As we grow older we begin to understand that our emotional conditioning and past experiences have a way of bleeding into elements of our life that we may not have ever considered. When you’re young things seem so black and white; you have an emotion, you act on it or blurt it out in public, and then you move on. However, as we enter into adolescence we learn that not all emotions that are incurred within us are to be brought out to the fore fray instantaneously. So instead, we learn to internalise them; push them down to be dealt with at another time and place. For me personally, I had never made the connection with these unresolved feelings and the impact they had on my life until I realised that I was (still am at times) an emotional eater. I had the sudden realisation that my relationship with food was actually quite abusive and that this all stemmed from an attempt by my subconscious to fill a metaphorical void.
To be honest, I have made the dance of overeating or deliberately binging, then feeling supremely guilty immediately afterwards a constant occurrence in my life. When I look back I am now able to easily pinpoint these instances to moments of my life when I have needed some extra comfort, but not really understood why. These times are always to be found late at night, when sheer boredom or utter loneliness has been felt while I sit in bed, all alone, feeling subconsciously sorry for myself. It’s so easy to instantly act on these pangs, which I initially put down to hunger without even questioning them but what’s more difficult, and yet utterly necessary to do is dig a little deeper and listen to my body the emotions driving it. In an instant not long ago, I realised that I was using chocolate and fast food to soothe a discomfort which was originating emotionally and had nothing to do with hunger.
So I’ll say it, I am a recovering emotional eater. I have for too long been in the habit of attempting to eat all my troubles away. But lately, I have made myself be more deliberate towards bettering my relationship with food. I’ve taken more of an active focus on nourishing my body with the things it needs to flourish, instead of giving into those feelings looking for a quick comfort fix. To be fair, I’m still learning and trying out different techniques to quell those overbearing emotions. But at the very least, I have made the conscious effort to identify the emotions behind those pre-binging moments, sit with them for a while and understand that no amount of overeating can ease that emotional void with just chocolate alone!