What Is Emotional Eating? My Story
I was taking some more small steps toward my goal.
For example, I came to realize that letting emotional-eating cravings steal
my attention and make me fat took up the space in my life that meaningful
relationships with other people, and even with myself, would have occupied. And
slowly I began to want those relationships, and the richer, fuller life they
represented, more than I wanted to eat.
I was on my way.
Now for a surprise, something else I learned that I never would have
It turned out that getting fat so I could "keep going" despite my
fears and anxieties, although not the best way to cope with them, nevertheless
was a way to cope with them, and that -- here's the surprise -- this was
a good thing. It may sound strange at first, but it was true: Through all the
long years of my life, I was actually taking care of myself with my
Now here comes the part that amazes me, the part that still gets me excited
every day: When I realized that my emotional eating had been a way of taking
care of myself -- of course, not the best way, but a way that kept me going
despite a heavy load of uncertainties, fears, and anxieties -- for the first
time ever I could see my life in a positive light instead of as a series
of failures to lose weight and keep it off.
That felt good. And it was the start of feeling better and better.
Over time, I began to feel compassion, instead of dislike and rejection, for
the woman I had been during all the times before when I was fat. I had
struggled so hard with the constant burden of those awful cravings, made myself
fat over and over. Yet, with the protective "support" of my lonely
emotional eating and my fat, I'd gotten out there and worked and raised two
daughters even though I'd been scared almost all the time (without realizing it
then, of course). I felt love for that woman, me, who had needed food and fat
so much yet had never stopped trying, bravely and with hope, to get emotional
eating out of the way of her life.