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Emotional eating

It is tempting to label emotional eating as simply “bad” or “wrong”, but it can be a source of hidden wisdom if we listen to what it is here to teach us.

The truth is, emotional eating is not a problem. It is a solution to the challenge of how we manage our unwanted emotions. When we do not know how to cope with our emotions, we will often turn to food.

That does not make us a criminal, it makes us human. A human who is trying to metabolize their emotions — that is it.

One of the most profound questions emotional eating asks of us is whether we are living our potential. Because when we are not feeding our soul, we will often turn to food to try to feed that deeper hunger.

Hidden Wisdom #1:

When we find ourselves turning to food to soothe difficult emotions, it is always for a good reason. We may be lonely, hurting, anxious, depressed, bored, or frustrated.

Emotional eating asks us to check in with ourselves and our feelings and gives us an opportunity to reflect on other ways we can regulate and comfort ourselves.

Examples include:

  • Getting out in nature
  • Listening to music
  • Meeting up with a friend
  • 3 minutes of deep breathing
  • Tuning into your favorite uplifting podcast

Hidden Wisdom #2:

When we are not feeding our soul or living up to our life potential, we may turn to food to try to feed that deeper hunger. But that ultimately does not fulfill us — it only leaves us empty and wanting.

Cravings and wants of the soul:

  • Following a dream
  • Feeding a passion
  • Cultivating our gifts
  • Being our true selves and sharing it with the world

So, what can we do? If you are not feeling well-nourished by life, try asking yourself two questions:

  1. What am I truly wanting right now from my life, and how can I best honor my needs and desires?
  2. What is one activity I can do to express myself and my feelings?

Emotional eating can be a profound teacher, revealing to us our desire to grow and areas where we need to give ourselves loving attention. Changing these routines is hard work, but you deserve to feel better. Making changes to your emotional eating can be an opportunity to get more in touch with yourself and your feelings. Seek the help and guidance of a professional if you need to along your journey to optimal wellness.

Kimberly Stoeger, MS, is the clinical nutritionist and owner of Nutritional Healing, LLC. Her passion lies in supporting people’s health through evidence-based medicine (risks versus benefits of medications) and healing therapies through nutrition. Kimberly has her masters of science in human nutrition degree, and experience working with clients regarding weight and fatigue issues, food sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, and general health concerns such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high cholesterol/triglycerides, migraines, thyroid conditions, and gut dysfunction. To learn more, call 920-358-5764 or email [email protected].

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