Ah emotional eating – where would we be without it?
Probably skinnier, more energised and more confident, right?
So if we know that by not being an emotional eater we can have three of the things we’d happily sell our first born for – why don’t we just stop?
“Just stop”. Like we haven’t tried that about a million times before.
Being an emotional eater isn’t something you can “Just stop”. It’s an invisible force that completely consumes you (pun intended).
Experts say it’s fear, loneliness or the filling to a massive gaping void. Ha, we wish we had a gaping void – ideally in the middle of our upper thighs or between our waistband and muffin top…am I right?!
Well whatever it is, it transforms you from a hard-working law-abiding citizen into an uncontrollable fractious beast. It’s like a dark fog descends and casts a spell upon you – a spell that cannot be broken until the entire contents of the kitchen have been devoured.
Sometimes you try to trick the spell, by hiding the forbidden food in the depths of the cupboard behind the vintage cans of soup you’ve been saving in the event of an apocalypse.
But the spell always knows. It patiently waits for you to retreat back to the couch, and then as soon as you feel like you’ve regained some control – the torment begins.
The once inanimate food item morphs into an alluring temptress and starts seductively calling your name. You turn up the TV in an attempt to drown her out, but she infiltrates your mind until you can think of nothing else but taking just one more bite of that sweet sweet snack.
You try to reason with her, reminding her that you’re supposed to be “being good” and you’ve already eaten more than you should – but she doesn’t care. She tells you it’s too late – you’ve already been bad so you might as well keep going and just start again tomorrow.
You think to yourself that she makes a good point. You’ve come this far so you might as well see it through. You can totally get back on the wagon tomorrow. And if you go to bootcamp and eliminate all carbs, it’ll be like today never happened.
So you wade back through the Doomsday delights and chow down once more – this time feeling slightly less guilty, thanks to your genius plan to eat nothing and sweat out the calories tomorrow. In fact, you feel so confident with this plan you decide to get a takeaway for dinner.
Fast forward to tomorrow. You wake up with a start to the sound of your alarm, a little clammy having slept in your gym clothes – you figured that would definitely guarantee your attendance at the 6am bootcamp class.
Fast forward to 7:30am. DAMMIT. You must have hit snooze without realising, and now you’re going to be late for work. You’ve missed your window to exercise and you don’t have time to make your protein breakfast. How are you going to reverse all the damage you did yesterday?
Fuck it, you’ll start again tomorrow.
But tomorrow never comes…does it? Or maybe it does, but then you realise the barista put full fat milk in your morning coffee instead of skim, so you jump straight off the wagon and straight into the fridge.
It’s all, or it’s nothing – am I right? You’re either being “good” or “bad”, and there’s nothing in between…except a whole heap of mind fuckery around whether you should put the bad thing in your mouth or not.
Can you imagine how much more headspace and energy you’d have if you weren’t constantly weighing up your options and trying to talk yourself off the ledge of the wagon.
And how free you’d feel not having to hide your dirty little secret – or the piles of empty wrappers.
Here’s the great news – eating isn’t the problem. It’s simply your brain’s weapon of choice against the fears, insecurities and pressures in your life. So if you want tomorrow to come, your focus needs to change.
Imagine for a moment that you have dandruff. You of course want to make it go away as quickly as possible, so you buy an array of hair products and keep slapping them on one after the other. Sometimes a product will give you light relief, but the dandruff keeps coming back.
Eventually however you learn that your persistent dandruff could actually be due to an issue in your gastrointestinal tract, so you shift your focus to creating a healthier gut, and what do you know – the dandruff problem goes away.
It’s the exact same scenario for your emotional eating – yes, I just found a way to relate emotional eating to dandruff.
If you want your emotional eating problem to go away, stop focusing on the eating and start focusing on the root cause. Concentrate on the gastrointestinal tract (or shit) of your mind, and say hello to a new tomorrow…
…A tomorrow where you can be alone in the house without feeling compelled to eat the fuck out of everything. A tomorrow where you don’t have to hide in the toilet to eat a muffin. And a tomorrow where you never again have to consider eating a biscuit from a bin.
Can I get a HEEELL YEAH!