Wednesday, April 11, 2012


In honor of Emotional Overeating Awareness Month, it is valuable to review the following article. April is a fantastic time to think about your own eating patterns. Emotional eating is a lifestyle for many and causes weight gain, frustration, guilt and shame. We may be soothing painful feelings or mindlessly snacking and we become disconnected from physical hunger.

You can manage your stress in other ways -- take a walk, talk with a friend or take a warm bath for example. You must consider your total wellbeing. If you think self-destructive thoughts about your appearance then you are likely enter a loop of negative thinking leading to negative behaviors, increased weight and worries, deprivation, guilt, shame and fear. This can lead to depression, increased anxiety and eventual apathy. You may submerge yourself in unhealthy food to shield yourself from these painful feelings because you know from experience that these substances will reliably provide a few minutes of relief.

You are eating for emotional, not physical, reasons and you set yourself up to fail at meeting your goals. Once you accept yourself and become gentle with yourself, you will make progress toward reaching your ideal weight, vibrant health and balance. Each of you must figure out precisely your own ways to soothe yourself during difficult times. Pause, breathe and substitute positive thoughts to turn your negative thinking around.

Pay close attention to your feelings. As I describe in great detail in my latest book, The Appetite Connection, they represent your internal guidance system (which is never wrong). When you identify what you are feeling you will know what to do. If you make yourself number one and heed the messages your feelings are delivering through this system you will move closer to your goals.

This is your life and your body and emotional eating will never bring you the happiness that you deserve. To be happy, healthy and whole is up to you and the time is NOW!

many blessings! Dr. Denise

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