Today: Mar 01, 2024

Combating the temptations of emotional eating

Chardoneé Wright, Staff Writer:
You may have thought that indulging in some Haagen-Dazs ice cream and watching reruns of Waiting To Exhale after your “boo” dumped you was the answer to your problems for the night. You may not have even been hungry, but you still made yourself sick to your stomach making sure you ate every last ounce of ice cream. You may not have known, but this is called emotional eating.
That’s right! You can be emotionally eating to feed your “emotions” and not your “hunger.”
According to Medicinenet.com, a website that gives information about healthy living, emotional eating is described as the “practice of consuming large quantities of food—usually comfort or junk foods—in response to feelings instead of hunger.” Emotional eating causes you to overeat. The site also identifies depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress problems with interpersonal relationships and poor self esteem as factors that result in overeating and weight gain.
I am a culprit of emotional eating. I wasn’t aware this type of behavior had a name. I just thought I was hungry for most of the time. Bad break-ups, stress, school and the other nuisances that send us on an emotional rollercoaster allow the door to be open to emotional eating. Oh yeah, that scenario I stated in the beginning paragraph, yeah that was me. A couple of years ago, I was plumped on my couch watching reruns of Waiting to Exhale and basically stuffing my face with cookies-n-cream ice cream (is it bad that I remembered exactly what flavor it was?). But, at the time, it seemed to make me comfortable. I was an emotional wreck because of the curve balls life threw me, and instead of going to the gym to work out some stress, Haagen-Dazs was my best friend for the night. I was emotionally eating. I wasn’t hungry, yet couldn’t put the ice cream and cookies down. Of course my stomach got the bubble guts because of my greediness, but moreover, it amazes me that it is actually a psychological
factor.
My advice is that if you feel yourself stressed out or on that emotional rollercoaster of hell, try to do other things to relieve yourself. Take a walk, run, read a book, or even go and hang out. No, these things may not take your problems away, but can stop you from hanging around and feeling sorry for yourself. The website also advises any emotional eaters to first recognize the habit. You may not even know you are doing it. Once you recognize a bad habit and admit it to yourself, then one of the hardest things is done.
It is very important that we take care of our bodies. Yes the cliché’, “You only have one life” has actually been meaning more and more to me as I grow up. It just dawned on me that I’m getting older, and all the bad eating habits I’ve had before have to go out the door. A number of my family members have passed away from diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure, complications with high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. This is not how I picture myself in the future. We do have options for what we put into our mouth, and some of us are even more lucky to be able to afford the healthier foods all the time.
Let’s face it, sometimes eating healthier can be costly. The junk food is cheap, processed, and available all the time. I’m not saying that enjoying
some junk food here and there is the worst thing in the world for you. Most junk food has a lot of sodium, sugar, calories—all the things that cause diabetes, high blood pressure, and a list of other complications. What I am saying is do not use food as a substitute to fill a void. You will only be hurting yourself in the long run.

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