My heart is racing as I write this. I’ve already put down my phone three different times to avoid this. I don’t want to talk about it, but I know I need to. It’s part of my healing.
Lately, I’ve started watching “My 600lb Life”. I find it pretty inspirational. These people go to great lengths to finally get their lives back and it’s amazing. One thing remains the same in all of their stories – emotional eating.
Yesterday while watching an episode my husband and I started talking about the similarities between one lady’s emotional eating and my own story. Snickers and Pepsi used to be my “go-to” on a bad day or a stressful day in college. A hard day at work meant hitting the drive-thru because I knew the french fries would make me happy. At least, temporarily. When my mental health got worse my emotional eating did too. My husband knew the food would make me happy so he would offer to go pick me up ice cream, or a burger, or fries. He just wanted to make me happy.
When my stepmom got cancer – I ran for food.
When my husband and I fought – I ran for food.
When someone hurt my feelings – I ran for food.
When I achieved something good – I ran to food.
When I was feeling depressed – I ran to food.
When I had a bad day at work – I ran for food.
It was my comfort in the big and little moments. The moment I realized my relationship with food started to change for the better was when my stepmom passed away. She died when I was only two months into my journey to better health. I still ran for food. But, I didn’t binge eat it. I bought my fancy chocolatey piece of cake and ate a little bit of it each day for 3 days. I tracked every bite. That was a big moment for me.
We went out to eat a lot more during that following month, but I made better choices and kept my portions in check. It’s been 10 months since she’s passed and I can’t recall running to food for any other emotional event since then. Now I cope in other ways. I go work out, talk through things with my husband, cuddle with my dog, go for a walk, pray, listen to podcasts or sometimes I just sit in silence for a while. And that’s ok!
I’ve learned through my journey that I need to choose things that fuel my body and not my emotions. People, it’s HARD. But it’s possible. Somehow I made it… With determination and grit, I’m working through this. I still can’t let my guard down though because I know it’s a struggle of mine. I’m thankful for this change in my life and if you’ve read through this far… I’m thankful for you reading it! Please share your own journey with emotional eating, and let’s support one another.