Life can be tough. All sorts of things happen and we feel some kind of way about it, so we eat. That is our #1 coping mechanism. It was mine for a long time, so I get it. But if you want to stop being controlled by your emotions and food, you will have to find and use other ways to cope, most of the time.
A lot of the time we are using our precious energy to stuff and avoid feelings when if you really sat with the feeling, how long would it take for it to wash over you and be gone? My guess is, about as long as it takes to eat a bag of chips or Oreos, so 5, 10 minutes? What if you sat with that feeling for 3 minutes then gave yourself permission to eat, then 5, then 10 minutes? What if you decided to call a trusted girlfriend and talk for that 3-10 minutes or write in your journal about whatever is on your mind for 3-10 minutes? I have found that just taking a pause when you feel the overwhelming urge to eat when you know you’re not hungry, will give you insight into your mind and eventually free you from emotional eating. I add the part about giving yourself permission to eat after that time, because this process is about being kind to yourself and taking your power back. You are being kind by giving pause to reflect on what’s really going on here. You are taking your power back by giving yourself permission. When you do that, you now have control and own your decisions.
My top go tos for coping with tough feelings:
Eat (Yep, I said it)
Phone a friend
Listen to something uplifting -music or a podcast
Come up with 5 things (other than eating) that you will commit to attempting when you are tempted to eat for emotional reasons. Feel free to try mine, but they must feel authentic to you. Look at it like trying on a dress, you are not married to it, you are just trying it for size, if you don’t like it, toss it and try something else. Also realize that the things I have listed above can take on various forms like seat or walking meditation, you could sing or just listen to music, journaling can be working through each individual thought or just writing all of your thoughts down, exercise could be intense or calm like walking, swimming or restorative yoga. Be creative find what fits your personality, but don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new.