Emotional Eating

There were some gentle and soothing tears shed this morning on my way to work as I realised I had been hiding from some grief. I connected with feeling that some people in my life had let me down, they hadn’t been there for me when I needed them. Walking in my own love to the tube, I felt that grief and allowed it to express, tears rolling down my face. I felt really vulnerable and fragile in the crowd as I walked and rested in my seat. I was surrounded by scores of people all pressing against one another in silence as the carriage filled to bursting. And me, sitting with myself, in my own love.

Over the last few weeks, I have been exploring my personal relationship with meals, food, emotion and eating. And the concept to only eat when I am hungry … I know that sounds common-sense, but the fact is that I don’t always eat when I’m hungry, I find myself eating when I am not! I don’t usually eat breakfast and I’ve noticed that around lunchtime, when all my colleagues are having their sandwiches, I have an urge to eat – though I don’t feel hungry at all. I’m feeling the pull of society and the myth/brain-washing that we need to eat three meals a day at certain times. I eat for something to do when I am bored; I eat to make others feel comfortable because they are eating, so should I … the list goes on …

My own fragility this morning has exposed another deeper pattern that when I am feeling that vulnerability, I feel exposed, and then feel the need to eat. A couple of days ago, I wrote to a manufacturer of a sunflower seed snack that they are unpalatable due to excess salt. And no coincidence that an ‘apology’ package arrived containing cashews. And I had to try then – inevitably, I ate the 100g and am now feeling bloated.

How awesome to expose that when I feel vulnerable and exposed that I feel the need to eat something; to fill myself from the outside in.

And how wonderful to be so tender with myself now and not judge or be self-critical, but to simply observe and reveal this pattern of self-abuse in a caring way an adult would be with a small child who had eaten something that didn’t agree with them. How precious that I can turn around the self-abuse to self-love in an instant and see that the theme I revealed this morning – that people let me down – is a theme I am using against myself today.

I totally let myself down by eating instead of feeling my own tenderness and vulnerability. And it is exposed again by eating when I am not hungry.

And the return journey to feel the impulse from my own tenderness continues and reveals another layer of subtle abuse that is ready to be exposed with the grace of love.

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11 thoughts on “Emotional Eating

  1. thank you Sarah – I know only too well all that you express here. The pull to eat cos others are eating, eating to numb and not feel, eating cos I ‘should eat’ or in case I get hungry, eating as reward and treat, cos I deserve it, eating to fill the emptiness or for comfort ….and on and on…..!! I can have a good run and then sabotage myself by eating foods I know are not good for me – yet I override that inner knowing. Crazy.

  2. Sarah you write for us all. I also now too well the pull to eat to not feel what I am feeling. Eunice is right, it is crazy, but at least when we identify what we are doing, then we can look at it. Thanks
    Ariana

  3. This is very beautiful and most profound Sarah – thank you for sharing your rawness with the world…

  4. I love your honesty, I can so relate to what you have shared, its like I do know and yet at times an anxiousness overtakes me and then and Im to deal with this discomfort after, when all I need to do is simply stop for a moment and feel what to eat and you know what ! I feel within moments, nourished and calm when I choose this :)x

  5. Hi Sarah, that is very beautifully shared – and very inspiring to me – today. To allow myself to feel, rather than just eat something to not feel, without judgement. Thank you. xo

  6. Beautifully expressed Sarah. I often have felt the urge to eat when feeling vulnerable and exposed too and the loving way you’re writing about it allows me to go deeper with my awareness… Time to renounce this old pattern which does not truly serve any longer and never really did 😉 Let us embrace our vulnerability and enjoy the exposures we allow to come up as this is the doorway to more awareness and Love to be felt and lived. Thank you for being such an inspirational reflection – again and again. with Love and appreciation Sarah

  7. This is an amazing article Sarah. How many of us eat when we are not hungry? And what are the reasons behind it? I know I relate to all the examples you have given, and when I have only eaten what my body really needed, it surprised me how little it is, and how vibrant I actually feel. Even that is hard to swallow! Because we are always told to eat, especially if we’re skinny. It also frees up a lot of time which is a bonus.

  8. Sarah I love this. It is the depth of honesty that we all need…I have found that I don’t actually need a lot of food. When I honour this and don’t over-eat I feel amazing. Why then do I find myself filling myself up when there is actually no need? I find that it is usually because there is something I don’t want to feel, or I have some need in me that leaves me craving food. I find it useful to ask myself ‘which bit of me is feeling hungry?’ If my stomach is not rumbling it is a dead give away that it is not my stomach!

  9. Beautiful article Sarah and so true. If we were studied as a human race, it would be baffling to observe how we put food into our bodies when we are not hungry. It is great to be honest and start really asking ourselves why we do this.

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