Why You Can’t Stop Eating When You Are Sad

Have a cookie. It will make you feel better.

How many times have you been offered food when you are sad with the promise it will make you feel better? I bet you can’t even count. It is a practice introduced to us when we are very young and we carry it into adulthood.

Something goes wrong and instead of embracing the negative feelings that come up, we distract ourselves with something to eat.

Before I learned how to allow food in my life as a source of fuel I turned to it all the time to comfort me. This was especially true when things were hard, or uncomfortable, or if I was sad. Rather than feel I would eat. A lot. The more intense the emotion, the more I would try to mask it by filling my belly.

Temporarily that would work until the sugar high or buzz wore off. I would then be reminded that the feeling remained and the more I ran from it, the longer it persisted.

When I finally decided to stop running from how I felt and truly face difficult feelings, I learned how to let go of thinking that food would fix whatever was wrong. Thinking that food would make me feel better only perpetuated the cycle of me eating to feel better.

So, if you are in this cycle yourself, here is what I have to offer you. The first step to not eating to feel better is to be honest with yourself about why you are sad. Your sadness comes from the things you are thinking and the stories you are telling yourself. Thinking awful things and telling yourself awful stories? The sadness will continue to persist. Get clear on why you are sad. Narrow in on the thoughts that are not serving you. Once you identify them you bring awareness to them and you can learn to let them go.

Then, because your sadness is created with your mind, it can be fixed with your mind as well. Placing the source of your joy or comfort in food will always have you reaching for that cookie or those fries. Learning to create a source of comfort for yourself that comes from within will help you not turn to food to fix whatever is wrong. Instead, you will know that you can handle anything that comes up, no matter how awful it might feel.

Learn how to do this for free on one of my free strategy sessions. In just 25 minutes you can have one tool that will help you for the rest of your life to overcome overeating.  Sign up now to learn how to permanently let go of having food be your main source of comfort.