I recently realized that I do a lot of emotional eating. Usually heavy, dense cooked foods and sugary things and also large portions of whatever I'm eating. I often eat until I'm stuffed, but keep going because my brain wants to. I just figured out that I eat to suppress happy emotions as much as I do sad ones. I would be very protective of my food and snap at D or the girls if they asked for a bite, but I would steal food off their plates and finish their leftovers.
I eat a LOT. People have a hard time believing that because I'm 5 foot 9 and weigh 130 lbs. I have never struggled with my weight, so its hard for people to imagine that I have a problem with overeating, but I do.
So, I have been eating a diet much higher in raw foods for the last month. I am not saying that I'm "going raw" or making any commitments to the percentage raw that I eat. I have tried that before and what ends up happening is that I mess up, then feel guilty, then binge on junk because I'm feeling guilty. Now I'm just focused on eating what helps my body feel good, not any particular diet. And if I eat something that doesn't feel good, I make note of that and try to use that info next time.
A few things happened recently that changed my perspective:
I read a book called Willpower is Not Enough and it talked about focusing on your hearts desires rather than your willpower as your motivation. I made a list of my hearts desires, which included having more energy, releasing pent up emotions, feeling good in my body etc.
I realized that I am an emotional eater.
I realized that I can eat a LOT of fruit and still feel great. In fact I *need* to eat a lot of fruit and that's one reason eating raw didn't work for me before. I didn't get enough calories, and when I was still hungry I thought needed protein so I'd go for dairy or peanut butter. Now, if I am still hungry after the first 3 bananas, I have 3 more!
Right now I'm reading a book called Raw Emotions, and I have a friend who does 80/10/10 diet who is on a similar journey. I am realizing just how wrapped up my emotions are in my food. I use food to suppress emotions, but the food just causes more negative emotions like guilt which I then don't know how to deal with so I eat.
This last month I have been feeling really good! Most days my diet looks something like this:
Breakfast: Smoothie and solid fruit (5 oranges or an entire melon for example)
Lunch: Wrap or salad with greens, tomato, avocado, carrots, cucumber, apple (not always all of those things at once, I mix it up)
Snacks: more fruit or sometimes yogurt (other dairy bothers my galbladder, but yogurt has always been fine)
Dinner: This is where I might have cooked food (which I try to keep plant based, like a lightly cooked stir fry) or sometimes I have had 8-10 oranges or another salad or a fruit salad.
I never expected that raw foods would help my emotional journey so much! Releasing the toxins from my body has also cleared my mind. I think so much clearer when I have only had raw foods that day. I'm not as irritable (or I just handle it better when I am) and I don't try to avoid people so much by going on the computer or sleeping. I'm finally releasing a lot of emotions that I've buried, and learning how to identify emotions and deal with them in the moment. That's something that I have been working on for at least a year now, but its much easier when I eat raw.