This week, I am pleased to present this special guest blog post from Dr. Susan Regisford from Best You Made Possible website. Susan dives deep into how our emotions can affect our weight loss intentions. Let’s read on…
Everything we do in life is driven by our thoughts, which are often inspired by our emotional state. I once told someone I was an emotional eater, and her response was that there is no such thing as an “emotional eater”; yet, I beg to differ. Our relationships with everything are impacted by our emotions; thus, why would our relationship with food be the exception.
For the lucky ones who never turned to food when they were stressed or happy, congratulations! My relationship with food changed after a traumatic experience in my life. Prior to that I was a kid who never worried about food, ate only when I was hungry and never overate. In other words, I had a healthy relationship with food until that traumatic experience (four years of starvation).
How Emotions Affected Me
After those years, I developed the habit of overeating and particularly processed carbohydrates. I began to eat when I was upset and noticed that I felt comforted and calmer because of the effects of serotonin. When I was upset, my favorite comfort foods were cookies, ice cream or pizza. When I was happy, I celebrated with cookies, ice cream or pizza. Eating processed carbohydrates became my go-to thing and at the slightest emotional discomfort, I went searching for some form of carbohydrate to soothe my hurt or calm my emotional state. Food was no longer just for nourishment; I had developed a full-blown sugar addiction.
Overcoming Emotional Eating
For years I battled with my addiction and I came to realize that I have to work extra hard not to fall back into the sugar trap. Some days are better than others; however, I will admit that there are some days when the inner turmoil is so intense, it is a battle to stay away from sugar. The good news is that by replacing processed carbohydrates with fruit, I found that my desire has become less and less for the processed carbohydrate fix. Does this mean I will never eat processed carbohydrates ever again? No, but now I eat it in moderation, and make sure that I am not eating when I am emotional. I have also found healthier ways to calm my emotional state.
Our emotions are fleeting and if you can distract yourself long enough with a healthier activity, you will forget completely your desire for that processed carbohydrate snack or that second helping of food. Prioritize your health and realize that while processed carbohydrates are delicious, you do not want to overindulge because you will ultimately compromise your health.
After years of weight issues, I have finally found the formula of combining healthy food choices, regular exercise and positive behavior change to lose weight for good. Coupled with, exploring self-development, being productive and living simply, I am now maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in a good place. I enjoy writing articles to help my readers to become the best they can be!