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Are You an Emotional Eater?

  • You just got a call from a family member and it was bad news.
  • You missed a deadline at work.
  • You wish you had someone to share life with so you wouldn’t feel so lonely.
  • You strongly dislike your job and dread work every day.
  • Traffic stresses you out and you sit in it every day.
  • Another bill just came in and there’s no money to pay it.
  • You are exhausted and feel like you never have time to slow down.
  • You feel purposeless and uninspired.
  • You’re bored and blah.

And, all of these emotions can send you straight to food for comfort.

Sad, lonely, angry, stressed, tired, frustrated…

Emotional eating affects almost all women at some point in life. (You are not alone.)

Sometimes it can become all encompassing and wreak havoc on overall health and happiness.

WHAT EXACTLY IS EMOTIONAL EATING?

It’s when someone turns to food to comfort any range of emotions.  They eat when they’re not truly hungry (physically).  Food becomes a void filler, a comforter, a friend.  Emotional eating can make someone feel out of control with food.  And, emotional eating can happen even in happy times! We like to celebrate with food. But, when it turns into an out-of-control, overabundance that makes you feel, ultimately, unhappy, then it becomes a challenge.

How to determine if you are an emotional eater…

1. FIRST, TURN OFF AUTOPILOT. 

Be conscious of your habits and behaviors throughout the day.  When you eat, ask yourself WHY you’re eating.  Are you physically hungry, or are you filling a void?  Becoming aware is the first step.  Invite God into this discovery process with you.

2. YOU THINK ABOUT FOOD ALL THE TIME. 

If you do this, it’s often because food is an easy scapegoat so you don’t have to think about other, more difficult things.  And, sometimes food becomes your purpose in life because you’re feeling unfulfilled in other areas.

3. YOU EAT IN HIDING. 

You feel ashamed for turning to food to pacify an emotional need (though you might not realize you’re pacifying an emotional need), so you eat in hiding, and it’s usually high-sugar, processed, packaged food.

4. YOU EAT EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT PHYSICALLY HUNGRY. 

Perhaps you just ate lunch, but an hour later you’re reaching for a candy bar.  An hour after a meal, you shouldn’t be physically hungry if you had a robust and nutritionally dense meal.  Most likely you’re reaching for that candy bar because you’re bored or tired, lonely or upset.  Again, it requires turning off autopilot to dissect behaviors.

5. YOU HAVE A STRAINED RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD. 

When you think of food, you don’t have positive feelings.  You use food as a substance (like drugs or alcohol) and feel uneasy around food.  Your relationship with food should feel peaceful and loving, not strained and stressful.  If you’re feeling strained around food, it could be because you’re using it in a way that it wasn’t meant to be used. (CLICK HERE for 10 Life Changing Food Truths.)

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

Turn off autopilot for a few days and evaluate your habits and behaviors around food.  Keep a journal.  How do you use food?  How does your relationship with food feel? How do you want it to feel?

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