Why is it always at night? Emotional eating kicking into high gear once it gets dark.
Aware of our Anxiety
If the woman above could talk …
“It’s always at night. I’m able to be good throughout the day and then in the evening I feel like I can’t control myself. Like some other force is taking over and I have these irresistible urges to eat everything in the fridge.
“And I probably can too. I don’t know why that doesn’t happen to me in the morning or in the afternoon. Maybe I’m conditioned to do that now? Maybe I’ve been doing it so long that my body wants the extra food and is addicted?
“Maybe it’s because I know the food is there, that if I just didn’t buy any junk then I wouldn’t eat any. Well the last time I tried that I ended up getting creative and started to eat all of the non junk carbs like crackers and bread and made them taste good with cheese and spreads etc., So much for that tip.
“The monster that is emotional eating has seen all that before. He’s been around and isn’t fooled by mere tricks that I find in articles that have titles like, ‘5 Tips to Sculpt your Body by this Evening.’
“He will have his pound of flesh and wins every time because he attacks the emotional center of my brain, not the logical one. Emotions trump all. How can I beat an opponent like that? It’s so harmful. And why does he come out at night?
Monsters always come out at Night
“What happens to me at night that doesn’t so much in the daytime? I guess if I really think about it, it’s probably because I slow down and have nothing to do. Or more specifically, there aren’t as many things to distract me as usual.
“Throughout the day I’m always running around doing this and that, focused on so many other things. But once I’m home and done with dinner, dishes and all that, I find there’s nothing more to focus my attention on.
“Without distraction my anxiety comes ever more to into my awareness and it feels like it’s too much for me to handle. Of course the process is mostly unconscious at this point, yet now that I’m thinking about it it seems to be the case – it is too much.
“It’s a lot to handle and becomes uncomfortable real fast so the cravings start to gnaw at me and won’t stop until I fill myself with carbohydrate, my drug of choice. I push the cravings aside but they are persistent and get stronger as the minutes go by and the anxiety holds firm.
“It gets to the point where the pressure is too much and I cave. The food soothes me right down and I feel a bit more settled. Guilty, tired and sometimes a bit ill too, but my body agrees to the trade off so I have to believe that the anxiety I felt before my binge was worse in some way.
“It feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, a trap, or being caught in a loop that I can’t get out of because I don’t know how to. It’s frustrating. Over time that frustration turns into sadness and that sadness becomes depression. I hate this.
“So if the root of the problem is my anxiety then I should tackle that. But I don’t feel like going to a therapist and spending all that money on something that might not work anyway. I know it does help but I also know it takes many years and I don’t want to keep eating this way for years to come.
“Every article I read online about emotional eating gives the same advice. Smaller portion sizes, realize my desire for food is not coming from hunger, don’t have junk in the house, distract myself with a hobby etc.,
“All fine things to do but I don’t think they will help me much. I’m going to have to accept that I will be eating this way and try my best to manage it. That it will take time to get over and that I shouldn’t beat myself up over it.
“Food is going to win, so why fight it? Maybe I can still eat food late at night. Maybe I can make it a bit healthier than usual and tweak it very slowly over time. Then I can eat guilt free, knowing I am moving in a positive direction.
“Just being on track feels good, and I can slowly work on my anxiety in the meantime. It’s not the be all and end all of solutions but it’s a million times better than being stuck and feeling depressed. Also, you know what they say, ‘success breeds success’ so maybe things will get better as they get better, if you catch my drift.
“Well, at least I know why I eat emotionally at night. I have an anxiety regulation problem that I become aware of when I slow down and don’t have much else to focus on, usually at night. Anxiety seems to be at the root of almost everything, food is just my way of coping.
“I’ll use this insight to better myself, to initiate change and continue to dig and dig my way to growth and new ways of regulating and handling myself. A new me really. What else is more important and more meaningful to my own life, and those all around me?
THE EATING LOVE GUIDE (FREE)
The Eating Love Guide has helped many people regain control of their eating patterns, resulting not only in weight loss but also better health and improved self-esteem. To read it online, click here.