognizing your emotional triggers and start making new choices everyday that will, over time, lead you to the results you desire.
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