You’ve probably heard a lot about emotional eating.
And how it’s a mistake, bad for your health, and indicative of obsessive, compulsive, out-of-control eating.
But what if we reframe it? I’ve worked with many clients who have benefitted from what I’m about to share with you. In fact, one former client told me:
“I am getting better at figuring out my feelings… I feel much less guilty about food.” – KG, Alexandria
Rather than struggle with “emotional eating”, which has undertones of a lack of control and ensuing guilt, I teach my clients “Fix a Feeling” eating. It’s empowering and steeped in self-compassion.
Let me explain, using an emotional situation and a donut.
Emotional Eating: Your team at work dropped the ball and the boss was less than kind when she told you it was your fault. You’re hurt and angry. You know donuts make you feel better. You swing by the store and buy one. Once home:
You hit the couch, turn on Netflix and eat the donut while you’re scrolling on your phone. You scarf it down and feel stuffed and sticky. You curse yourself for having no will power and now feel guilty.
Or, Fix a Feeling Eating: Same situation as before, but:
You put the donut on a plate, get a nice napkin, sit at the table and eat the donut one bite at a time. You focus on how tasty it is, how much you enjoy donuts, and you let the stress of the day sift and settle down. Taking this time to breathe and allow this donut to soothe you helps you feel calm and refreshed, and you get up a few minutes later and go about the evening with a clear head and heart.
See the difference?
What I’m suggesting here is that there is a benefit to eating foods that are comforting when you’re feeling feelings and need comforting.
Comfort food can be soothing and a very effective bridge to get you from being stuck in a negative loop to being calm enough to think clearly and take positive action.
This is a radically different way of looking at emotional eating. The main difference is intention. Are you trying to stuff and avoid your feelings, or are you consciously taking some time to soothe and comfort yourself?
That’s what makes the difference. You’re either staying stuck in the pain or moving toward healing.
Food is powerful stuff. Use the power for good!
If you’d like to learn more about “Fix A Feeling” eating and how you can change your relationship with food to feel less guilt and more self-compassion, Just click here, scroll down on that page, and drop in your info.