There’s been a common theme in the Fueled Physique universe this week. I’ve gotten four separate messages from women who feel like they’re overeating or bingeing and can’t figure out what’s going on.
And I’m right there with them.
Every couple of weeks I buy a package of mint Oreos (don’t knock it til you try it!). They’ll typically last me a week and a half to two weeks because I just grab a couple if I want something sweet. Lately, though, I haven’t been able to stop. Last week I went through one package in 2.5 days and this week 3 days. I was very aware that I kept going back for more, but I did it anyway.
This is what happens to everyone from time to time- or at least the ladies I’m hearing from. We know better, yet we can’t seem to control our eating. So what’s going on here?
First, IT’S NEVER ABOUT THE FOOD. Food is just food. No one is forcing us to eat, no one is forcing the cookies down our throat and despite what we think, we are NOT powerless over food. Nobody is powerless over food. I truly believe that. Really…eating a package of Oreos makes me feel kinda shitty. As yummy as they are my energy plummets, I’m not eating my veggies or protein, my workouts suffer, I feel mentally drained…yet we do it anyway, so why? If it’s never about the food then what is it about?
What we fail to do, and I’m absolutely guilty of this, is look at how we’re feeling and identify what’s stressing us out. Relationship stress, work stress, family stress, an endless to-do list, hitting deadlines, hormones. All of these things play a part and I’m sure I’m missing lots.
For some of us, we eat when we’re stressed. When we don’t identify what’s going on mentally, we turn to food. Lucky for us, there is a way out.
First, we have to come to terms with whatever is that’s causing us to feel yucky. Once we identify it, we can start working through it and figuring out ways to make the situation less intense. Just doing this alone will dramatically decrease the urge to eat, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Bringing our stressors to the forefront and dealing with then is HARD SHIT, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid the overeating and bingeing because here’s the thing…there is no way to avoid our emotions. They’re going to come out in one way or another whether it be sudden and intense food cravings, breakouts, sore muscles from tension, etc. As hard as it is to work through our stressors it’s a huge part getting through life with any kind of sanity! Of course there’s always avoidance and we can stuff emotions down with food, but I think you’re here because you want to be the healthiest version of yourself, right? Not dealing with your emotions and holding them in is not healthy.
So for those of us who suffer from eating instead of feeling, here’s what I suggest. Start doing some self-exploration. I want you to take 5 minutes now and think about what you could be holding onto that could be causing you to eat emotionally. Maybe it’s stress over your financial status, your relationship status, your job, your kids, situations with your friends, etc. Write down whatever you think is keeping you stuck and causes emotional eating. This can get uncomfortable because there might be things here you haven’t dealt with in a long time or haven’t had the guts to dig up but it’s crucial to stopping the overeating/bingeing. Then I want you to start working through it. The only way through…is through. We can’t skip this step and think we’ll conquer emotional eating, it’s just not that easy.
The next time you feel a binge coming on or the next time you’re feeling powerless around food, hit pause. Think about what’s really going on for you. What is it that you’re actually feeling and what can you do about it?
Remeber, over eating will happen from time to time so you can cut yourself some slack and show yourself some self-comoassion. Explore what’s going on for you and work through it. And lastly remember, it’s never about the food.
If you need some help with this stuff, because we all do from time to time, please reach out to me and we can work through this stuff together. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get you on road to less overeating, less bingeing and more mindfulness.