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When Eating too Much Food and Eating Too Many Fattening Foods Become Less Necessary

Posted Feb 11 2013 5:00am

If you are able to manage your feelings better and become more self-reflective, what you eat and how much you eat become less necessary for your emotional well being. This process of self-change does not happen quickly or easily. To make such a change you will have to do some hard work on your emotional makeup.

If you have fashioned your eating behavior to help you maintain your emotional equilibrium, your eating behavior can’t be changed until you’ve established more adaptive, more straightforward emotional supports and competencies.

Take, for example, the case of the missing chocolate cake. It was there yesterday, but today it is all gone. What happened to it?

Yesterday you were feeling lots of different feelings, some of which you identified for yourself and others that you didn’t notice. You did, however, have a piece of that chocolate cake late morning. You were hungry, so you thought, and the cake tasted great, just what you needed to satisfy your “hunger”.

Then for lunch you couldn’t resist another piece, and then just a little sliver more because the piece you had for lunch wasn’t quite enough. Mid-afternoon you slipped into the kitchen before the kids got home and had one more piece. For dinner you restrained yourself rationalizing that you didn’t want dessert because you’d already eaten some. The truth was that you were embarrassed to let the kids see just how little cake was left. And finally when the kids went to sleep, you got yourself not one but two pieces. First one piece while you were watching your favorite program and then another just after you did the last of the dishes.

Now you can treat this chocolate cake episode and eating episodes like this by working directing on your eating behavior. You can put yourself on a diet or cut out sweets or work to eliminate your binge eating. Whatever you try to do directly about your eating behavior, though, you will need to do something also about the emotions that you are handling by this eating behavior. Otherwise, your efforts to change your pattern of eating will be a waste of time.


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