Do you ever feel like you just can’t stop eating? Do you eat and eat until you can hardly breathe? Do you eat when you aren’t hungry, especially when you are experiencing an emotional upset?

If you answered yes to the previous questions, do you know why you are stuffing yourself with food? An even better question is – is it helping? What I mean is, based on my experience, when I abuse food and stuff myself to the gills, I’m usually doing so because of emotions: emotions that I don’t want to feel due to problems that I don’t want to deal with.

What happens if you use food to stuff down those icky feelings? Well, your feelings are still there because you haven’t dealt with them and felt them fully, and more than likely, you gain weight from overeating. What the future brings is a point when your clothes start to get so tight that you feel the need to lose weight. You stop stuffing yourself, and guess what? Here come those feelings that you tried to stuff down before!

Yep, whatever the reason for stuffing yourself previously, it’s still there. Those feelings and the thoughts that are causing them must be worked through, and overeating just isn’t going to help. I know, at the moment it feels like the food is helping, but unless you just keep eating forever without restriction and it doesn’t matter how big you get, eventually you’re going to pull in the reins and change how you eat. When you do, you’ll be hit with those feelings that you were trying to subdue.

So what is the solution to this dilemma? Instead of eating when you have an uncomfortable emotion, you can take a different route, a positive route. Here are a few to choose from:

  • Call a friend and talk about it.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Meditate.
  • Use a short-circuit technique: each time you reach for food, tell yourself “STOP!”, and ask yourself whether or not you are eating for physical hunger, or for emotions. If the answer is emotions, then put the food down, and take a different route.
  • For serious emotional issues, you may need to seek professional counsel to work through them.

I believe that the best solution is to just sit there, feel the emotion, and let it pass. That’s what kids do: they feel their feelings to the fullest extent, and then they move on. They don’t hold on to the emotion. If they are angry, the whole block knows about it! 😉 Now, this isn’t easy if you are used to avoiding your feelings and eating instead. I can tell you from my experience though, being on both sides, that if you feel those feelings, you’ll get past whatever upset is plaguing you at the time much quicker than if you stuff it down with food.

The next time you are about to eat due to an emotional upset, try one of the above alternatives instead, or one of your own. As long as it is positive in nature and not self-destructive, then you won’t be adding extra pounds to your body, which will only give you an additional issue to deal with.