There’s a Cupcake For That!

Life happens.

When life happens to me I want to eat. Happy, lonely, sad, ecstatic, bored, overwhelmed, tired, or content I usually want to eat.

Let’s be honest, I am a recovering emotional eater.

Good news – I am not the only one.

Many people are just like me. Something happens in life and the first thought that crosses their mind is FOOD.

There's a cupcake for that!

Photo Credit

Bad news – I am not the only one.

There is a lot of group think around emotional eating because so many of us are entrenched in it. If we all do it, then it must be ‘normal‘ and must be ‘ok‘.

Donloree’s simple definition of Emotional Eating.

Eating food to avoid or fill a void of emotions.

It sounds like a grey definition until you ask yourself the question while you are eating. Enter black and white clarity. I don’t know that I am ever going to be completely free of emotional eating, but I am getting better.

This week emotions were running high, stress was rising, sickness was lurking, and the lure of self medicating was definitely an option.

There wasn’t an epic binge, I didn’t go crazy, nor did I spend my whole day ‘window shopping‘ in my kitchen, but I sure wasn’t perfect either. My diet was not spot on and I ate more than I should have in an effort to avoid emotions.

Nobody is perfect. Nobody.

The goal is progress, not perfection.

I am not afraid to be the first to raise my hand and let you know that I am a recovering emotional eater.

A few tips:

  • Write it out. Take time to write out and process through your feelings in a journal.
  • Talk it out. Find a friend or family member to talk to about it, even if they don’t ‘get it’.
  • Throw it out. Open the garbage can and insert trigger foods until you can have them in your house again.
  • Let it out. Forgive yourself and others around you. Holding onto negative feelings only increases emotional pain.
  • Sweat it out. Go for a walk, hit the gym, or go to a yoga class; create endorphins in a healthy and balanced way.

It isn’t easy, but it does get easier.

How do you overcome the urge to emotionally eat?

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  1. Hey you know what? You’re human! I think everyone has days, weeks, maybe even months like that. I have one week in particular each month (ahem) that is just horrible. I try so, so, so hard to not give in to the cravings. I try so hard to stop eating so much because I’m ridiculously hungry. Sometimes I do okay, other times the package of oreos wins. BUT, I don’t get down on myself and I pick myself up, dust myself off, and say eh, I’m human, I’m female, it happens. I know you do the same because you are so very strong! So eh, you’re human, it happens. =)

  2. No fair! You temptress you! That cupcake looks sooo good!

    Seriously though, your suggestions are excellent especially throwing out the trigger foods and anything you know is bad for your body. You can’t eat what you don’t got or at least it’s a whole lot harder if you actually have to go out to get it. On the other hand, I do think it’s okay to occasionally indulge for the simple pleasure of enjoying something you love but it takes discipline.

  3. These are great tips. I’m lucky in that I’ve never suffered from emotional eating, but I certainly do get cravings – usually for delicious-looking cupcakes! As long as it doesn’t become a habit, I think it’s okay to give into the cravings every so often.

  4. I go for a bike ride or hit the yoga mat
    I coach people on emotional eating and intuitive/conscious eating and emotional eating is a huge ‘issue’ for many….

  5. I have trouble one week a month too *ahem*. And if I’ve had a stressful or hard day I sometimes struggle in the evenings. I keep the junk out of my house and try to keep healthy “treats” around. Like a rice cake with almond butter and banana sliced on top. Or mix a square of melted dark chocolate into greek yogurt. If those are the “worst” treats I have in my house I do find it does still feel like an indulgence. Which cuts the cravings.

  6. I love how we have each other on this issue. Meaning simply, before I started blogging and sharing my story online I did not realize that a lot of people had the emotional binging problem that I did. I felt alone until I began meeting everyone.

    Sometimes I do the carrot trick. I keep a bag of carrots in the fridge and I tell myself if I’m hungry even those will be appealing. Sometimes it works ad i snack on those. If I want to binge it makes me think twice, or at least slows me down.

    I like your tips I do the sweat it out a lot. Or lately with peanut we will have a dance party in the living room we crank up the music and dance until we r tired. It helps somedays when all I want to do is hide in the kitchen with the nut butter and a spoon.

  7. Great post, DL. Some emotional eating is dysfunctional and some isn’t. Think birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and family holiday get-togethers. We eat more than we know we often should b/c the holiday was built around food, and yep, it’s an emotional time. Friends, family, the meaning– it’s all swirling around us. When emotional eating becomes an issue is when we use it–just like an alcohol uses booze, or a porn addict uses porn, or a shopping addict spends money, or a drug addict snorts cocaine– to avoid what inevitably needs to be faced head on. So many individuals, however, never learned the skills to self-soothe, manage uncomfortable emotions, and deal/cope with them effectively. On the back end of the binge is what we were trying to avoid in the first place, so we’re just procrastinating and getting a quick fix from the distraction of the taste, texture, and pleasure provided by the cupcake.
    Ultimately it comes down to learning how to be WITH the emotion rather than pushing it away. We suffer most when we try to hide from what is right here, right now.

    • Yes, it is the being with and dealing with the emotions that needs to be done. I have found that learning to be ‘ok’ with feelings and let them run their course is the best and fastest way to get back on the horse, so to speak.

  8. This post came at the perfect time for me today. As you know I had problems with my stepson last year, my daughter ran away on Christmas day and now yesterday I found out my mother passed away….where have I been today…the kitchen….walking back and forth not knowing what I am doing in there. I stopped took a deep breath and tried to really come to focus with my emotions. It’s not easy but its what I need to do.

  9. This post spoke to me! I am human, but sometimes I feel like a am a human garbage bag too! I get in these moods where I feel I just want to eat and when I do I can’t stop until I am guilt ridden and sad that I ruined another day. Its good to see others suffer this condition only because when you think its only you its hard to escape.

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