Everyone wants to know how to stop emotional eating. What’s the trick to simply ending it for once and for all, and putting it in the past for good?
HOW IT ENDS
It ends, as I’m sure you know, when you’ve gone through the process that’s required to end it. That isn’t a cheeky answer, it’s meant to explain that emotional eating isn’t simply a bad habit like biting your nails or sitting with poor posture.
It’s a behavior that’s tied into your emotional regulation system which is the product of your childhood, your trauma and the thousands of decisions that you make daily.
So the first part of actually ending emotional eating is seeing it for what it really is; a long-term project. Something that’s going to take a lot of time and energy which means you’re going to have to be committed to engaging in it and accepting that this is just where life wants you to go.
This usually isn’t welcome news. The realization of how big and heavy the task is and the scope of the project is usually depressing. You’re going about your life just trying to get ahead, you have a few issues, you look into them and see a mountain to climb.
It does suck but it’s also your greatest opportunity to make every single aspect of your life 10 times better from now on.
So what I mean is that by voluntarily deciding to take this project on seriously, you’re not just trying to fix an issue so you can lose weight. You’re fixing a meta-issue. An issue that is at the root of most of your other issues.
So you take care of this one and many of the other pesky issues in your life will begin to fall like dominoes.
This meta-issue usually involves your unregulated anxiety which is responsible for most of the behaviors, habits and issues that you don’t like in your life right now.
For example, maybe you also watch too much TV, or can’t get yourself to the gym, or procrastinate too much, or can’t stand up for yourself properly and let others treat you badly, or feel that one important relationship in your life is strained etc.
Working on one issue like your emotional eating will transfer over to the others and slowly dissolve them as well.
THE QUICK FIX
The second part to ending emotional eating is much more appealing. It involves continued emotional eating while losing weight at the same time.
If you read the guide on the main page of the site you’ll see exactly how to do that. It involves a few modifications here and there but you still get to eat a lot and enjoy yourself in the process.
So after accepting this daunting task and feeling some despair, there is immediately some encouragement that you can get what you want pretty quickly ( weight loss) and not have to go on a strict diet.
This allows you to feel better about yourself and make it more likely for you to continue on working on the emotional aspect.
MAKING A BIG TASK SIMPLE
The emotional part, as you’ve likely gathered, is where the real work lies and many are hesitant to get started because it is a daunting task.
The secret to getting through this phase of ending emotional eating is to take it on the way one would eat an elephant, one bite at a time.
You walk up to the elephant and immediately feel dwarfed by its sheer size. Then somebody comes up to you and tells you that if you want to be free you need to eat the entire elephant. You know it’s not possible to eat the entire thing and so you fall into a state of apathy, doing nothing, brooding and mumbling to yourself about how life is not fair.
And you’re not wrong. It isn’t fair, but it’s the task at hand.
And so if you look at it as just a chore to get through you won’t be very motivated. If you see it that way it’s because you don’t see any benefit to taking it on, and feel that after eating the entire thing you’ll just be back where you started. Better to have never looked deeply inward and discovered this about yourself so you can look for life hacks and quick fixes.
But if you see it as a challenge that will allow you to enjoy the rest your life, to feel good every day and to live exactly how you want to ( which is the truth by the way) then you will have more incentive to take it seriously.
See you have to eat the elephant one bite at a time. And what that translates into for you and your emotional task is to create a routine for yourself that you are willing to do for the next five years, but make sure it is simple and that it doesn’t take too much time.
For example you could go to therapy or free online group therapy once per week, journal five minutes every night and have one honest conversation with somebody every week. The specifics on how to do these can be found on other blog posts on the site.
So that would be your routine. Every week you would do the same things at the same times and before you know it they become just something that you normally do in your life. Once that happens you don’t have to think about anything or put a lot of effort trying into figuring out what to do to change yourself, simply follow your routine and live your life.
The total time cost to you is less than two hours per week and you need to keep this up for five years. This is eating the elephant one bite at at a time. Little bits of engagement each week that after a while you don’t even think of as work to you. It’s just part of who you are now.
The purpose of doing these exercises is to increase your awareness of your anxiety and of how you behave and act when you go out into the world.
And though it doesn’t seem like much, you’ll be amazed at how different you are as each year goes by.
So yes you can end emotional eating but what you’re really doing is working on what we are all working on, our anxiety and our relationships.
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.