What Is Emotional Eating? My Story
The counselors and therapists usually helped me, for the moment at least.
And somehow I did go on. But I still didn't know why I couldn't stop
binge-eating and why I kept making myself fat, over and over again.
Then one day several years ago, weighing well over 200 pounds, I again began
working with a therapist. And this time something clicked. Slowly but surely,
and then with increasing excitement, I began to "get it." And I started
taking those first steps toward finally letting go of my need for emotional
Of course, there were times when I felt scared about venturing outside my
familiar ways of thinking about myself. And times when it took me a while to
accept what I learned about what food and being fat meant in my life.
But I kept going. And to my surprise, I discovered that my emotional eating
and my fat were actually choices I had made for myself. Yes, I'd needed
to focus so much of my life on eating. And I'd needed to surround myself
with something (my fat) that would protect me so I could get through life with
less risk -- as I saw it for so long -- of being hurt by others.
What I just said seemed strange to me when I first began to realize it.
After all, why would anyone choose to overeat and become fat? But the
more I learned about what my emotional eating and being fat had been doing to
help me get through the ups and downs of my long life, the more ways I saw to
do those things for myself. At last. Slowly, I found I didn't need the food and
my fat as much as I had before.
Armed with this new understanding, I began uncovering some of the actual
benefits I'd been receiving from binge-eating and getting fat. The more
I worked through my life of emotional eating from this point of view, the more
I realized that the eating and being fat had taken the place of some important
areas of living, areas I'd been unable to deal with in other ways.