Well, here’s a question that I remember asking myself on a very regular basis:
Why am I always hungry? I’ve just eaten and I still feel hungry. “This doesn’t feel right!” , I’d say to myself. “I’m craving chocolate. That should do the trick!”.
And, yes, it sure did! For about 2 minutes. And then that feeling of ‘craving more’ would be back.
I wasn’t familiar with this term until I started doing some research to find answers. No one else seemed to give me any answers that solved my problem.
I’d seen a dietitian. I’d tried more diets that I could count on both hands. Most of them successful (as long as my willpower lasted) and then up the scales went up again… pretty quickly… I’d spoken with a psychologist, but I still couldn’t stop.
I even lost 20 kilos doing one of those no carb, ‘protein only’ diets. And when I reached my goal weight I still felt unsatisfied because I was soooo deprived of all the foods I loved. And I don’t just mean chocolate. I mean all the healthy, hearty meals that I love.
That deprivation drove me on an eating frenzy that saw me put back on most of that weight I’d worked so hard to lose.
So back to Emotional Eating. Emotional Eating is defined as overeating in order to relieve negative emotions. I knew I was doing this! ….. but I had no idea this was common knowledge and there were so many people out there that were struggling with the same issue.
Working through processes and having overcome my own Emotional Eating struggles, I’d love to share with you 3 strategies that assisted me on my journey to ‘Emotional Freedom’…as I call it.
Carry a small notepad and pen in your bag. When you feel that craving or the need to overeat don’t stop yourself. Just notice what emotions are present. Write in your notepad what you are feeling, who you are with and where you are.
If you are not conscious of what is actually happening in these situations, you will never be able transform these habits.
Eventually in a week or two you will notice a pattern and you will be able to identify some of your “triggers”. A trigger may be someone’s house you visit. It may be when you are with certain people that trigger that need to overeat.
This concept was coined by psychologist Alan Marlatt (Ph.D). Sometimes cravings come on intensely and we end up bingeing on food. The feeling of guilt kicks in and we might beat ourselves up about it for a while and the cycle of overeating repeats itself again. Fortunately for us we can use this coping method, rather than fighting these feelings.
Here’s how it works: Cravings (just like emotions) come and go. They will eventually pass whether you give into them or not. When the urge comes along allow yourself to ride with the wave and ‘observe it’. Don’t try to fight it. It may feel uncomfortable at first (it did for me).
Repeating this technique trains your brain not to respond to urges like you previously had been.
Cravings (just like emotions) come and go.
They will eventually pass whether you give into them or not.
At this point I realised that food was not really what I was craving. It was more than that.
I was feeling unfulfilled…. Emotionally!
Here’s where the processes within a coaching space totally transformed my life.
Here are just a few questions you could think about:
I wish you strength and happiness!
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