Emotional eating is something that gets labeled so negatively. Listen to conversations around food, diet, health, and often we hear or find ourselves using phrases like “I eat my feelings”, “I had a hard day and fell face first into some chocolate”, and even give ourselves the “I’m an emotional eater” label. These thoughts can be so destructive.Thinking these sort of thoughts in effect signify that we are giving away our power. We are putting food in the position of control over us, rather than acknowledging that we are the decision makers of our food choices.
The other way this type of thinking tends to not serve us well is it negates the fact that food is inherently an emotional experience. More importantly, that there is nothing wrong with that! We are meant to have an emotional connection to food. We are meant to experience eating food we enjoy surrounded by people we love. We are meant to find certain foods comforting in times of distress. In fact if we did not get enjoyment and have an emotional reaction to food, humans likely wouldn’t have survived. (There has to be some sort of motivation to eat to get that nourishment our bodies need!)
So often, when we speak about this emotional attachment to food we speak about it so negatively, but in reality, having this emotional connection to food is not something we can just “will away”. It is actually important and something that is meant to be experienced! Would we really want to get no pleasure from food, or miss the joy we get from that favorite holiday food? I don’t think so! Keeping this in mind when we have moments when we are feeling the need to negatively label this experience can be so helpful!
Questions about emotional eating or anything else eating disorder/ food and body image related? Feel free to get in touch!