Self-esteem. Emotional eating. They're connected with a thick metal chain, at least in my case.
This weekend I realized how much by talking with a health coach. I was browsing Twitter, chatting with a new friend when she asked for a volunteer to talk about emotional eating. The eager beaver that I am volunteered. I was connected with Stacy, a health coach with, get this, no experience at emotional eating! I didn't know that existed! I thought everyone ate due to stress, boredom, depression. It never occurred to me that there may be someone who didn't. Fascinating...
I didn't get to explore her inability to eat with lack of control since she was so interested in mine. She drug up memories I hadn't pulled out of the closet in years. Memories of the first time I was called "fat", of never being thin enough in dance class, of the 40 pound weight gain before college and all the struggling since, of the numerous diets I failed at. She had me describe what I see in the mirror...terrifying thoughts. I had never described them to anyone before.
She reminded me, as I have tried to do for you in my current series, that its about what you think of yourself, not what people think about you. I know, easier said than done. She has prescribed for me a a way to counteract the lies I have been telling myself all these years and I'll share it with you.
First, think, really think, about what drives you to eat your emotions. When was the first time you were drawn to that behavior? Why did it continue? Here's a good one: What do you see when you look in the mirror? Describe it? What shape is it? What color is it? How does it make you feel?
Ok, I know this is depressing, but now for the good part. What do you want to see? What does it look like? What color is it? How does it make you feel?
We've been telling ourselves lies for years - we're fat, ugly, sloppy, saggy...whatever. Now it's time to remind ourselves we are beautiful and sexy. You may be saying, 'I am fat, so its the truth. Beautiful and sexy is the lie'. Are you sure? You've been hearing the negative for so long, it can't hurt to be positive. Let's give it a try! I'm challenging you to give it a try. What will it hurt? It can only make you feel better. Everyday tell yourself, 'I am beautiful and sexy'. Say it like you mean it. You'll start to believe it and maybe eating won't be so important anymore.