I remembering sharing with someone how the emotional eater doesn’t eat out of hunger. There’s no physical trigger that eludes to the fact that the body needs nourishment. Emotional eaters eat from a different place and it’s not hunger.
As someone who has been an emotional eater for a good solid three decades, in a moment of clarity it dawned on me that I was feeding ‘Something Else.’
Now mind you, I’ve had moments of clarity in the past and am I aware of triggers but this time, the thought of ‘Something Else’ came alive.
I’d blamed my body for not shedding all the weight I wanted it to. But I realized that my body had done a marvelous job in managing all the abuse I’d doled out over the years.
Stuffing it with food when it wasn’t hungry. Depriving it of water. My body did the best it could with what it was being given.
I had to apologize to my body yet again.
Then I realized that if my body wasn’t asking for donuts, cookies, and chips, then who or what was. The answer was ‘Something Else’ and freedom came when I got to the root of ‘Something Else.’
- ‘Something Else’ was fear and fear thrived on chocolate. Chocolate candy, chocolate cake, chocolate covered almonds, and chocolate chip cookies. Not my physical body. ‘
- Something Else’ also manifested as insecurity. Whenever I didn’t feel quite good enough, insecurity wanted crunchy, cheesy things—never apples.
- I also identified frustration and impatience as ‘Something Else.’ These two things kept me in front of my pantry looking for something sweet or salty or even a combination of the two.
My body was forced to manage crap it didn’t ask for but ‘Something Else’ did.
So one day I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to feed ‘Something Else’ anymore. I would starve it to death and give my body only what it required. Not just good quality foods but adequate rest (The Nap Bar is a god-send), regular, moderate exercise and water.
I’m not a big water drinker so I learned to add things to it to make it more palatable. Things like cucumber, mint, basil, oranges, lemons, limes and berries. Flavored lime and citrus sparkling waters give me the flavor and fizz I miss even though I was never a big soda drinker. I had to make the adjustment because I realized that ‘Something Else’ had a preference for coffee filled with cream and sugar and margaritas. My body could do without.
If you’re an emotional eater, have you identified your ‘Something Else?’ Are you ready to devise a plan to put ‘Something Else’ to death once and for all? That way, your body can become the healthy, leaner machine you’ve always dreamed about. Putting ‘Something Else’ to death is the first step.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.