Getting Support for Emotional Eating: Being Free from Emotional Eating isn’t as Simple as Saying No
Posted May 07 2009 9:22pm
Being free from emotional eating takes time – it can take a LOT of time. For some people their emotional attachment to food is less severe and they can be done with the issue in months. For others, like myself, it can take years.
I never realized how much emotional eating was a part of my life and never thought I was an emotional eater. Only until very recently, in the past few years, has it become so abundantly clear that emotional eating is something I take part in on a regular basis or try not to! Unfortunately, although I was getting somewhere with my battles against it, it can take another emotional blow to send you back into an emotional panic again and delve for the food.
A year and a half ago my mother died. It was just after the birth of my son, so the blow couldn’t have come at a more devastating time. I was excited about my new bundle of joy, but I had been more excited about spending time with my mother and her helping me bring up her grandson. Unfortunately, this wasn’t meant to be and although I thought I could handle her death, it has been an ongoing battle since then. When people say it gets better, I really haven’t seen the evidence of this yet.
So what’s this got to do with emotional eating? Well, my emotional eating habits got a lot worse once this event occurred and have been a lot harder for me to deal with. They come in waves. Every so often a powerful wave of emotion hits me that I try to avoid feeling through comfort eating. It’s almost as though it creeps up on me and takes over me before I even notice. I then tend to act as though I haven’t really got a clue why I am suddenly obsessing with food again – but really, if I took a good look at myself the answer is there, I just want to avoid it. Avoidance of my issues seems to be on a subconscious level though, so I am not intentionally avoiding the issues but I am (if that makes sense!).
I did have my emotional eating under control before this occurrence but since, it is almost as though I have had to rewire my thinking again and get back on track – like I have fallen off the wagon. It hasn’t been as simple as addressing the underlying issues either – my grief. I can’t force it out all in one go. It comes in waves and I don’t know how long these waves will go on. All I know is that without the support of my boyfriend, I would have found it almost impossible to stop myself falling into the trap of emotional eating again and this is why I made this post.
If you are an emotional eater, you need to get support. You need to find someone you can go to when it gets too tough. It is so very easy to cave and eat the food. The instant gratification is so very tempting that we need someone to help us overcome it. When life gets tough, others’ support is needed to stop us indulging in the behaviors that cause us pain and repression. If you can’t find someone to support you in person, there are many forums online that can give you support too and I have used a few myself and found them to be useful in times when I felt misunderstood. So do a search for an emotional eating forum or use a forum you already frequent for support if necessary.
Sometimes, all we need is to discuss our emotional eating habits with someone who has been there or is there and once we have spoke about it, we feel instantly less emotional and more powerful.
So when you start to acknowledge your emotional eating and your maladaptive comfort eating, make sure you have a friend who can help you through the times when you feel like you can’t overcome overeating on your own. Sometimes its all you need.