If you’ve been following along my journey to abs, you know how I feel about dieting. I’ve had a very tough relationship with food throughout the years and, although things are much better, I still sometimes struggle with emotional eating.
After the first post I did about this subject, many of you reached out to me and expressed that you have the same issues. One thing that is common with emotional eaters is that they are “people pleasers.” Instead of dealing with feelings or confrontation with others, we push our feelings down using food.
Think of your feelings as a balloon – if you keep trying to push it down, eventually it will have to come up. So instead of constantly pushing your feelings down, let yourself feel. As the song goes, “Let it go…”
People Pleasers Finish Last (and also finish the tub of ice cream)
When I started ChicpeaJC, I wanted everyone to like me. I wanted to be that cute blogger that people adored. I was not being the real me. I tried way too hard to be accepted, and it was clear as day that I wasn’t being authentic.
Trying too hard for people to like you is absolutely exhausting and virtually impossible. I would avoid confrontation or expressing my feelings because I was scared of losing people’s approval, making people upset with me, disappointing them, etc.
Even though I was playing the cute blogger role by the book, writing about things I thought people wanted me to write about and going to events I thought I “needed” to go to, people still said negative things and obviously not everyone liked me.
As I was reaching ChicpeaJC Turns 2, it dawned on me… “Wait a second, no matter what I do, not everyone will like me and that’s OK.” I made a decision then and there to just be ME. I needed to stop living how others expected me to. The moment I made that decision, I stopped over-eating and the weight started coming off.
This whole thing isn’t new to me, to be honest… It’s something I’ve dealt with for many years in my adult life. I was pre-disposed to believe that I had to follow a certain path, that at a certain age I had to find a nice man, get married get a good paying job, a 401K, have a baby… That I had to be the perfect mom and wife, cook, clean, look amazing, and act totally sane while doing it all.
I had to be perfect.
But I am not perfect. I am far from perfect. I lived my life up until the age of 30 wanting to please others around me, even to a point of changing myself and moving away from the things that make me who I am. This is where my eating problems started. When I stopped living for myself and doing things that make me happy, I turned to food. Because food made me feel good, food was my friend, food would not judge me.
To all my emotional eaters, do you feel me on this? When you don’t do things that make you happy, what is the easiest thing to reach to? Food.
Food isn’t illegal, you won’t go to jail for overeating, but it’s an addiction nonetheless and overeating can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
When you’re an emotional eater, anything can trigger the behavior. It still happens to me often. When I am stressed, sad, bored, tired, etc., the first thing I want to do to calm my feelings is reach for food. This is something I still need to work on. But the moment I started really living my life without always caring about what others thought of me is the moment where things got a lot easier. I was able to control my eating and be able to actually stop when I was full, and eat things that actually nourished me (no, two boxes of chocolate doesn’t count).
So you know my story… now what?
Here are some tips that helped me along the journey. But for any of these tips to work you need to really sit and think about what you need to change in your life that will make you feel at peace with yourself. The journey to abs really starts from within.
1. Start small.
Start doing things that fulfill you. If you have a passion, please go for it! If there is something you want to do, do it! Don’t let fear stop you. If there is someone in your life not contributing to your happiness, re-evaluate that relationship or have a discussion with them. Baby steps.
Yes, exercising helps lower stress. It makes you feel good about yourself, gives your more confidence and strength to deal with things better. Try one of our Journey to Abs workouts to get you started. They can be done at the comfort of your own home!
3. Keep trigger foods out of the house/office.
Until you are able to control your emotional eating, keep foods that trigger it out of the house. Whether it’s ice cream or chips… if you know you can’t stop after a few bites, keep it out of the house or tell your loved ones to hide it from you. Ask Alex, ChicpeaJC’s Director of Operations. I always ask her to hide food from me. It helps and it works.
4. Don’t Diet or Starve yourself.
Circling back to the first post I wrote, dieting and restricting is not only bad for you but it’s not something you can do for long. As humans, we naturally want what we can’t have so the moment you make weird rules (I can’t eat carbs for 3 weeks), you will want those foods even more. If you tell yourself you can eat everything and anything whenever you want, the food is less desirable. WE ALL WANT WHAT WE CAN’T HAVE, whether it’s food, people, or things! Ugh.
5. Call a friend
Sometimes, all we need is someone to talk to, a good venting session really helps… preferably over a nice glass of wine.
6. Drink Water
Sometimes, your body thinks it’s hungry when it’s actually just thirsty. If you consistently keep yourself hydrated, you are less likely to overeat.
7. Don’t Take Shit from Anyone.
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this
Last but not least….
Be yourself, love yourself, F-K the rest. That cookie is not going to make your life better.