Why Is Emotional Eating So Difficult to Give Up?
Essentially, all diet plans and fitness programs advise you to just reduce calories, increase exercise or do a detox according to some cherry-picked data they trawled from a scientific journal.
For dysfunctional eaters, however, maintaining this regime for more than a day, a week or even a month is simply impossible. The primal urge to eat is just too strong. Food has become a psychological tool, a way to avoid feelings that are too intense or anxiety-provoking. If you haven’t learned how to cope with your life and your emotions in a way that doesn’t include overeating or incorrect eating, you will normally not be able to stick to any diet plan for very long. While things are going smoothly in your life you may be able to stick to your new eating plan but, when life presents a more serious challenge, you’ll inevitably turn back to your old reliable comfort tool of preference – food. Recognise that you are now doing something incredibly positive about it! Every step on the pathway counts. So take a small step. Then another. Be kind to yourself. Stop poisoning your body. Learn to treat it with a little respect and it will reward you with amazing health and vitality.
Don’t get trapped in the downward food spiral!
Using emotionally motivated eating to deal with feelings, however, creates a vicious cycle and a potential downward spiral. Food allows you to shut out the world and ignore your problems, forget your challenges and block out life’s unpleasantness – for a while. But when problems are left unattended they tend to become more serious. They get out of hand. This is scary and it makes you binge and overeat and then, on top of your original problem, you’re filled with guilt and self-loathing too. And the cycle easily spirals out of control because then you need food to deal with the guilt as well as the original problem. Yes, food can serve as a fabulous quick fix. It can bring immediate relief and pleasure, but it doesn’t take long to see that one cookie, chocolate, sweet or fast food experience simply doesn’t do it. You end up needing more and more to fill up the emptiness from living a life devoid of self-expression, real fulfillment and inner awareness and tranquility.
Take a moment to think about your absolute ideal life. How would you look? Where would you be? What would you be doing? Write it all down and then decide which of those images is the most exciting for you. Now take a step – no matter how small – to move yourself in the direction of that vision. Let your new vision become your personal goal. Refer to your new ‘ideal life’ vision every single day and take a daily step to make it a reality.