It has consistently been known as a bad thing to be a emotional eater. People identify themselves as an “emotional eater” as if it’s a secret shameful society where only us weak willed dieters cave into food as an emotional crutch.
It’s collectively viewed as a “good” habit to exercise when going through emotional times, or to practice meditation and yoga.
Here’s what I believe: Emotional eating is not a bad thing. EVERY SINGLE PERSON EATS EMOTIONALLY SOMETIMES. People celebrate with food, commiserate with food, and console with food. It’s fucking normal.
Emotional eating (or any kind of eating) only becomes a problem when we associate it with guilt and shame. It would just be “eating” if you didn’t attach some sort of meaning or shame behind it. So WHAT if you eat ice-cream when you’re sad. You aren’t mainlining heroin people!
We live in an extremely fat-phobic society. Recently the HAES (Health At Every Size) movement has been gaining momentum, which is amazing. It’s showing up that your size does certainly not determine your health- in any way (google the studies).
The ONLY reasonwe feel shame around emotional eating is because we live in a fear of fatness. We are scared of gaining weight. This is SOCIETAL problem, not a “you” problem.
If fat was viewed as a good thing- emotional eating wouldn’t exist. It would just be.. eating. It would be applauded just as weight loss is celebrated today- imagine THAT!
So stop viewing any form of eating as “bad” or “good”. We need to collectively end the stigma around weight and food- where weight is just weight. No size is better. No size is healthier. No coping mechanisms are better. We are all humans just trying to figure this life thing out, and get through it as pain free as possible. So if a little ice-cream can soothe you; please stop feeling guilty and move ON with your life!
I’m writing this post because I think the more we can smash through these stupid dieting “rules” of good and bad, the less people will struggle with food. If you just ate when you wanted and stopped CARING so much, you could just live your life as the best version of you possible. I know for me personally, the only time I “binge” is when I attach emotional or shame around what I’ve eaten that day, or attempt to restrict. I start feeling guilty that I coped with ice-cream and that leads to even more coping with ice-cream. If I had just viewed everything I ate as neutral–I wouldn’t ever binge.
What are your thoughts? Would love to hear your opinions. I hope this can help someone today realize that food isn’t bad, you are not bad for eating food, and the more we can take away these stigma’s- the better off we all will be.