First thing that comes up online when you type in emotional eating is
How to Recognize and Stop Emotional and Stress Eating
Emotional eating (or stress eating) is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger.
The internet is already telling me I need to stop something without understanding the root of the issue. In my experience I feel that my control over what I eat is fully in my hands. When I over eat I know that its happening, I have that control. Why do I often over eat and does that equal emotional eating?
When I sit down to think about why I eat the first thing that comes up is hunger. I don’t usually experience hunger the same way after my gastric bypass at this point (11 months post-op) so I have to look for other ques. On one hand I never feel hungry but somehow I’m always hungry, it’s an odd feeling. I try to eat every 3/4 hours and I do have specific guidelines but that’s for another post. Very often it comes down to stress, habits, social influence and unfortunately body hate. I like to think that the current stress level in my life is medium. I do have challenges in my daily life, weather I choose to have them or not. My food habits are also not the best, especially before I had my surgery, they started when I was a kid. I try not to blame my parents for my food habits, there is plenty of blame to go around. I do know that it started when I was very young. I feel that social influence has the least effect on my emotional eating but it’s still there, especially at family functions. The most controversial is body hate, yes I said it. I have a very love/hate relationship with my body. In my mind how can I love something I want to and am changing? It just doesn’t compute. I would say I hate it but that’s not true, I just don’t love my body and that’s really difficult to accept.
Often I eat to actually fuel my body but on occasion I eat as form of avoidance, I’m trying to not feel something that’s coming up. Sometimes its fear or anger, on occasion its sadness or discomfort. I have gotten pretty good at sitting with my feelings, every once in a while my habits get the better of me and I over eat. I’ve learned to feed my life with activities rather than food when it comes to emotions. Food is not just food. It’s not about calories in and calories out. Food is a huge aspect of all of our lives, I know it is for me. I know how to recognize emotional eating but understanding it and stopping it are two different things. I’m on the path of understanding it because it’s a complex thing. I can handle it but I have to remember that I’m only human and will make mistakes. There is NO perfect in emotions 🙂