So here’s the thing. Emotional eating (eating when you are sad, stressed, angry, frustrated, bored… eating from an emotional place rather than a place of hunger) is not bad. But we tell ourselves it is bad and judge ourselves any time we eat emotionally.
As humans we are pleasure seekers and I think it is completely normal to eat emotionally. Food is not just fuel.
Eating emotionally can create more pain than pleasure when we eat more often from this emotional place than that state of hunger or when the foods we choose to eat when we are emotional, ahem not kale salad, put our body in turmoil.
I have found that the more often I squash down my negative thoughts of shame and judgment around emotional eating and the more often I choose healthier foods that work with my body (as discovered on my elimination diet), the less often I eat emotionally and the better my relationship with food and my body.
These past few days have been hard. My 93 year old Gramma is not going to make it through the week. As much as she has had a long life filled with grace, she is always our constant. It is tough to let her go and it is tough to be so open with you. My Gramma’s favourite thing was the simplest but arguably the most important thing: the presence of loved ones. She developed a sharp wit in her nineties and had an ability to really know the truth of someone. We learned of the massive impact that her kindness and humour had on all of the staff and residents at her home, regularly making someone’s day.
While we have been lying around her bedside, flipping from sadness in saying goodbye to joy in celebrating her life, I realized the high level of emotions defaulted my thoughts to LET’S EAT ALL THE THINGS.
As I have been working on what I shared above (flipping negative thoughts around emotional eating and choosing foods that support my body), my next thought was “Crying and intense emotions are exhausting and usually headache inducing so I don’t want to make things worse. So yes, chocolate and chips and pizza would be kind of nice right now and that’s totally ok if I eat them but I actually know I feel so much better when I choose my smoothie.”
These thoughts may sound boring or restrictive or even made up for the purposes of this blog post but they happened and I’m just as surprised as you are. Oh no, I’m one of those healthy, vegetable lovers! Don’t get me wrong, I still have a mean sweet tooth and I love me some pizza but over time, rewiring my thoughts and choices, I guess I have evolved to this new space.
It feels good to go with the flow of my gut instinct. It feels good to not feel physically BLAH on top of emotionally drained.
I didn’t choose the smoothie from a place of what I “should” do to be good or stick to the rules. The best part is that it was exactly what I needed – it was filling and nourishing and helped sustain me through the better part of a heavy and exhausting day. Also, I’m both lazy and didn’t want to spend too much time away from family. Smoothies are the quickest way for me to get a bunch of nutrients, while also satisfying my taste buds, not going hungry and not stressing out my digestive system.
If you are going through a rough time or even had an exhausting day at work, it’s ok if you chose the pizza. Just make sure you become aware of the thoughts that come up and release the negative ones. You are not out of control and you are not a bad person for eating pizza.
Pizza is good. Smoothies are good. And both are nourishing in their own way.
I love you Gramma xoxo