Emotional Eating - An Analogy That Sums it Up
If your child came up to you panicked and crying would you ever think of handing them a donuts and sending them away.
Most parents would say, "No, that would be cruel.
" More likely, you'd ask them what happened, did someone hurt them, are they okay? You might see what you could do to help.
Take them in your arms.
Reassure them in some way.
Rub their back, wipe their tears or smooth their hair.
You'd hear them out and at the end, they might even laugh and hug you in gratitude.
With the hurt gone, they can go about playing again.
When you eat to comfort yourself, you're basically giving the hurt person in you a piece of food and sending them away.
Sure, if you gave the child the donuts, they might forget their problem for a few minutes, they might even quiet down.
But they wouldn't really be heard.
They wouldn't learn how to problem solve.
They wouldn't feel connected.
Some parents, with good intention, give their kids food when they're upset.
After all, we all start with putting the crying baby to our breasts but we may keep offering food because we haven't learned new and better ways to be there for them.
The next time you're tempted to eat out of comfort, PAUSE, there is a hurt child inside you that needs you.
She is trying to tell you something.
Stop to ask her what's going on for her.
Don't shut her up with food, hear her out and offer her real comfort instead.