Emotional Eating – Finding Your Lost Motivation

Steph Wagner

April 19, 2014

If I knew all the answers to emotional eating, I would be a much more popular person.

It’s something we ALL struggle with, but some more than others. Some have learned how to manage it, while others are feeling like they are drowning and can’t manage it at all.

There are so many things to discuss when it comes to the reasons we eat. If I were sitting with you right now, I would be asking you a long series of questions…for the benefit of both of us. To help me to understand the whole picture and to help you to realize things you may not have realized yourself yet.

In some cases, the patient I’m sitting with hasn’t deciphered what the emotional eating is from. In other cases my patient knows exactly what it is and yet struggling badly to stop. That’s what I want to address for now.

What can you do when you know you are eating emotionally, but you just can’t seem to stop??

While there is no one size fits all, I do think it takes trying on lots of shoes to see which one fits.

One of the approaches I see work the best is to focus in on a really good motivator. 

What is your motivation?

What is really driving you to eat well?

What is more important to you than comfort food?

These are real questions. Sometimes if I want to eat something for warmth and comfort, there isn’t anything more important to me in that moment. And in that moment I’m not seeing clearly. It takes forethought to prepare us for those moments.

Motivation: the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

We need a REASON to act in different way. Let’s be honest, there are benefits to eating crappy. Health benefits?? No way. But the benefits would be I feel good in that moment or it tastes so good or I can forget about things around me. Those are all benefits.

If you are trying to get past a barrier of emotional eating, you simply must find a reason to act differently. What’s your motivation? What’s your carrot? Why would you not eat the snickers??

It’s something only you can answer. My motivations come from things like this:

“I know my energy will be way higher throughout today if I eat well, and I have a lot to get done.”

“I really like the way my new blue pants from the Gap look. I don’t want them to stop fitting.”

“I’m in 2 weddings this summer and already gave them my sizes so….”

You get the idea. The point is no one can come up with your motivators for you. It’s something you can only do yourself. Do some soul searching and really dig deep. When I’m struggling for motivation, I start asking people around me what motivates THEM and eventually some of their comments rub off on me.

There are many angles to take when dealing with emotional eating. This is just one. It’s a very, very important one…but it’s among a family of others.

All my best wishes in your journey to health,

Steph :)

5 thoughts on “Emotional Eating – Finding Your Lost Motivation”

  1. This is my eternal struggle and I really don’t know what will motivate me to change. I do know what motivates me to comfort myself with food. Maybe if your other readers share what motivates them to choose healthy over comfort food I might start to find a reason of my own (like you suggested). Here’s to hoping I’ll figure it out!

  2. I think that’s a great idea! I will write a post to inspire others to share their motivations! I think it helps to divide it to a weekly motivation and a monthly motivation. You want to have a big picture of where you are headed and a “now” picture to stay focused in the moment!

  3. I am afraid I know where my struggles come from and you have it pegged, for me it is to get in the I can forget about it and feel some comfort from eating bad things.  My motivation is to know I will feel bad when I eat these things, I feel a failure that this has become my coping tool again, I know I can do it, after 13 yrs I have definitely fell off the wagon. Now to try and separate the things in my life that seem to continually side swipe me.. Basically figure out how to deal with others who’s problems have somehow for them become my problems. I am struggling with a starting point.

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