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April 22, 2019

Are you an emotional eater?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you can’t stop your binge/emotional eating even though it is ruining your life?

If you still aren’t sure if you are an emotional eater, if you find yourself eating for any other reason than legitimate hunger, you are eating out of emotion. 

If you have followed me for any period of time you know that I was a huge binge eater for decades. I would find myself eating out of emotion for any reason, it really didn’t matter if I was sad or happy, it had just become a way of life for me. It wasn’t until I got to the root cause of why I was emotionally eating was I able to radically change my life. I’ll come back to this in a minute. 

Most of my time was spent either feeling really good about myself when I was ‘perfect’ and adhering to the newest diet I was on or feeling like absolute crap about myself when I fell off the wagon and ate something I deemed ‘bad’ and ended up in a binge fest. I felt tremendous shame when I lost control over those foods I swore I would never eat again and kept finding myself in this vicious cycle. 

See if this sounds familiar. I would start a new diet, be ‘perfect’ for a week or so, and then life would hit. I would feel stressed and find myself eating something I swore I’d never touch again to make myself not only forget what was wrong, but to make me feel better. Then I’d swear to myself that I would never do that again and that the next time would be different, except that it wasn’t. I would find myself repeating that same binge/shame cycle for nearly a decade of my life.

I tried everything under the sun to lose weight and stop the cycle of emotional eating. I did the normal diet pills, shakes, deprivation diets, and endless hours of exercise in the hope that this would finally be the last time. It was crazy when I look back because I kept doing the same thing over and over again, wishing and hoping for a different outcome. I kept beating my head against the wall like this for far too long. 

The reason behind binge eating is typically tied to deprivation. If you are used to going on these crazy making diets where you only allow yourself to have chicken and broccoli you can probably relate. You swear off any foods you legitimately like and think that you’ll be able to sustain this. A week or two goes by and WHAM, you find yourself face first in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, wondering how in the hell you got here. That is what most people would refer to as ‘falling off the wagon’ eating. 

Or maybe you were at work one day and the boss brought in some doughnuts and left them in the break room. You walk by, see the doughnuts, and sneak one. After you’ve finished the doughnut you are filled with so much guilt and shame because you just broke your diet. So what do you do? you proceed to eat 3 more because you failed again, so what does it matter? This is what keeps us stuck in this never ending cycle of misery. 

Those who emotionally eat are usually doing so to avoid or escape uncomfortable emotions. I know I did this myself anytime I had to think about my past or something stressful came up that I just wanted to run from. The only issue with this, as you know, is that the problems don’t go away. So not only do you still have these unresolved issues, but you must also deal with an ever expanding waist line. 

If you find yourself falling under the category of a ‘restrictive dieter’ just know you are setting yourself up for failure and remaining stuck on the guilt/shame cycle of binge & emotional eating. 

If you moralize foods by labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or if you self-worth is dependent on your weight, you are setting yourself up for failure.

If you truly want to be free from binge eating and emotional eating there are some things you must do. 

#1 You have to practice mindfulness and learn to reconnect with your body. I go in depth in this area with my coaching clients.

#2 You have to change your relationship with food. Going on restrictive diets simply doesn’t work long term. You will ultimately find yourself eating everything around that food that you crave and then that food itself.

#3 Stop focusing on the outcome and be happy with yourself at the place you are at right now. Far too often we tell ourselves that we will be happy when _____. By doing this we are indirectly telling ourselves that we can’t be happy until we reach a certain weight. This will only ensure you stay miserable and sabotage your efforts. 

#4 You must heal your damaged body image and look at how you got here in the first place. You will never be able to shame your way into wellness or self-love. I feel that if we can identify those underlying causes of why we eat to avoid we can heal and ultimately the weight issues resolve themselves. 

In order to do all of this you are going to need help and that is where I come in. Not only have I gone through all of this myself, but I’ve done the work to heal. I have since come down from nearly 300 pounds, dealt with some pretty traumatic childhood issues, and now help people just like you to do the same. 

Coaching is for you if you can identify with the following:

  • You find yourself face first in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and you’re telling yourself that you know you shouldn’t be doing this, you hate yourself, but you just don’t know how to stop. 
  • You are a chronic dieter and always find yourself on a diet more often than not. You’ve done everything from Keto to IF and sucked down more nasty shakes then you care to admit.
  •  You catch yourself always preoccupied with the thought of food. I know for myself when I was eating breakfast I was also thinking about what I was going to have for lunch, etc.
  • You have what I call the ‘mirage mentality’ and think that if you finally have the perfect body everything will be okay and you will love yourself. I can tell you that this is a mirage [wishful thinking] and even if I could miraculously give you the body of your dreams, unless you deal with the internal stuff, you will still be miserable.

If you found yourself nodding your head to any of the above I want to do the following for you:

  • No longer obsess about food or go on any more deprivation diets.
  • Be able to eat foods you once moralized as bad and not end up in a feeding frenzy, binge fest.
  • Finally be able to love the skin your in, the reflection you see in the mirror, and no longer be at war with yourself.
  • Have a healthy relationship with food and no longer feel like a slave to your emotions.

So my friend, here is what time it is…

If going on miserable deprivation diets, doing endless amounts of cardio, and trying to hate yourself into wellness is working for you, keep on keeping on.

If however you find that your diets are literally sucking the life out of you, you can’t maintain them for more than an week or two without going into binge mode and are open to trying something that will help change your way of thinking and being, I want to help. 

If you are truly sick and tired of being sick and tired, doing the same old thing and getting nowhere, go here NOW to learn more about how coaching can change your life.


God bless,
Brandon Jenkins