So I really struggled with how/when/if I should write this one. Emotional eating is such a bad habit that so many people close to me have, and I have definitely had it worse than many. Through my many years modeling, I have learned how harmful emotional eating is for both your mind and body. Today I want to give you my honest perspective about my struggles with emotional eating, how I learned to stop, and explain further why it is a bad habit. This post is written in the spirit of encouraging you to be as happy and healthy as possible, and to maintain balance in your life. 🙂
This is about to get real… brace yourselves!! 😉
Emotional eating is what happens when you use food as a way to deal with your emotions. Typically, emotional eating happens when you are feeling stressed, sad, depressed, worried, angry, lonely or bored. Basically any strong emotion. And when you feel this emotion, your first response is to open the fridge and grab whatever is closest. This is never an apple. (Ever.) Usually it is crackers, chips, ice cream, pizza, candy, or pretty much any bad food you can think of. Essentially emotional eating is the act of using food to make yourself feel better.
Emotional eating is the devil. It is actually the worst thing you can do for both your mind and body. Emotional eating totally makes you lose control. Which sucks, because I am a bittt of a control freak (that surprised a grand total of ZERO people lol.)
It is a vicious cycle because you start eating a bunch of random foods in order to make yourself feel better. Then when the feeding frenzy is over, and you feel even worse than you did before. Because you stuffed yourself full of calories that you didn’t need, and there is a 99.99% chance that whatever you ate had no nutritional value whatsoever. Thus, emotional eating is a total downward spiral.
Okay I will stop pretending to be Dr. Phil now, and tell you how I stopped emotional eating. This habit for me, was bad. Like really bad. I rarely appreciated the food I hate, always ate things that were unhealthy, and hated the way I felt after eating because of my emotions. Food is amazing, and it should be appreciated like you would a first-born child. (Haha! You think I am kidding…) Anyways, my point is is that you should love and cherish the amazing things that you get it eat! Not just inhale it when you get stressed.
Once I had decided that the habit needed to stop, I came up with a list of things to do when I was feeling stressed and wanted to eat a cake. (Anyone else ever feel like this??? Haha) Here was my “go-to” list of things to do when that emotional eating craving came on:
1) Allow myself to have unlimited amounts of frozen fruit! Why? It is a sweet “treat” that tastes delicious and is healthy. Also, the fact that the fruit was frozen kind of forced me to take my time eating it and think about what was going on. And it tasted good. So yay. Also knowing that I could have that whenever I wanted was super comforting.
2) Get out and do something with friends. Friends are the best, I love my friends so so much. When you need an excuse to celebrate, cry, or anything really, they are the ones you should call! They always seem to know best anyways 🙂
3) Okay and maybe don’t listen to this one (probably a bad habit to form lol) but I started shopping more. I treat myself to nice clothing instead of crappy food. (Again I am admitting this isn’t the best tip for your wallet, but I like to shop and it worked for me so whatever.)
4) Take a bath! This is super comforting and relaxing to me, and helps me clear my mind. Baths are a great way to let yourself think through whatever is bothering you.
5) Do something you like to do! For me, this might be watching an episode of my favourite show, working out, going skiing, getting my nails done, or exploring the outdoors. Make yourself feel like the queen that you are. <3
If you feel physical hunger, it is so important to eat and nourish your body. That is your body’s way of telling you it needs nourishment! Physical hunger comes on gradually, whereas emotional hunger hits you suddenly. You will also crave better foods when you are physically hungry, instead of the instant gratification that junk food gives you.
I am by no means a doctor, and just wanted to share with you what works for me. This post came about because I have lots of friends who struggle with emotional eating, and I wanted to share what had helped me make sure I am making healthy choices. Please do your own research, and find out what works best for you.
And remember, we only get one body… so treat it well! <3