With only a day to go now until the start of the IQS 8 Week Program and its a beautiful calm day after two days of storms, I feel exactly that… calm. Mentally, I’m prepared and practically, I’ve got all my “ducks in a row”. After eating the sugary contents in my fridge, I decided to clean it and clear out my freezer too. Quite a cathartic exercise, “out with the old” and “in with the new” – besides my mother has always nagged that my fridge needs washing out.. it would appear you’re never too old for advice from your mother!
I then turned my attention to the “Live Chat” to notice that this preparation is not unique as many questions were being asked about practicalities. What I did notice was there was very little or no mention of moods or “emotional eating”. I wondered why, as this is one of the areas quitting sugar is definitely going to help me with?
I know times when I have been full from a meal only to ambush an offensive on a desserts menu and dive head long into a sticky date pudding – image swan dive here please! Also when I’ve felt down or exhausted I’ve totally blitzed a bag of sweets – apparently “down in one” doesn’t only apply to drinking games. This “emotional eating” and I’m talking totally animated here is used to make myself feel better.
I admit, at times, I eat to fulfill my emotional needs.
This is totally okay if used from time to time as a pick me up, a reward even and what’s a birthday without a celebratory cake and I mean a BIG cake! But when eating has become an “emotional crutch” when your first impulse is to dive into the fridge whenever you’re upset, angry, lonely, stressed, or bored—you’re screwed! Lets face it you’re avoiding feeling the real problem here – right?!
Lets face another fact here too “emotional hunger” can’t be filled with food. Who are we kidding? Yeah eating feels great in the moment, but the reason you’re eating is still there you’ve not addressed it remember! Then “guilt” comes and kicks your ass and “willpower” gives you a huge wedgie! and if you’re really having a good day, insert sarcasm here, you eat again to feel better, cycle complete, round and round you go!
So how do I know I’ve been an emotional eater at times?
I’ve been honest with myself and I’m no super sleuth here, it’s about being attentive to how I feel and what I’m doing. I eat more when I’m feeling stressed; even when I’m full I still eat; when I’m sad, bored, angry, I eat to feel better; I find food a comfort, familiar so I feel safe. However at times food is not my friend I feel powerless or out of control around it. You’re getting the picture right?!
My “emotional hunger” craves specific comfort foods too, to give me that instant rush – and of course, all the best comfort foods have SUGAR!
So, I guess, in short, what I’m trying to say is… I see quitting sugar as another strategy to deal with my occasional, “emotional eating” habit. This for me is going to be one measure for my before and after.