Emotional Eating

Update: I’m doing very well with my intermittent fasting but wanted to talk about emotional eating and what drives it.

Somewhere inside me, there’s a void. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know where it is – I just know that when I want or need to fill it I do two things: eat or shop. I’m always doing one or the other (or both) – a compulsion is always present. Mainly, emotional eating. As I mentioned in my Weight Gain blog, it’s the only part of my day that I feel happy, but that’s just it – it’s not real happiness and it brings on more guilt than anything.

I talked to my therapist about this today. I have a great life. I have everything I need and want: a great family, nice house, awesome kids and a wonderful husband. Where is this void coming from?

I honestly don’t know.

I’ll tell you what I do know. When I binge or compulsive eat, the food will be bad for me and obviously I will eat too much of it. Sometimes, I’ll do it in private when the kids are at school or when David is asleep. I’ll even eat in my car if I think my housekeeper is at the house. I guess I don’t want them to judge me. I don’t want them to know I’m going to eat half or an entire pizza to feel good for maybe 15 minutes, if that, feel guilty but then do it all over again the next day.

This isn’t just eating unhealthy occasionally and gaining a few pounds. As I mentioned in my other blog, this is gaining 20lbs in two months. This is eating until I feel sick and uncomfortable. This is terrible.

And it’s usually comfort I seek when I’m eating. I make excuses like “oh, I had a long day” or “the kids were driving me nuts today.” I’ve got to realize that’s going to happen all the time. That’s life. I have to deal without food making it “better.”

But it’s not really the kids misbehaving or having long days that drives me to emotionally eat – it’s that emptiness inside. Where is it coming from? I just can’t figure it out.

I don’t hate myself. I don’t want to sabotage myself. I don’t lack self-awareness. But I don’t have the answers either.

I’m not asking for a psychoanalysis either, folks. Just getting it out there, because if your keep it inside it stays a secret and bounds you.


One thought on “Emotional Eating

  1. I can tell you where the void comes from. Your brain. It is not functioning in a way which keep chemical responses balanced in your body. In your subsequent post you mention people who just wake up in a good mood. That is homeostasis. That is a properly functioning brain.

    In order to feel something or anything at all, people with mental illness start to find ways to cope and fill that void. Examples include binge eating, self-harm (cutting, picking at skin, pulling out hair, and even eating it), stealing, self-medicating (alcohol, Rx drugs, illegal drugs), shopping too much, risky sexual encounters, speeding, etc…

    These compulsions happen because the body is trying to find ways externally to fix what is not occurring naturally within it. It’s creating and pushing for those rushes of adrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, etc… from the above mentioned behaviors in order to counter what you are feeling. Empty…

    You know my advice. Focus on your mental health first. Correct the chemical imbalance first and everything else becomes a whole lot more manageable.

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