Q: Hey Mark, I am an emotional eater. How do I snap out of it?
A: It was Warren Buffet that said, ‘don’t expect to manage money unless you can mange your emotions’. I believe the same is true for food, health and fitness.
In other words, you need to become a master of your emotions. Others may refer to it as being a master of your internal world. A mentor of mine would often say, when your inner world reflects your outer world, its then that you have mastered your life.
For me, I think 50% of the battle is in ownership and the other 50% is in how you talk to yourself… Let me explain…
Example; When I am emotional, these are the foods I choose to eat. It’s not right, it’s not wrong; it’s just how I deal with things. If I want to achieve my health and wellness goals, I understand that I need to develop a new strategy for dealing with my problems that don’t involve food (or drugs, alcohol or harm to others for that fact). Better yet, ask your subconscious mind, what is something positive I can do today to deal with my problems instead of resorting to food? Can you choose things that align with your health and fitness goals?
2. Self talk:
It was Marcus Aurelius who said, if you fight for your limitations long enough, they would surely be yours. In your question you make a statement about self:
“I am an emotional eater”.
This is a label you or someone else has given you. It’s not true or at least it doesn’t have to be…
Which brings me to the point about identity. Try this identity on for size, ‘I am a healthy person who eats healthy foods that builds and nourishes my body’. In this identify, guilt around food does not exist. If we do make so called ‘bad food choices’, we can appreciate the emotional value that these foods bring us; be it love, connection, acceptance, being with friends or just that it was really delicious.
Often it is guilt that keeps us on an emotional eating cycle. This approach eliminates guilt, however it’s not saying, ‘eat all the crap you want and feel good about your self’ either…. It’s saying, empower the choices that you do make for better or for worse. Reflect and understand why you make those choices.
This is not about what diet you follow, be it ‘clean eating’ or ‘IIFYM’, its about something much deeper; how you communicate with ‘self’.
In the financial world they say your net worth is linked to your self worth. In the world of health and fitness I believe your self worth is linked to the decisions you make about food. Do you believe you’re worth cooking for? Do you believe you’re worth the best choices? Do you believe you’re worth asking the waiter for exactly the meal you want? –
If you’re waiting for someone to give you permission to be worth it, you have mine 🙂
Owner and Director of Enterprise Fitness
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