How to avoid eating your way through stress, anger, boredom...or any other emotion

Easter weekend has come and gone and I'm happy to say that I had absolutely NO Easter candy...not that there's anything wrong with candy, but I know that a lot of people have an intense battle with sugar on Easter.  Even though I didn't find myself in a tug-of-war with a Reese's Peanut Butter egg on Sunday, I ALMOST had a major run-in with some good old fashioned emotional eating. You know those days when nothing seems to go as planned and every little nuisance feels like a crisis? Well, that's the day I had on Sunday. It was sunny and warm and I was inspired to do some work before Easter dinner with the family, so I drove to a coffee shop and work on my website. What I had HOPED would be a leisurely, productive day turned out to be a pain in the ass:

First, I put $5 in the meter, THEN realized that parking is FREE on Easter Sunday. The coffee shop I went to did NOT have wifi...they only offer "coffee and conversation". Who doesn't have wifi in 2014??? Once I settled into a place with a signal, I wasted 2 hours playing around with different fonts colors & sizes on my website and NOT achieving my goal. Annoyed, I walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch and ordered a "grilled shrimp salad", which turned out to be 4 tiny shrimp and a big pile of arugula...NOT what I imagined.

 Now, I know none of these are Earth-shattering things, but I was still pissed off because nothing seemed to go as planned.

 In the past, the feeling of "everyone/everything is against me today" would've caused me to take my anger out on a big cheeseburger and fries. But, over time I've realized that feeding my feelings instead of just being with them only makes me feel WORSE.

 It has taken me a few years to get to the point where I actually listen to my body instead of my mind when it comes to food. Last week, I promised to share with you some of the steps that have helped me get to this point. I need to warn you: this will take time and practice. Also, it's NOT going to be easy at first because it requires you to think differently. The good news is that the mindset shift is what I cover in my upcoming Mindset Makeover online class. If you want to join the class on April 30th, just complete the online application here.

However, if you're looking for a quick fix to a lifelong problem, you can stop reading right now.

  1. Understand that there is no one-size-fits-all way of eating. Explore and learn what makes YOU feel good and keeps you healthy and satisfied...not what the latest diet guru says. Your food should make you happy...before, during and after you eat it.
  2. Know what you're really hungry for. Check in with yourself and ask "what do I want right now?". In the moment, food may seem like the solution for every problem, but sugar won't truly satisfy you if you're lonely and what you really want is human connection. It's not possible to have stimulating conversation with cupcakes...they never have anything interesting to say.
  3. Practice patience, love, and forgiveness. These are 3 key ingredients for this process. You can't reverse decades of eating your way through stress, sadness, anxiety, boredom overnight or by saying negative things about yourself. It just doesn't work. When you feel good about yourself, you make good decisions.

I've learned that life is much sweeter when you listen to your body (am I hungry? am I full?) AND your feelings (am I mad? am I anxious?). If food has become your coping mechanism, explore other ways to deal like meditation, deep breathing, exercise,  writing, or whatever works for you.

If you're ready to get the mindset shift you need to finally free yourself from drama with food, apply for your spot in the Mindset Makeover class on April 30th.

Using food to stuff down your feelings just leaves you feeling stuffed.

   Melissa signature