My emotions drive my eating, I eat when stressed, sad or overwhelmed. It took me many years to admit that I have a not so desired habit of reaching for “comfort food” when I am feeling down.
Through my journey of discovering I am an emotional eater, I realised that I have an emotional relationship with food. It’s part of my culture and how I was raised. Every life event, food was involved. If it’s a birthday, we celebrate with cake.If someone is sick, we nurse them with food, if someone passes away, we take food to their home. If we are celebrating a promotion, we go out to a restaurant, if anyone is having a bad day at work, we give them a chocolate and it goes on and on!
I started seeing food as a pick me up, a reward or just comforting and not fuel for my body. My relationship with food and my emotions are intertwined.
On my healthy journey over the last 2 years, I realized that my emotional eating did not really make me feel better, it actually had the opposite effect. I have skilled myself to overcome the urge to stuff my face in response to every negative emotion I felt. At the end of the day, this choice made me empowered which made me feel better about myself….I made a choice and I did not live with feelings of guilt afterwards for abusing my body because of my emotional reactions.
My first step in coping with this not so desirable habit was to come up with some ways to manage it.
1. Rant Journal
Yes you heard right, these exist (I purchased mine from Typo). It’s a journal that allows me to scribble in my rants. I vent on paper and find it very therapeutic.
2. Tea makes my world a better place
Most of you that know me, know that I love tea and I have a cupboard dedicated to tea. Brew yourself some herbal tea, or some simple fresh ginger, lemon and mint tea. These pots of hot comfort make me feel warm and fuzzy. You will be hydrating and diminishing sugar cravings…Bonus
3. Dance to your favourite song
Getting my body moving to my favourite jam helps with the endorphins…natures happy medication. Dance with your partner or child…perfect time to spend quality time together. This does wonders to lift my mood and get my mind in a more positive space.
4. Intuitive eating
Eat the rainbow of colours. I like to make my plate of food look colourful with brightly colored fruit and vegetables….smoothie and Buddha bowls are perfect for this. Focus on and love your food, smell your food and show gratitude for the meal.Lastly show appreciation for the flavours you are experiencing.