When I work with clients to address their emotional eating problems they often come to me after years of thinking the problem they have is to do with food.
This is why whilst most of the time their meals are well balanced and healthy, it’s the other times that they end up eating that is often causing the problems leading to excess weight, lack of body confidence and general dissatisfaction.
Emotional eating isn’t a lack of understanding of what makes a balanced diet or a healthy meal. Nor is it a lack of willpower.
Emotional eating is a coping mechanism.
It’s a way of blotting out the emotion that you’re feeling right now, it’s a way of changing the emotional state that you’re in, it’s a way of feeling just a little bit better in this moment than you did in the last.
It’s not about an emotional high that you get from food, it’s about swapping one state for the other, creating a good feeling to block out the bad.
So, when clients come to me, they are often surprised that the solution to their eating problem is only in part to look at food and their eating habits. And this is where using dieting to address the problem generally fails.
Because the biggest cause of emotional eating is your relationship with yourself and the way you support, love and take care of yourself in each and every day.
Because the more you support, love and care for yourself, the less often you’ll feel the negative emotions that you need to change.
It sounds easy but when you’ve trained yourself over years of body shame, guilt over your eating habits and putting yourself low down on the priority scale, then it’s actually quite difficult to make the changes you need, to change the beliefs you have and to build the confidence you need to put yourself first.
It can be painful to start the healing process; with any kind of healing it often gets worse before it gets better but in the long run you find freedom from judgement, from the constraints you put around yourself and from food.