Feeding Your Feelings: Are You An Emotional Eater?


I had a wonderful shape in my 20’s and early 30’s, even after 3 children. I was not “athletic” but I had good muscle tone and what I would think many consider an average size. It seemed like I could eat anything I wanted, and I fluctuated between 125 to 135 pounds standing at 5ft 9. After having my last child in my late 30’s I was inclined to blame the “baby weight” for my growth, but what had really happened was something entirely different. I know this because before gaining all of the weight I did get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes.

I stopped smoking because I got pregnant, and when I said I was “eating for two” I was really comfort eating. I had no idea this is what I was doing, but now looking back, it started then. Where cigarettes used to “calm my nerves” “remove stress” “ reduce sadness” “relieve anxiety” and “fill boardem” food was now the pacifier.

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After having the baby I started paying attention to how much I was eating, and I did manage to reduce some of the intake. Only long enough to get back into my clothes (barely). Then come a very stressful time in my life. The comfort eating began again. It was like I could not stop. My husband would point out the weight gain and offer helpful advice, which only made me eat more. I was stuck in a downward spiral that made stopping smoking look like a cake walk. I traded one addiction for another.

I stopped buying a lot of the junk foods I kept around the house, but we all know healthy snacks are a lot more expensive. I stopped making sweet tea and made a feeble attempt to cut back on my coffee intake due to the sugar and cream I was using in each of my 5 to 8 daily cups. Yes, it was bad. I found myself eating even though I wasn’t hungry.

I found moments of positivety, and I even went out and got an excessive machine, belly wrap and ankle weights after a real look in a McDonald’s bathroom mirror one day. I was not good at being fat, and to tell you the truth, I am not even sure when I got fat or how long I had been fat. I don’t have any full length mirrors or a scale in my home. That made it a lot easier to be in denial. Bow here I was pushing 200 pounds at 38 years old and wondering will I ever be “average” again?

Today I still struggle with my weight and comfort eating. I realize that it is something that is going to have to change inside me and it will take both discipline and self control. Comfort eating is a huge problem for a lot of people, and many have no idea what is taking place because they have not really accepted it for what it is yet. It will get out of had and fast. You can try all of the fad diets and act on what is almost a manic feeling of inspiration often fading because of the defeat you get from feelings as if you cant stop eating so why try. If any of this sounds like you or similar then you may be comfort eating too.

You have to try, because if you don’t who will? All of the answers and the strength lies in you, and you can succeed, even if you slip a few times. Give yourself a break, and accept what is going on. Counseling may help, and there are so many online and local resources that can help. Remember, ultimately your success lies within you, and there is a way back.