Hi, I’m an Emotional Eater. What About You?

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Everyone has a different way of dealing with traumas. Some people develop anger issues, some PTSD, some self-sabotaging behaviors, and others stress eat, like me. I think that it’s okay that people deal with stress and trauma differently, but it can get bad if we don’t deal with it and put a stop to it. If you’re like me and you struggle with emotional eating, then this blog post is for you. I’m going to share with you everything that I’ve learned about being an emotional eater.

I am not quite sure when it started but I have been an emotional eater for as long as I can remember. But I can tell you this, I think I was very young, not even 14. From very young, I would hide to eat all kinds of sweets and candy so my parents wouldn’t see me. I don’t remember why but I know I just did. I remember many times when I would cry for whatever reason, and then eat right after.

I would heat up leftover food or make myself hot chocolate and at least 3 grilled cheese sandwiches to eat. It was so much food, but I didn’t throw it up or make myself starve. I remember my parents telling me “you’re going to get fat if you keep eating like that and no one will want to be with a fat girl.” Cringe.

I am now I in my 30’s married, and am a mom and I still find myself eating just because. Whenever I find myself mad, sad, angry or even happy, I eat. I recognize that this is not healthy, as a matter of fact, I always knew this. But I couldn’t stop. And honestly, I didn’t want to. But now that I am on a mission to heal from my childhood and adulthood traumas, I need to stop. I need to love myself enough to want to be a better person for myself and my family.

These are 7 things so far that I have learned about emotional eating:

  1. Its called stress eating
  2. It’s a way to put down your emotions and not have to deal with it
  3. Stress eating is associated with uncomfortable emotions
  4. It can happen in response to environment
  5. Your brain can tell you to eat to “prepare for a potentially harmful situation”
  6. Emotional eating can mess up your chances of weight-loss
  7. Is often triggered by an event or mood
Emotional eater

Emotional eating is so common. I was always an emotional eater while growing up. I think it’s safe to say we all have done this at some point in our lives. It’s so normal to eat when stressed or upset, but the dangers are if you begin to rely on food as comfort like I did, then it can cause you to gain a lot of weight like me.

I don’t like any of the previous points, they make me nervous. But, I’m ready to stop being an emotional eater. I hate eating when I am crying just to “deal with what I’m feeling.” It’s not a healthy way to deal with my emotions. That’s why I’ve been trying to heal my anxiety, heal my mother wounds, journaling and talking about my feelings.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom to 3 small kids under the age of 6. I keep thinking, “what am I going to be teaching them about having a healthy relationship with food?” So, I gotta try, right? So if you are an emotional eater like me, Google says these are the steps to take to improve:

Figure out your triggers

Right off the bat, I can already name at least 3 triggers for me. They all lead to me being really anxious and I turn to food no matter what emotion I am feeling.

Meditate/pray instead of eating

Sit somewhere. Hide in the closet if you have to but find a quiet place where you can be talk to yourself. Just remember to be gentle.


Go for a walk, stretch, dance or go up and down some stress. Just do something else that’s not stress eating.

Talk to someone

It feels so good to have someone you can trust that will listen to you and not judge you. Sometimes we don’t need advice, we just need someone who will sit there and listen.

Keep a food diary

Keeping a food diary might help a lot in figuring out triggers, notice patterns or unhealthy behaviors surrounding stress eating. Helps you to avoid those triggers so you don’t have to eat, unless you’re actually hungry. I already started journaling so logging my food sounds helpful.

Find something to do

As stay-at-home-moms, we already have too much to do and are overwhelmed most days. But I find that I do something for me, I feel more productive and motivated during the days.

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Give yourself a break when you see yourself “slipping” especially if this is your first time trying something new to cope with your feelings. You are feeling all of your kids’ and partner’s feelings on top of yours. Remember to give yourself grace, you deserve it.

When it’s all said and done, I am doing this for. You are doing this for you. Our mental health is so much more important than what we might think.

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