When my wife and I first married, it was with the intent that it would last forever. About six years into the marriage, we found ourselves facing some pretty serious problems. Neither of us knew if the marriage would continue, or even if we wanted to stay married. Fortunately, we found a counselor who helped us make sense of what was a very confusing time. Bit by bit, we were able to get a handle on what was happening and figure out a way to resolve those problems together. Without the help of that counselor, I doubt we would be together today. If you are leery of seeking counseling, let me put your mind at rest. The right therapy will help you find the answers you seek and make it possible to move forward. Stay with me and I'll share a little of what I learned along the way.
Have you ever started a diet and found it impossible to stick to the plan for more than a day or two? Do you find yourself eating mindlessly or eating in secret? If so, you may be eating to soothe your emotions.
If you're an emotional eater, being overweight is about more than just eating too much or not getting enough exercise. Sticking to a weight loss plan may be impossible until you get to the root issue of why you are eating:
Numbing the pain
Emotional eaters turn to food to numb their feelings. Some of the common emotions that trigger eating binges are: anger, sadness, anxiety, stress, loneliness, boredom, and feeling unloved. The process of eating, especially comfort-type foods, usually provides a sense of relief from the stressful emotions. However, the relief only lasts until the food is consumed. Like drugs and alcohol, the food provides a temporary "high" followed by a "crash."
Some emotional eaters consume huge amounts of food in a short period of time. These short food binges usually end with feelings of guilt and shame, and the emotions that caused the episode are still there.
A destructive pattern
A food addiction can be as destructive as overindulging in drugs or alcohol. It can take control of your life and destroy your health. You may find yourself overspending or using charge cards to purchase extra food. It's not uncommon for emotional eaters to plan eating binges where they go to the store and buy their favorite comfort foods to indulge in later when they are home alone.
You may find yourself preferring to spend more time alone when you're an emotional eater. Isolation can lead to depression. You may neglect personal care and withdraw from spending time with friends and family.
When you eat to avoid feelings, you never learn healthy ways to cope with negative thoughts and emotions. The eating can become worse with time and lead to serious health issues, such as obesity, which may trigger high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Why dieting doesn't work
Typical diets work well for people who simply overeat and want to shed a few pounds. However, most emotional eaters don't do well on programs based just on limiting calories. Emotional eaters need help to figure out why they are binge eating and how to stop.
Programs that focus on emotions that trigger eating are necessary to help you learn healthier ways to cope with uncomfortable feelings. Seeking counselling from a professional therapist or psychologist is helpful. They will work with you to figure out why you continue to run to food. They can help you learn to replace destructive eating patterns with healthy alternatives.
If you're an emotional eater, you can learn to control your emotions rather than letting them control you. You must admit you need help and take the first step to seek treatment. Breaking free from an addiction isn't easy, but it is possible. Knowing you're in control of your emotions is the best feeling of all.
To learn more, or if you have other questions, contact a company like Sojourn Wellness Group Therapy for help.Share