I love this model because it cuts right to the heart of emotional overeating. I'm not saying it's easy to stop, but this strategy makes it easier to manage.
Stage One: Feeling Pain
This is the sucky part. We feel bad in some way, and we just want to stop feeling bad.
Stage Two: Stopping Pain
We eat or drink something that’s not good for us to get some relief from the aforementioned pain.
Maybe we are aware of this, and we know that we are about to devour an entire sheet cake because we're pissed about something, or maybe we just do it subconsciously, and are always eating to avoid feeling uncomfortable.
Stage Three: Feeling Better
Now we're experiencing sweet relief. We’ve used food to give our self a break from the pain.
Stage Four: Regret
Once the sugar high or food coma wears off we are super aware that we've eaten too much or consumed something that doesn't agree with us, making us feel nauseous or bloated.
Maybe we are berating ourselves.
Now We're Back to Stage One: Pain and Discomfort
Food may or may not have an addictive quality for you. Either way, eating to avoid emotional pain will probably be a really hard habit to break.
Similar to associating a particular food with heartburn or bloating or a headache, you can learn - over time and with work - to associate the urge to overeat with temporary relief followed by regret. It's more black and white for someone in recovery who can associate one slip up with the downfall of their whole life. It's harder to work in these grey areas, but here is how to do it:
How to Stop Emotional Eating
You've got this!
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