I’ve never considered myself someone who ate my feelings.
I always thought I had too much self discipline – too much will power – to do that.
After all, I have dedicated my life to teaching people how to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I love exercising. I love cooking. I love vegetables……
I actually love vegetables…I’m not even making that up!!
I can even tell you all the reasons why it is so important to eat healthy. Physiologically, psychologically, biochemically, emotionally, financially….
The list is endless!
That is why this is sooooo hard for me to admit to you.
But I feel it is necessary. Because maybe me being real with you might help you out somehow. Maybe you will see my weakness and understand that it is okay for you to struggle sometimes, too.
So here it goes.
I think that goes without saying that this month has been hard.
Typically, when I’m going through an especially hard time, my instinct is to put my head down and work through it. In fact, I often think I’m more productive and healthier during hard times, because I almost use these things as distractions.
But this time, I find myself doing the exact opposite. I can’t seem to focus on much of anything these days. And my diet…ugh. Not pretty. Definitely not pretty.
Too little vegan. Too many potato chips.
Not on purpose, mind you. Definitely not on purpose. The truth is, I hate feeling this way. But it’s like I can’t help myself. I try to remind myself of my why. I try to remind myself of my purpose and my goals – where I am and where I want to be.
And yet, I still find myself struggling.
I’m learning that emotional eating is a very real thing.
Emotional eating is using food to make ourselves feel better. It’s a coping mechanism of some sorts. We aren’t eating because we’re hungry, we’re eating because we are sad. Or lonely. Or stressed out. Or bored…
And while potato chips are delicious, they aren’t going to make me feel better in the long run.
They won’t erase my sad feelings. What’s even worse, is that not only is the sadness still there, but added to it are guilt, shame, self condemnation – all the negative feelings I get when I eat food I know is bad for my body.
I know I’m not the only one out there who struggles with this!
But here is the thing – we aren’t powerless!
Hear me say it again….YOU aren’t powerless!!!
You may feel powerless over food and your feelings. I know I sometimes do. But we actually can do something about it! We can make a positive change that will have a lasting effect on ourselves – body, mind, and emotions!
Rather than turning to food, find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally. Here is a small list of things I’ve put together that might help:
- If you’re feeling sad or lonely, call someone who you know will make you feel better.
- Meet a friend for coffee (because after all, coffee makes everything better!).
- Take a walk and use that time to notice the beauty of nature.
- Keep a gratitude journal – often when we focus on all that is going well in our lives, it helps us get through the difficult times a little easier.
- Watch a funny movie.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Put on your sweat pants and fuzzy socks, curl up in a soft blanket, and read a good book.
- Drink hot tea.
- Play some loud music and dance it out.
- Write out your feelings in a journal.
- Play with a puppy.
- Read Scripture – the Psalms especially are helpful when you are in despair.
- Learn a new hobby.
- Go for a drive.
- Go to Target and smell all the candles. Maybe buy yourself something pretty, too…
And honestly, sometimes you just gotta cry it out. It’s okay to do that too. Sometimes life is hard and you just need to have a good cry. I get it.
Today, lets purpose not to let our emotions guide our eating. Let’s get to the root of what we are feeling, allow ourselves to feel it, and then put on our sweats and dance it out!