Think back to the last time you overate—not because you were hungry—but because your feelings got the best of you.
Maybe you impulsively grabbed something from your pantry, binged after work by dashing through the fast food drive-thru or got up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge. Got the image in your mind? Okay, now… ask yourself:
What feeling was I trying to avoid?
When I ask my clients this question, I typically hear, “I felt overwhelmed,” “I was stressed,” “I felt bad,” or “I’m not sure.” They know they felt something intense but can’t always pinpoint it. When we explore it further they sometimes can name it, but more often than not—at least in our beginning work together—they don’t know how they felt.
That’s because emotional eating—like any compulsive behavior or addiction—comes from the struggle to know and be with what you feel.
What you do know is you’re in distress and want to feel better—fast. (more…)