Many young and older people today use food for the same reasons some people abuse drugs or alcohol, which is to manage symptoms of depression and stress. We may not realize it at the time but when we're young most everyone receives pleasure from food. Whether good or bad, we all develop habits when we're young and sometimes we begin to use food when we're happy, sad, lonely, angry or frustrated.
Many of us become emotional eater's overtime and don't even realize it's happening when we're young. Granted, many of us overeat because we just love food and it becomes a habit but not everyone out there with a weight problem overeats because they're infatuated with food. The reasons for overeating go much deeper than that for most people and emotional eating becomes very serious. When we emotionally eat we usually consume large quantities of food at a time and the food we generally choose are our comfort foods.
Comfort foods are different for everyone but commonly consist of junk foods which aren't healthy and nutritious. Our comfort foods are just what the word means, they make us feel good (or at least for the moment) and ease tension, sadness and stress. Unfortunately like some drugs or alcohol, the feelings of comfort and pleasure only last for a short time and we repeat our use of 'comfort food'.
We're so quick to judge others today and just assume that people who are overweight are lazy, just don't care, have no willpower, and are happy with themselves the way they are and this is so sad. Most of the time there are underlying reason's a person is overweight and rarely is it because 'they just love food'. Some people in the beginning may start out overeating at some point in their life because they enjoy food but eventually this turns into emotional eating for them too because they feel so bad about themselves.
How Overeating Effects Our Children
I think about how children and teens are treated among their friends and peers when they're young if they have a few extra pounds on compared to others. If you don't think this can lead to emotional eating down the road, think again because this is exactly how it can start for some people. Sometimes parents even treat one child differently than another if a parent is anal about weight and one of their children has a weight issue.
There are many sad and devastating situations that take place in a person's life that can lead to emotional overeating so we should never be too quick to judge others.
The good news is that once a person recognizes they're an emotional eater they can identify 'triggers' in their life that relate to their own personal emotional eating and work on ways to change the way they relate to them. The bad part is most people who emotionally eat and are overweight, are also depressed and are in need of positive healthy support. There may be deep seeded underlying reasons emotional eating began earlier in their life that has never been addressed and until it is there is still going to be an emptiness to comfort.
Food Addiction Therapy
Not everyone can see a therapist and I understand that but for those that can, will benefit from Cognitive Behavior Therapy provided by a therapist that understands eating disorders like emotional overeating. They can help you understand why you may have begun emotionally eating, help you work through underlying problems that still need to be addressed, and help you to develop better ways of coping with emotions and feelings.
Overeaters Anonymous can be very helpful for some people also. Connecting with others who understand and receiving healthy support is not only comforting but the program also addresses your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Don't be so quick to judge others and teach your children the same values. Emotional overeating isn't any easier to control than drug, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, gaming, shopping, or any other problem behavior without help. Some of the underlying reasons behind emotional eating for many people are sad and sometimes devastating and we need to remember that.