A friend of mine asked me the other day how to stop emotional eating.
But I wanted to touch on something she told me: “What would my solution be if emotional eating wasn’t an option?”
To which I told her: “Emotional eating IS an option and it’s in thinking it ‘shouldn’t’ or ‘ought not’ be an option that is likely leading you back to the food each and every time”.
Understandably dropping the thinking associated with what you have been lead to believe- in this case, emotional eating being ‘bad’– is confronting.
Primarily because truth be told, ‘controlling’ emotional eating requires you to stop wanting to control your food in the first place.
It requires you to change your thinking should you really want to change your behaviour – in other words- stop judging your behaviour (emotional eating) as “bad” to begin with.
It requires you to realize you’ve got such little control over your biology to begin with -in other words you’re doomed before you even begin your ‘quest for control’.
Many clients tell me that they feel ‘ashamed’, ‘guilty’ and ‘should know better’. However, what many clients fail to realise is that shame and guilt are not healthful motivators. In other words the degree to which you feel shame and guilt doesn’t correlate with the degree to which you’ll see (positive) change. More on this to come.
The shame and the guilt exists as a result of ‘lack of control’. So let’s be real here: It’s in the ‘trying to control your food or you’ll crumble’, that’s the real reason why you’re crumbling to begin with.
What I’m suggesting here is that trying to control your food is something that you haven’t actually got the power to do in the long run. It’s like trying to sail up a river in a barb wire canoe. Inevitable failure, where you’re only to be left frustrated and defeated by your own ‘good’ intention.
In the long run control only causes you to eat more, not less.
The only answer to those trying to control their food is to allow allow allow (physically and importantly emotionally- more on this here).
Because remember: Emotional eating is a consequence of control + restriction (or lack of allowance).
Something to remember this week when you’re wondering why you can’t stop rummaging through the fridge after dinner….
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