Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

It’s 9:15 pm and you find yourself hunting through the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. You think to yourself 

I want something. I just don’t know what I want.” 

You take a few grapes out of the fridge and bite down onto their smooth skin. As the grape burst in your mouth and you feel the cool juicy flavor, you realize, this is not what you are craving.

You move on to the next contestant in your night snacking episode. You open a bag of chips and have one or two, but they aren’t doing it either. A spoonful of chocolate chip ice cream comes next, hmmm, nope still not what I  want.

You put the ice cream back in the freezer and move back over to the pantry. Opening the door wide you start scanning the shelves. Moving things in and out until, walla, cereal! Yes sugary, crunchy, cereal swimming in a big bowl of milk. You pour yourself a bowl and cover it in milk, grab a spoon, and plop yourself right back in front of the television.

As another episode of NCIS comes on you mechanically dip the spoon in and collect a few lucky charms. Crunching down on the nighttime snack that you so desperately desired – you start to feel comforted and calm again. 

As the show returns from another commercial break, you hear the dink of your spoon hitting the bottom of your bowl. Looking down you feel disappointment and longing. You slurp the last bit of milk from your bowl. You set the bowl alongside you.

Watching Gibbs crack another case and the show’s credits start to roll you get up with the bowl with all intention of placing it in the sink. 

However, as you get back into the kitchen you find yourself looking for something else to munch on. You say to yourself out loud and with anger, “Enough. I should be fine. I already ate… so, WHY am I so hungry?”

Or are you?

Are you really hungry?

Could you possibly be trying to calm yourself before going to bed?

Maybe you are trying to comfort feelings of loneliness, insecurity, sadness. You know if you continue to do this to yourself your pants are no longer going to fit. It just seems so out of your control. Once you start eating it’s so hard to stop and feel satisfied by the nourishment.

You’ve started picking at the snack drawer in your desk throughout the day just to survive your workday. And 4 pm has become a daily trip to the vending machine because a payday or a bag of potato chips is your best friend for the last hour. Not all days are ‘bad days’. Some days you get trail mix from the vending machine when you try to remain conscious of what you are eating.

emotional eatingYou have a shelf full of diet and cookbooks at home collecting dust. Each marked off with recipes or underlined from when you were sure this was going to be the time to change what you are doing.

You’ve joined and quiet every weight management program endorsed by a celebrity. You name it you’ve done it, no-carb, cabbage soup, keto, low carb, but nothing seems to work. The scale has either remained the same or crept up over the years due to failed attempts to lose weight and get your life back.

The thought to do it again is agonizing. You hate depriving yourself of food and forcing yourself to exercise. Feeling restricted and hungry leads you to a sure case of “The F*@! its!”

Living a life overweight, self-conscious,

and what feels out of control is just not fair.

Everyone deserves to live a healthy and ambitious lifestyle of their choosing.

  • Imagine a healthier relationship with food, not obsessing over what your next meal will be. 
  • Imagine not feeling conflicted when you go out to eat with friends or family. You have faith and trust in your ability to make a decision that is optimal for you. 
  • Imagine not fearing food, but enjoying it with confidence knowing you are using it to fuel and nourish your body.
  • Imagine understanding your past pattern of overeating was a symptom of a deeper, more personal struggle that your body was trying to protect you from. Inevitably, causing you unnecessary pain. Pain that you have since learned how to soothe and comfort without picking up a fork or opening a bag of crunch and munch.
  • Imagine no longer being a slave to the number on the scale. Living with an understanding that the number of your waistline does not define who you are as an individual
  • Envision yourself living a happier, carefree life full of activity, laughter, and joy. Being included in social events, even the ones that involve stadium seating or a long walk through the city. 
  • Finally, imagine catching a glimpse of your reflection in a store mirror or window and smiling back at yourself.

I have been providing counseling services to address emotional eating behaviors for over seven years now. Having both clinical and personal experience with the struggles of developing a healthier lifestyle and maintaining weight loss for over ten years. We provide you with the education to build insight. You will learn the tools and power to develop effective eating habits and meet personal activity goals.

You’re probably wondering how therapy is going to help you lose weight. 

Listen, coming in weekly and just talking does not necessarily mean you will lose weight. Combating emotional eating and recovering from the effects of it do not always focus on weight loss; however, it can be a side effect or someone’s personal goal. We are here to support you in pursuing your goals and implementing new behaviors.

What therapy can and will do for you is to provide you with a safe place to explore your relationship with unhelpful coping mechanisms, such as overeating. I will closely work with you in developing your ideal image of a healthier and realistic lifestyle for yourself.

Let’s be real, we don’t all have the means for a personal chef and trainer. Some of us do not even like to cook! So learning to set realistic and achievable goals to developing and maintaining a healthier way of living for you is the key to success.

Before you decide to stick a fork in that cheesecake or take another bite of that meatball sub ask yourself;

what would it look like to have control over my life?

Experience a happier, carefree, and controlled world for yourself!

If you are not ready for counseling just yet, but interested in learning more about emotional eating I highly recommend reading  Food, Mood, and You: Emotional Eating Education Curriculum.  You can order the book here.