Well, grrrrrrreaaaaat. The emotional eating monster rears its ugly face once again.
Just as you were starting to get into the swing of this new diet, you had to go an sabotage it with not one, not two, but three large brownies (extra frosting, extra sprinkles).
And that’s after you already scarfed down a grilled cheese so fast you might as well’ve been practicing for a speed eating contest.
Oh, and don’t forget the Frappuccino that started you down the inescapable black hole of non-diet-friendly foods.
You don’t even remember what flavor you got, you were so starved to fill yourself with that liquid love that comes with such a sweet sweet buzz.
All you can think about now is the familiar guilt and shame that overwhelms you every time you fail at being healthy and succumb to emotional eating.
It’s a vicious cycle too many women get stuck in.
You start a diet, you stick to the rules for a few days or even a few weeks, and then something in you snaps.
Usually it’s in the evening after a par-tic-ularly stressful day.
The next thing you know you’ve broken every rule in your diet book.
It’s like the “self-control” button is stuck and you don’t know how to stop yourself from shoving more of those empty calories in your mouth.
Call it yo-yo dieting.
Call it emotional eating.
Call it food addiction.
Whatever label you put on it, one thing’s for sure.
It feels lousy.
Really, really lousy.
Here’s the problem.
When you start a diet you’re starting from a deprivation mindset.
You feel crappy in your body, and you think the only way you’re going to feel better is by changing the way you eat.
While it’s true that what you eat can and will change the way you feel in your body, if you try to change your diet by putting some foods on a forbidden list, you’ll have about as much power to resist those foods as Eve did with the low-hanging fruit.
The solution to this is simple, on paper anyway.
Stop depriving yourself of specific foods, pay attention to your body as you eat, and make it a rule to only eat things that genuinely, totally, 100% bring you joy.
When you stop depriving yourself of specific foods you take away their power over you.
As humans we’re programmed to want what we don’t have, so if you let yourself eat as much ice-cream as you want it stops seeming quite as enticing after a while.
When you pay attention to your body as you eat, you start to notice the effect certain foods have on your body.
Translation: when you pay attention you are more likely to stop when you’ve had enough.
And to tag this onto the last point, when you’ve had enough you can always save it for later.
Knowing that your favorite food will still be around when you want it makes you a lot less likely to overeat.
And finally, building off those last two points, only eat things that genuinely bring you joy.
If you take a bite of something and it doesn’t make you feel happy, don’t eat it.
Find something else if you’re hungry.
When you eat things you don’t love you feel dissatisfied, which means you’ll end up looking for something more delicious later, whether or not you’re hungry at that point.
In other words, if the yo-yo dieting carnival ride you’re on is starting to make you feel sick, don’t try to just stop it in its tracks.
If you’ve been on deprivation-diet/emotional eating ride long enough you know that even if you did manage to stop it for a while, that damn conductor will eventually come back from his coffee break and start it up again, on hyperspeed.
Instead you’ve got to find a way to enjoy the ride.
You’ve got to start eating more emotionally, not less.
You read that right.
You’ve got to feel your way into your food.
When you actively love your food and love what it does in your body, you slowly but surely start to eat more and more things that make you feel good, and less of the things that make you feel bad.
As I said, this is easy to do on paper.
In reality it takes a while for most women to shift their attitude from self-loathing to love, from deprivation dieting to intuitive eating.
But I’ve done it, other women have done it, and if you’re ready to love your body and life, then you can do it too.
Start by eating a cookie, and love it down to the last crumb.
Then when you feel yourself get hungry again, drink some nourishing bone broth, and feel it warming you up from the inside.
Eat some broccoli and smother it with garlic and olive oil and delight in its texture.
Ask your body what it needs to feel better, and listen to it honestly with an open heart.
Let the love into your body, and your body will love you back.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What are your experiences with dieting and emotional eating?
Leave a comment below and tell my your story. The more I know about you the better I can serve you.
’Til next time,
Love, hugs, and peanut butter,