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Eating Your Feelings? Here’s How to Eat Like You're Worth It!

Emotional eating is a real thing, and a lot more common than most people realize {or if they are a victim, care to acknowledge}. In fact, it's SO common, many of us may not even notice we have an issue because everyone else seems to do it, too!

Emotional eating has become a "normal" part of our culture, making it that much more difficult to change the habit.

Our coworkers do it, ours friends do it so we jump on the wagon, too.

Emotional eating could be caused by something major, such as a death or a really bad break-up. But it also happens with the usual every day occurrences, like a bad day at work, last minute deadlines placed by the client …and this is where we have the problem. It also doesn't stop there...emotional eating can also stem from positive experiences, too, like a NEW relationship, happy hour with old friends, or that promotion you just got {well deserved, by the way!}.

It's one thing to talk about emotional eating, but it's another to have lived it. I, Coach Heather, was, and occasionally still am, a chronic emotional eater. It wasn't until the last five years leading up to my position as a health coach that I was able to understand how to manage those emotions and work through them in ways that BENEFITED my soul and body rather than against. For over a decade, before this much healthier chapter of my life, I felt like a lot of other women out there feel: that no matter how many awesome steps forward I took in the gym and on my plate, there would be something thrown in my path to blow me off course and back to the "Start" line.

And let me tell you......That's a real shi**y feeling. Pardon my French.

It’s also exhausting. Bad things in life are going to happen, guaranteed. Discomfort is going to happen, guaranteed. And even more guaranteed than the bad times is... well, the really GOOD times, because for every yin there's a yang.

So, what's the only thing that can change amongst this pendulum of scenarios?! ....US!

I give you my top tips for the most common every day emotional eating scenarios, to take you from "Emotional Eater" to "Eating Like You're Worth It"!

1) Scenario: Someone brought in doughnuts to the office and you're really stressing about that deadline!

"Eat Like You're Worth It" Tip: Ask yourself first if there's really anything special about these doughnuts. If they are lowly plasticized little Dunkin Donuts {sorry, Dunkin, but for real}, put those down right now! You and I both know there is nothing special about a plastic Dunkin Donut. If you're going to enjoy something decadent, BE SELECTIVE. Legit, BE A FOOD SNOB about these treats, and only allow the BEST of the confections into your body.

And not just at any old time either, but the BEST of times. Your environment should become part of any delightful culinary experience. The COMPANY you surround yourself with should be part of that experience. Let's face it, no one likes their office or their coworkers THAT much. Turn your cheap every day treats into rare MOMENTS TO CHERISH. Your body is precious, YOU are precious, and YOU hold out only for the best. {mic drop}.

2) Scenario: Tinder date number 537 turned out to be a real winner {not} and all you can think about is how you're pretty much guaranteed to be alone forever {which is super false, by the way}.

"Eat Like Your Worth It" Tip: Repeat after me. YOU. ARE. A FOX! Seriously. And a fox doesn't have time for a pity party. Any negative thoughts you tell yourself at this moment are 1} totally normal but also 2} totally false. Stand outside yourself and acknowledge that fact first before you reach for the Bark Thins. A thought is a thought and NOT reality! Whether it's a Tinder date or a long term relationship that came to an abrupt end, ask yourself this: "Would you really change anything about your {fabulous} self?" If the answer is {and likely will be} "No!", then do not waste precious energy letting this guy make you feel less than or unworthy of anyone better than him.

Also, if you DO feel crappy, which is TOTALLY normal because love literally hurts sometimes, focus on things that will make you feel GOOD in the long term as opposed to the short term. Super hard to do in the crushing moment, but YOU KNOW food only momentarily feels good. And sugary food specifically LITERALLY acts like an opiate to our brains. We get that instant chemical rush, and all feels great in the world {oh hey dopamine! just like a drug}... but what comes afterwards? Feelings of MORE unworthiness.

And if you don't feel sexy and confident on your own, how the hell is some other guy or girl going to view you as such?

I'm talking about feeling sexy from the inside out...literally radiating from your light within. So instead of macaroni & cheese and a glass of cheap wine, how would your time be better spent? Perhaps taking a bubble bath? Getting a massage or pedicure? Taking YOURSELF out to a nice dinner and a movie because, damnit, you want to! Do something that makes you FEEL the way you want a significant other to make you feel without involving food. Put out what you want to attract, because the old habits will only bring you more of the same relationships {both with food AND partnership}....and in the words of Sweet Brown, "ain't nobody got time for that!"

3) Scenario: The world is legit crashing down. It's rainy and cold out, you missed your alarm, spilled coffee down your shirt upon taking the first sip, messed up in front of your boss at the project meeting today, someone hit-and-ran your car in the parking lot, the bottom of your wet grocery bag broke open on the sidewalk on the way home, and you just realized you forgot to make that bill payment that was due a week ago, AGAIN.

"Eat Like You're Worth It" Tip: First things first, take 5 deep breaths. Count 4 seconds in, and count 4 seconds out {classic Navy Seal trick}. After that, it may sound silly, but pick someone whose lifestyle you find inspiring. Perhaps it's JLo, Ashley Graham, or Duchess Kate. Whoever it is, ask yourself, "how would THEY handle this scenario?" {that's right! WWJLD...What Would JLo Do?!}.

And then apply that thinking to your unique life and interests. Grab a pen and paper, or use the Notepad App in your phone, and come up with ten different ways you can change your mood right now, healthfully. This could be something as simple as listening to uplifting music, working on a puzzle, or taking a shower. It could also be making a warm cup of tea using fresh ginger, limes, and loose tea leaves, and really making it an experience. Perhaps writing is your thing and getting out your emotions on paper will help you get it out of your system, while you smell the scent of lavender from your oil diffuser.

Maybe you need to MOVE to shake off the day's bad energy, so dance in front of the mirror or turn on a 20-minute on-demand workout! Yoga might even be more your pace, or perhaps getting a warm hug from your boo-thang, or doing a quiet guided meditation. After you've completed your list, save it. Refer back to it whenever you need. This is officially your "SOS List" and the start of crowding out old habits of Oreos and Cinnamon Toast Crunch {which was my personal favorite} with new healthier & empowered habits.

Before the day ends, make yourself a nourishing meal, something that really warms your soul, and go to bed early. It's times like these self care becomes the last thing we may want to do initially, but it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL. Don't let it be an option, because you are deserving of the best treatment possible! Tomorrow is another day, and the better you feel when you start it, the less overwhelming things will feel.

So there you have it! Through heart break, work deadlines, and Armageddon on a Tuesday, YOU ARE CAPABLE! It just takes some conscious effort initially to rewire those neural pathways.

Sure these situations don't cover every emotional hiccup in life, but they can be transferred to most. Know that with patience, and kindness, for yourself and for your body, you CAN break old habits.

Emotional eating doesn't have to define you. It's just a matter of working THROUGH the discomfort rather than covering it in sugar.

Know that with patience, and kindness, for yourself and for your body, you CAN break old habits. If I did it, anyone can. And if you need support, you know where to find us!


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