I’d love you to meet Angie, she was in awe of how she was able to eradicate years of what she thought was emotional eating issues in just a few short months working with me.
She had tried a lot of things in the past, including training to be a health coach herself, but she never could uncover or stop herself from the binge eating and “cravings” that ruled her life.
Recently, after returning from a lovely vacation, she was so proud of herself that she didn’t have the mentality of “I’ll binge out on holiday and go back to normal when I return home”, because her life no longer has deprivation in it, so there’s no need for her to binge out ‘one last time’. She was amazed at how she bought herself a packet of M&M’s for the plane ride home (alongside her bag of nuts & seeds) and did not open it – she didn’t even want it cause she knew it wouldn’t taste good or make her feel good.
She looked at me and said: “I don’t know how you do it…”.
The issue she had was she was looking for answers in the wrong place. Within 5 minutes of meeting her, seeing her food journal and learning of her lifestyle I knew she wasn’t an emotional eater.
She was a stress eater.
People who stress-eat also skip meals a lot because when your body is stressed or anxious, the last thing it really wants to do is eat. Skipping meals leads to cravings because your body and brain are deprived of the very thing it needs to keep going.
So the first thing I did with Amy is have her regulate her meals, eating frequently throughout the day (this is also known as blood sugar control). We also are working on her gut health since stress compromises digestion a lot, and cravings can also be a result of bacteria imbalance.
So when she said to me, “I don’t know why I am no longer craving this stuff”…I knew exactly why and said: “It’s because you are constantly fuelling your body with food it recognizes and knows how to use so you are never in a deprived state and thus reach for M&M’s to fill the gap.” (I actually don’t think I said the word “thus”…it was more like “Yeah, cause you’re actually eating now”.)
In terms of the emotional component of this, she also realized that she comfort ate when stressed out. Well, there’s no point in managing the “eating” portion of this, it’s like putting the cart before the horse. We first had to address her stress. How she handled it, how she fit in time to relax and really prioritize balancing out her adrenals again. Now that she’s doing this, she no longer has the urge to “stress eat” because she’s not feeling as stressed anymore.
Some people will deal with “stress eating” by getting the person to not have the comfort food in the house, but that doesn’t get rid of the CAUSE now, does it? The stress is still there, and so the person may stop bingeing out on chips, but that behaviour will be replaced with something else, maybe something worse, like booze.
I feel sad when I see people going through unnecessary hoops around what they think is emotional eating, when in fact, it’s more likely something physiological such as blood sugar drops, gut health issues or stress management issues.
Don’t get me wrong. Emotional eating is very real. If you are eating to fill a void, to mask feelings, to avoid dealing with something emotional or as part of post-traumatic stress, that requires a different approach. The physiological things may still apply, but this has an added layer to it and requires a deeper level of compassion and support and should not be ignored.
But I urge you to check out something first, especially if the term “emotional eater” doesn’t quite resonate with you, but you just don’t know where else to look:
- do you miss meals throughout the day
- do you eat a lot of highly refined foods, such as white bread, pasta,etc, cookies, chips etc.
- are you stressed out
- do you bloat, have gas or digestive upset
If any of these apply, then I urge you to break them down and address it one by one so that you can eradicate the need for useless years of therapy for “what’s wrong with me” when it can be as simple as adding in more food to your day.
Of course, if you are experiencing all 4 of the above, plus you know in your heart you also have emotional eating issues, then I strongly encourage you to reach out for support. You don’t have to battle this alone.
Either way, this is what I specialize in, if at any point you’d like to speak with me about how I can help you with this, please book a powerful coaching call with me today – you don’t have to suffer anymore!
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