I do a lot of reading on many different topics because health and fitness is comprised of so many different subjects. (This is why it drives me crazy when “experts” think we live in a vacuum. Every area of our life impacts our health and fitness.)
Anyway, one of my favorite subjects to read about is very successful people who use food.
So when I came across an article about Monica Seles, and her binge eating, I was intrigued.
It was a story about her life after tennis. As many of you know, she was the top ranked female tennis player in the world. Sports reporters said she had the potential to be the best tennis player of all time.
A man stabbed her during a match.
Her father passed away from cancer.
She began to rely on food. She quietly became a binge eater.
In her interview, Monica said, “I just didn’t want to feel! Food was there for me from 7AM to 11PM. I’d do anything to numb myself and food was so reliable.”
Binge eating is emotional eating on steroids. And if we’re not binge eating then we’re emotionally eating from time to time. We all do.
Emotionally eating is eating to change the way we feel. Most commonly, eating when we’re not actually physically hungry.
Maybe we don’t realize how often we eat when we’re not physically hungry, but once we do, it’s shocking how often we eat emotionally.
Mike Tyson Has Some Great Quotes…
One of my favorites, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
And as I always like to say, “If we fail to plan then we plan to fail.” (Hmm…this is weird. I’m quoting myself!)
But, of course, all the planning in the world doesn’t help when impulses and emotions get the best of us.
For some reason we’re scared to feel. We’ve been conditioned from childhood to not feel.
“Stop crying,” “Here’s a cookie,” “Stop complaining,” “This won’t matter next week” …and then, we’d find a way to distract ourselves by playing outside or calling a friend, or playing video games, etc…
However, as adults, it’s not as easy to play outside or call a friend or play video games…
Whether it’s our annoying boss at work upsetting us, our significant other, kids, our job, and on and on and on…
If we never let ourselves feel, we’ll never get to the root cause of why we’re emotionally eating.
So this week, let’s work on F-E-E-L-I-N-G.
It sounds so corny and trite but actually acknowledging our feelings will help a lot.
Your boss is making you do something you don’t want to do.
Instead of grabbing food to deal with the discomfort, why not acknowledge it? “Ugh, right now I hate my boss because I really don’t want to do this. But I know this will pass.”
Corny but helpful!
Your kids aren’t being appreciate or your s/o isnt…
Instead of eating our sorrows away, how about acknowledging it? “Ugh, my kids are being so ungrateful right now. My s/o is being so ungrateful right now. But I know this feeling will pass. And I know they aren’t always like this but right now it’s really bothering me.”
And when we do that, we won’t be as “hungry”. Because as we know, it’s not physical hunger anyway.
And then maybe, just maybe, we can deal with the real issue at hand.
As Monica Seles said, and as we all know, “binging and overeating never feels good. It’s a mask. A very, very itchy mask.”
The brutal reality?
Everyone is an emotional eater to some extent. There are times when we need the relief, reward and distraction food can provide. But if it is too strong a habit, emotional eating becomes a problem that must be addressed—or else it can last a lifetime.
And that is why so many people lose and gain and lose and gain and lose and gain weight. It truly is a vicious cycle unless we deal with it.
Why not consider MyBodyTutor to help you deal with it? I’d love to help you!