My entire life I have had an obsession with food. I love everything about it, the way it smells and taste to the way it makes me feel. It started early in my life as I was a very chubby kid growing up. I never understood why I would eat the way I did, I could not just eat until I was full I had to eat until it hurt. I think gluttony may have been an understatement for the way I used to eat as a kid. I developed a full out addiction to eating and to food. Looking back I now know that there is a term for what I was doing and its called emotional eating. As a kid I struggled with issues of not feeling good enough and loneliness, so to fix the problem, I would fill the empty void in my life with food. Even now, when I get stressed out or feel down, my body and mind naturally want to turn to food like it’s a true addiction and an insatiable craving.
Many problems exist with emotional eating, from not actually fixing the problems causing the negative emotions to many times farthing the problems of body issues. I have heard some people say, “I eat because I’m depressed about the way I look and I l look the way I do because I eat.” I call this the negative spiral that we all go through from time to time. Anyone who suffers from emotional eating knows exactly what I am referring to. You are depressed so you turn to food to compensate for those negative emotions and because you just turned to food and feel fat it farther depresses you and the cycle happens again and again. Some people go on this spiral and never recover from it. One day they look in the mirror and it shocks them when they realize how much weight they have just gained. Others often go on these crazy yo-yo dieting spurts where, because they emotionally ate and gained a bunch of weight, they now go on a very restrictive fad diet and lose the weight just to put it back on when the diet is over.
Just like with any addiction, you can recover from emotional eating. To anyone familiar with addiction recovery process, the first step is realizing you have a problem. You have to identify what is causing the negative emotions leading you to eat and fix that problem first. When you are trying to rid your garden of weeds you cannot simply cut the weed down (emotional eating) you must remove the weed at its roots. In the future when you do feel down and want to turn to food to make yourself feel better, remember the negative spiral that road leads you down. Find the source of the emotions and tackle them head-on to create a long term fix, rather than just an emotional patch. The great thing about this journey we call life, is as long as we are breathing we have the opportunity to fix problems and better ourselves. It all boils down to the decisions you make on a daily basis. Today, make the decision that you will no longer let your negative emotions drive you to eat and today start the journey to becoming the best version of you, you can possibly be.
Your friend in the struggle,