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Ending Emotional Eating

By Alison Stoodley

You won't believe how easy it is to overcome emotional eating. Seriously. Just recognize that whenever you are eating and you are not hungry, you are eating for an emotional reason. Now, stop it.

I can hear the nay sayers now: "It's not that easy, I have special emotions, she has no idea what my life is like." So let me begin by telling you that yes, it is that easy, there is no such thing as a special emotion and my waist measurement will attest to my emotional eating issues that stem back to my childhood, so, in fact, I know exactly how this issue affects your life.

Here's the thing, stopping eating when you are not hungry is not hard, making the decision to stop eating when you are not hungry, now that is the hard part.

We have devised any number of stories that support our bad habits and what is necessary in this case is to look at this issue without these stories and the complications that we pile on it. We need to use a dose of self-awareness and in that crucial moment choose something else.

Becoming aware won't be hard, set the intention to do so and you will notice these clues when they pop up:

  • You will probably not feel good
  • You will probably feel guilty
  • You will probably not be eating something that supports your health goals (when was the last time you emotionally ate salad?)

When these conditions are present you have to stop what you are doing. Don't let your ego tell you that you have already started on this tub of ice cream which has ruined your good intentions anyway so you may as well keep piling it in. Stop, walk away from it, and tell yourself you can go back if you want but first tell yourself this:

The next thing you do is very important because it speaks volumes about the results you are going to achieve. You will either override the conversation of the ego (the thing that has kept you unhealthy) or you will choose something else. Your health goals live inside of this moment. This is where you make the difference between success and failure, between meeting your commitment and strengthening the ego's hold on your health. This is where you trade your health for the ice cream or you remain firmly in control of your life. Because you are the only person who controls what goes in your mouth right? So stop eating and get back to being in control. Read that last paragraph again, it's an important one.

In order to accomplish your goals you must realize that it is not the easy times that will call you to task, it is not during the easy times that you learn how powerful you are or what you are capable of or how amazing you can be. It is the challenges that provide those wonderful things for you. Inside of each of them is an opportunity to take back the control that is necessary to make conscious decisions, to reshape your body, your mind and your spirit, to create the life you really want to be living, because if you learn to be who you truly are with your health you will know what it feels like to move mountains.

If your lessons of self-worth, like mine, are tied up in the food you eat and the way you honour your commitments to your health, choose right now to take them seriously; they are the keys to the life you are living and to the one you want to create. Remember, this is your show, you decide what happens next... it is ALL up to you.

Alison Stoodley is a writer and a life coach living on the edge of the north Atlantic ocean on a gorgeous rugged rock called Newfoundland. For almost 20 years she has run a program to cultivate and nurture self-worth called The WORTH Program. Contact Alison by email to discuss online or telephone coaching.

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