Are you an emotional or stress eater?

Are you an emotional eater?

Yes I am.

Sometimes the strongest desire for food happens when I’m at my weakest point emotionally. I will turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when facing a difficult problem, stress, or just looking to keep myself occupied to avoid the underlying issue. It took me years to realize this. I really just thought I was hungry!

Emotional eating can sabotage your weight, your health, and your self-esteem,

If you’re prone to emotional eating like me, you can take steps to regain control.

Although there are many ways to lessen emotional eating, like removing temptations, keeping a food diary, tracking physical hunger vs. emotional hunger, getting the support of others…all these involve some sort of will power or effort by the conscious mind to make them happen.

Our conscious mind can only offer us so much will power and then it’s gone until we can build up more, leaving us to yo-yo between in control and out of control behavior.

What I’ve taught myself instead is to start at the source. To identify the emotional trigger that is leading to stress and learn everything I can about it. I work with the core experience that is being triggered.

This core experience may be abandonment, rejection, lack of control, helplessness, or hopelessness, which in turn trigger anger or fear. The root of all stress is typically anger or fear. 

Once I know the real reason why I’m stressed I can eliminate it or use it in my favor.

For example:

First identify “I feel stressed”. Then determine what core experience is really being triggered to make me afraid or angry (such as: abandonment, rejection, lack of control, helplessness, or hopelessness).

I ask myself, “What am I really afraid of?” or “Why does this situation make me angry?”

Ninety-nine percent of the time my answers to these questions do not justify feeling stressed.

The next key is to mentally reframe the situation, to change the reaction to something that feels good and works to my benefit rather than detriment.

One of my favorite things is to help my client’s undercover core beliefs or fears that may be keeping them stuck and self-sabotaging.

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