To understand the mindset of an emotional eater, it is vital to understand that their sense of self-worth is directly linked to the numbers on their bathroom scales.
A pound lost, or a pound gained can set the tenor of their entire day.
Foods are also never neutral. They are forensically studied, and determined to be good or bad.
Emotional eaters battle with their own body’s hunger, and cravings.
They know there have been times when they have succumbed, and eaten just one forbidden food for it to start a tsunami of bingeing, and sometimes purging with all the accompanying feelings of shame, and self-loathing.
An emotional eater’s attitude towards themselves and food isn’t logical. The extent of their preoccupation with the axis of food, and their weight is often a private source of great personal distress and shame.
The reasons for this over-thinking about food, body weight, and how they define themselves and feel about being themselves in the world are varied, and inevitably complex.
Liz Hogon and I specialise in resolving issues around emotional eating so that people who have struggled with weight loss for years can finally successfully lose weight.
We are also the co-authors of 7 Simple Steps to Stop Emotional Eating (Hammersmith Books, London).
The clients we see are mostly people who feel over-whelmed by the challenge of losing weight, and they can also often have other long-term health issues to contend with.
Non-emotional eaters have a different relationship with food. They also come in all sorts of physical shapes, and sizes and some may decide they are heavier than they would like to be.
With this realisation, they now have two main choices. The first would be that they now decide to lose their excess weight.
For non-emotional eaters, this would mean setting; reducint portion size, and maybe even incorporating regular exercise until they have reached their goal weight.
Unlike emotional eaters, they do not totally define themselves by how much they weigh. Therefore for them losing their excess weight is no more of a challenge than any other aspect of their lives such as learning conversational French, or taking up painting with water-colours as a hobby.
They often successfully lose weight, and even if they eventually pile on some extra pounds, they have the option of just applying their tried and trusted methods until they are back again at their goal weight.
Their second choice is to accept their expanding waistbands and buy bigger clothes sizes.
Anyway, most of the people they know are like them and are increasingly larger versions of their former selves.
Non-emotional eaters find it hard to feel their weight gain is that important when the trend of increasing pounds is a familiar trait with their partner, members of their family, and their friends.
They simply get used to buying a size, or two larger in their clothes, let out their belts another notch, and ultimately pay it little mind.
This feature was first published online by the Talking Health Partnership.
Contact me if you are feeling overwhelmed by your weightloss challenge. I can help you to target your body by changing your mind to end your emotional eating. Just click on the button at the top of the page to schedule a free call.
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