I’ll be honest: Emotional eating is probably a big part of the reason I got into the very round and jiggly shape I’ve gotten myself into. It’s funny how emotions — no matter what they are — can send me running to the nearest cupboard, fridge, bag, box, etc. And it doesn’t matter what emotion it is: happiness, sadness, excitement, pride, anger, sleepiness (is that an emotion?), boredom, loneliness, stress. You name the emotion, and it somehow, sometime sent me into overeating overdrive.
But now, I feel like I can use past-tense words when talking about my issues with emotional eating. I’m going through, perhaps, one of the most emotional things I’ve ever gone through in my life. In fact, I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time but haven’t been able to string the words together to “talk” about it. Amor, my love for three years, has moved out of the country, and we’re doing the whole long-distance-relationship thing. For now, it’s an indefinite time frame, too.
And now I’m in my apartment that we used to share, and it’s lonely, often boring, sad and stressful. And it’s tough. Tougher than I thought it would be. But not once have I turned to food to comfort any of those emotions. Not once. I’m more likely to go to the gym or head out for a walk or a run. Runs are better because it’s almost physically impossible to cry when you’re in the middle of a good, hard run. I tried it. Couldn’t breathe. Just had to keep focused on the run.
I think it is a true testament to how much I have changed in the last eight months. I once found comfort in something that was harmful to me. I’m now finding comfort and relief in something that’s making me an all-around healthier person. Plus, another of the benefits of working out is that afterward I feel happy. No matter what’s on my mind, immediately following a really good sweat session I’m in a good mood. Sure, I still miss Amor and I’m still feeling his absence. But for a certain window after my workout, I’m happy. Plus, I don’t have that guilty feeling I used to get after downing chips and french onion dip or a pint of ice cream or chips and cheese or … or … or ….
I still have a long way to go and am a work in progress. I still have bad habits I need to change. I still need to integrate healthy living into other areas of my life. But, I feel like this is one issue I’ve conquered. I’m learning to deal with my emotions in a healthy way. And I’m darn proud of it, too.
How do you deal with your emotions? Are you an emotional eater, too? Just in case you don’t know, Psychology Today put together a little self-assessment: “Are You an Emotional Eater?”