The three steps to closing the lid on emotional eating

Business. Motherhood. Life. These mumpreneurs are doing it all and their determination is to commanded.

The challenges of being a mumpreneur is balancing it all – there’s so much to do, so much to remember, and everything’s vying for their attention. Juggling kids, family, business and personal time can feel like chaos and staying on top of it all can seem near impossible!

Consequently, they find themselves operating at high stress levels, feeling overwhelmed and yet at times, unable to manage the burden of their responsibilities.

This leads them to eat emotionally as a way of soothing their stress and heightened emotions that result from having to juggle many balls, and to portray the image that they are holding it all together. And they don’t know any other ways to cope with their emotional needs.

Emotional eating is an attempt to manage mood with food. It’s a coping strategy and is usually the result of a more deep-rooted issue. Although emotional eating has become an all-too-common problem, many women don’t realise the extent to which their feelings can impact their eating habits.

Food impacts emo¬tions and provides comfort and relief. Studies show that eating leads to the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which activates reward and pleasure centers in the brain and causes a sense of pleasure and comfort.

Food is an easy “go to strategy” because it’s an inexpensive resource for providing reward and short-term relief from discomfort eating (as a way to regulate stress responses.)

Let’s dive in and explore why these mumpreneurs are turning to food for comfort and how they can dissolve this struggle for Good!

The Three Steps to Close the Lid on Emotional Eating are:

Step One: Build Self-Awareness

The first step in closing the lid on Emotional Eating is building self-awareness. Emotional Eating often arises from a lost sense of emotional self. “Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at one’s life without attachment to it being right or wrong”. -Debbie Ford

Becoming aware of the discomfort feelings by pausing mindfully creates the space to act on purpose.

The Mindful Pause: When stress and overwhelm strike….

  • Leave the stressful situation. This may mean walking out of the office or a meeting.
  • Identify feelings, “Is the feeling overwhelm, frustration or anger?”
  • Pause and take an in-breath and out-breath for 10-15 seconds.

Step Two: Mindset Reset, identifying and allowing feelings assists in creating strategies that work better than food.

  • Identify the feelings and needs at a particular moment of need.
  • Take a few minutes to feel this way.
  • Be curious without judging feelings and needs.
  • Sit with the craving to make a deliberate choice rather than a giving in to a default response, which may be chocolate.

Step Three: Attitude shift, providing the mental strength to resist temptation and stand strong in the resolve to change.

  • That shift is accomplished with positive self-talk and the intentional, purposeful filling of the mind with motivational, positive input.
  • Pause and set the intention for strength and support.

There is a great idiom, “A problem shared is a problem halved” and talking to someone can help take some of the pressure off. Sharing feelings, perhaps with a friend, a family member, or counsellor can shed a different light and offer another perspective.

Discovering how to take the power away from food dissolves the struggle. The goal is to learn to make peace with food, enjoying eating healthy consistently and maintaining a healthy weight – even when life gives you lemons!

Irena Geller ,Emotional Eating Coach, irenageller.com.au

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