“I was not eating to nourish my body but rather eating to fill an emotional hole”
After my battle with anorexia, I still struggled with food for many years. Essentially, I went from not eating anything to over indulging in things because I went too long not enjoying food. Then the occasional overindulging lead to emotional eating when I was sad or anxious.
As stated in a previous post, I was not eating to nourish my body but rather eating to fill an emotional hole. This took some time to overcome, and there are still times I struggle with it today. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) taught me “mindfulness” – as silly as it might sounds, many of us cannot master this concept. We, as a society, are always thinking about the past or the future – not too much about the present. Staying in the moment, and allowing yourself to recognize how you feel, can allow you to overcome more than you would think. Being aware is the first step to letting go.
If you struggle with emotional eating, I urge you to begin to be more mindful of your physical and mental state at the time you crave food.
Ask yourself where you feel the hunger, be aware of the timing, and how fast you are consuming your food.
Here are some classic signs to look for according to Natalie Wingfield (of the VA Beach Counseling Center) and how you tell the difference between physical and emotional eating:
Where do you feel the hunger: stomach
Timing: every 4-6hrs
Rate: slow, mindful
Other: eating with others, diversity with food
Where do you feel the hunger: mouth watering, need to chew
Rate: faster paced
Other: often alone, craving something specific
It took me a while to realize that my body is a temple. It is merely what transports my soul from one place to another. So, be mindful. Real happiness does not come from food or from having an ideal body. However, if you nourish your body with the correct amount of vitamins and minerals, you will be amazed at how much better physically and mentally you will feel. Your gut carries 80-90% of the serotonin in your body. So when your belly is properly nourished, you will see a difference in your mood.
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