Contrary to popular belief, this is not a problem unique to women. Or even predominately so.

Men also go on emotional eating benders.

When they have an unhappy breakup.

Are worried about business. Finances.

Or want to tamp down anger or another uncomfortable feeling or are simply feeling frustrated.

For a while, some indulgents are lucky.  They don’t show the pounds.  Maybe they can exercise off the binges. Or just have better metabolism.

Nonetheless, emotional eating seldom includes the healthiest of foods.  And most often leads to dullness, lack of energy or motivation.  And, eventually, depression.

For those who suffer weight gain as a side-effect, dieting is not the answer as the weight often returns with a  vengeance.

Rather we need to uncover the cause of our unhealthy, emotionally-based eating. Recognizing that instead of dealing with unpleasant, confusing issues, we eat ourselves into distraction or numbness.

Once this kind of awareness is reached, compassionate self-acceptance can follow.  Then and only then can we begin to take appropriate actions to overcome the problem.

Instead of eating, we become willing to ask ourselves, what is upsetting me?  What don’t I want to face?  So much so that I’d rather dull my senses with a slice of pizza, a hot-fudge sundae or whatever the choice indulgence might be.

No room here for pride, delay or denial.  We finally want to know what the problem really is. Once we’ve opened this line of inquiry we can begin to take control of the issue and make healthier, more informed choices. 

Sometimes emotional eating passes.  All too often it becomes a life problem that needs to addressed and resolved. 

So, if we’re regularly eating when we are not hungry – when we are simply upset or wanting to run from our feelings – we need – and deserve – to get help in resolving the underlying issues that move us in this self-destructive direction.

Once we become willing to eat only when we’re hungry – not when we’re upset or sad or in pain – we will quickly see that feelings don’t kill us.  They change, subside, lose importance.  In fact, they are necessary parts of us that inform and strengthen us. 

And, we don’t have to eat them away.

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