We don’t always eat just to satisfy physical hunger. Many of us also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or to reward ourselves. And when we do, we tend to reach for junk food, sweets, and other comforting but unhealthy foods. You might reach for a pint of ice cream when you’re feeling down, order a pizza if you’re bored or lonely, or swing by the drive-through after a stressful day at work. Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—to fill emotional needs, rather than your stomach. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. In fact, it usually makes you feel worse. Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating.
In my previous post Heal with Writing I mentioned about how writing can help is a therapeutic technique that helps us heal in times of confusion. Taking inspiration from this post, here I present to you some questions, the answers to which can help you overcome emotional eating. Take it easy on yourself though. It is okay to not have all the answers. We are all a work in progress. Change takes time. Do not look for quick fixes, look for patience to bring about long lasting changes. Take each question per day, not more.
Questions About Self
- Who Am I? Who Have I been? Who do I want to be?
- What do I want most in life? How can I get it?
- What are my biggest barriers? Why do they block me? How can I work with them?
- This year I most want to…..and I will achieve this by……
- How can I invest in myself, my health, and my joy this year?
- Looking back over your past five days of writing, what patterns or understandings can I now see about myself and where I’m headed?
Questions About Food
- How does food make me feel? How do I wish I felt about food?
- Why do I eat? What 3 words describe my relationship with food right now? What 3 words do I wish did?
- If my emotional eating has a message, what is it trying to tell me?
Questions About Body
- What is my body? How do I connect food and body?
- If I could take a magic pill and have my dream body, what would it be?
- Dear body, I love you because……
- When I look in the mirror, I feel….
- What are my biggest daily challenges with food and body?
- If I didn’t have these problems, how would my life be different?
- What did I learn about food and body from my mother?
- Looking back over the past 16 days of writing, what patterns or understandings can I now see about myself, food, and my body?
Questions About Looking Deeper
- What do I feel stressed, guilty or angry about? What do I do with these feelings? What do I feel joyous, happy and abundant about? What do I do with these feelings?
- Where do I practice forgiveness in my life? Where could I give more?
- Write down everything in life that gives me pleasure or joy. What in my life makes me feel alive and energised?
- I feel most at peace and connected when I…..because……
- What advice would I like to give younger me?
- What advice would older me probably like to tell “now” me?
- What would it mean if I were good enough?
- Looking back over the past 24 days of writing, what patterns or understandings can I now see about the emotional side of my emotional eating?
Questions About Looking Forward
- What 3 things am I grateful for? What am I most looking forward to?
- What do I wish I’d done differently in? Why? What would be different now?
- What went super well? What is different now because of that?
- What words do I wish someone would say to me right now? How can I give that to myself this year?
- Looking back over the past 30 days of journaling, what do I now know that I didn’t before? How can I take this forward into action?