In a sense, everyone is an emotional eater. Emotional eating begins when you’re a baby and you feel comfort from a bottle after a crying jag. Emotional eating becomes a destructive behavior when you use food as a way of coping with your emotions in daily life.
Emotional hunger, that feeling of wanting something to soothe your emotions instead of needing food for physical hunger, also begins in infancy. Will that feeling of emotional hunger ever go away?
UPDATE 2015: Hi, as you can see by the date on this article, I wrote this a LONG time ago, May 2008 which was over 7 years ago. At that time in 2008 I was not a professional, certified coach and professional certified Master NLP Pracitioner. I had not yet founded The Inner Self Diet™ which is my proven, proprietary, step-by-step personal coaching program for permanent weight loss. That’s right! I personally coach my clients to the end of their emotional eating, binge eating, self-sabotage, food obsessions, food addictions, low self-esteem and much more. Click here to read coaching client testimonials from my coaching client, click here to listen to audio testimonials, and watch videos of graduates of The Inner Self Diet™ in the sidebar of this page you’re on now.
Back in 2008 I did this Shrink Yourself Program and it was nice and all, but it didn’t heal the root of the problem like the binge eating coaching and emotional eating coaching I do with my clients does. I wish you your Best Life…IN Your Ideal Body! ~ JoLynn Braley, Permanent Weight Loss Coach, Founder of The Inner Self Diet™
Sugar addiction and emotional eating
It’s time to check in with my emotional eating experiment with the Shrink Yourself online guided program. Before I get into the update for the week, let me just say that I’m seeing more and more of a correlation between my sugar (and flour) addiction and my emotional eating.
I see how the physical aspect (when I eat foods containing refined sugar and flour I want more) ties into the emotional aspect – if I give in and eat the addictive foods, not only do I feel physical cravings, but I also crave them emotionally. The physical addiction causes the cravings for more but feelings of guilt from eating them trigger my emotional eating – it’s a double whammy and this cycle won’t help me maintain weight loss for life.
Onto the update!
Week five of the Shrink Yourself program is the beginning of the second month of the 3-month program. Where the first month focuses on your emotional eating, the second month begins a focus on your emotional hunger and turning off your “hunger switch”. Your hunger switch is that switch that once it gets turned on, it derails your best intentions, your vision for weight loss, and your commitment to losing weight.
I’ve been there many times myself, maybe you have, too – you decided to change your lifestyle, get healthy and fit, but then something came up and you felt bad or stressed out and found yourself forgetting all about your goals and reaching for food. Your hunger switch was turned on and your original intentions flew out the window, and maybe they didn’t come back because you felt that you “blew it” already, so why not go all out?
Your personal weight loss secret
In this session, something really cool is that you learn one of (more in coming weeks) your own personal weight loss secrets. The reason this is personal to you is that it is built on questions and answer sessions from the previous 4 weeks. It’s highly unlikely that your personal weight loss secret would be the same as someone else’s because in this program you are asked questions and your answers build on each other – not only do the questions build but they thread through each of the coming weeks.
It’s really neat how this works because like I’ve said before, unless you are first aware of what exactly makes you tick, how can you move beyond your self-destructive actions and make positive changes? 😉
Back to the topic of emotional hunger
Emotional hunger is a hunger that can pervade (and invade!) your whole life. It’s not physical hunger that you feel when your stomach is empty, but that feeling of needing to eat to either fill up your life or stuff your feelings down.
Week five starts the exploration of where your emotional hunger originates from and changing how you live your life in order to deal with it in constructive ways. If you are a perpetual dieter but have never healed your emotional eating and/or emotional hunger, you know like I do that a diet just doesn’t cut it – you can go on every diet in the world but as long as you still feel hungry for that missing something in your life, you will continually battle food and the scale.
How do you handle your emotional hunger?
What this takes is cleaning up your life – taking charge of your own life, cleaning up unfinished business, and going for your dreams. What is gnawing at you that is appearing as a hunger for food? These are the types of things that you begin to look at in week five of the Shrink Yourself program.
I said this last week and you’ll probably be hearing this from me for the remainder of the 12-week Shrink Yourself program – I’m really liking this, and this is a huge endorsement for me to make since I’ve been maintaining my weight throughout the past 5 weeks rather than losing. I am still feeling very good about this though, and that might not make sense to you however I’m not giving my power away to the scale. I’m keeping my power and finally getting to the source of my overweight and overeating – my emotional eating, which also affects my sugar addiction. 😉
The key point of week five
The biggest point that I received from the Shrink Yourself guided session in week five is that emotional hunger will always be with you. For me, this is very important because by accepting that, I can then move on and work on handling my emotional hunger in a positive manner instead of attempting to do so with food.
It’s not like I can make the emotional hunger go away because that would mean that I pretty much wouldn’t feel anything, have any goals, or want to do much of anything – that’s not a way to have fun and joy in life! However, by just realizing that, “hey, the emotional hunger will be there, but now I know I can deal with it by facing it head on instead of using food to cover it up”, then that’s just fine with me.
How do you handle relationships with others?
If you’ve gotten this far in my article and haven’t read my other updates yet, you’ve caught on to the fact that the Shrink Yourself program doesn’t give you tips on how to eat or exercise. Instead you get right to the meat of what triggers your emotional eating and emotional hunger.
A large part of week five’s guided session is devoted to helping you uncover your personal relationship style so that you can see how your emotional hunger is triggered by relationship riffs. You also become aware of your personal defense mechanisms that you bring out in response to situations that bring up uncomfortable emotions. Basically, you learn how to live a life of empowerment rather than turning to food so that you can end the emotional eating and remain conscious of the healthy eating and exercise choices that you truly do want to make for yourself.
I recommend Shrink Yourself if you’re an emotional eater
If you’re an emotional eater and you want to change this habit so that you can lose weight and keep it off for life, I heartily recommend the online Shrink Yourself program. In my 12 weeks of updates I’m giving you my personal experience with the program however I honestly believe that in order for you to get the best benefit for you, that you need to do the program yourself.
You’ll be answering the questions in the guided sessions honestly for your own personal life and will learn what triggers you to emotionally eat and how to learn positive behaviors instead. I think that my updates are good for giving you an overview, however they are no substitution for the Shrink Yourself program.
If this is your first time reading one of my emotional eating experiment updates, be sure to head on over to my introductory article for an overview of the program.
2015: Please read the update included near the top of this post since this article is over seven years old. I did not receive the core transformation results from Shrink Yourself that my coaching clients receive from my exclusive, proven, step-by-step permanent weight loss coaching system The Inner Self Diet™. All the best! ~ JoLynn Braley, permanent weight loss coach and founder of The Inner Self Diet™.