Hi there! I am sure you read the title and maybe thought: "What does she mean?". Let me explain!
Have you ever been in the car on the way home from a long, stressful day of work (or anything similar) and thought: "You know what sounds good? FRENCH FRIES!", or something similar (like chips, or popcorn, or anything else in the salty and/or sweet category). I am with you! For some of us, when we feel stressed, exhausted, or just plain over it, we tend to reach for either salty or sugary foods. These foods are usually deep fried, covered in butter and salt, or loaded with sugar. Trust me when I say, I have been very, very guilty of giving into these impulses.
Have you ever noticed that, normally, when these thoughts/cravings come up, you aren't even that hungry? That's where, I believe, emotional hunger comes into play.
These are often questions I ask my members when they struggle with driving home and not giving into these cravings by going to one of the billion (I'm over exaggerating, but you get my point) drive thru fast food joints our wonderful country provides us with. "When was the last time you ate?", "were you even hungry, if you really, really think about it?", etc.
Sometimes the messages our body sends us are confusing. Sometimes it is just"easier" to listen to what it is telling us on the surface: I'm HUNGRY! We feel something, but aren't sure how to fix/cure the feeling.
These things that we do are called coping mechanisms. Let's break this down a little bit: You've had a really long, stressful (maybe, maybe not) day at work. Often when we feel emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted, it's not really the food itself we are craving: it is the comfort that the food brings us. "Comfort food" is different for all of us (like I said, salty or sweet usually). But what if, instead of trying to find comfort in food, we decide to do something different. WHAT IF, and play along with me here, WHAT IF we try find comfort in a nice phone call, or a coffee with, or a hug from a friend or loved one? What if we go for a nice long walk and listen to a podcast/playlist we like? Go to a yoga/exercise class? Take a nice hot epsom salt bath with candles and the whole shebang?! See where I am going with this?
Often we aren't actually hungry for the food, but for an emotional connection, with someone else or with ourselves. So, next time you feel this overwhelming craving for these kinds of comfort foods, give this a try! I am not saying deprive yourself from these foods entirely (we all know depriving yourself never turns out well). But, I DARE YOU TO TRY! See what happens. See what you learn about yourself by, in a way, be your subject in this wild experiment. Let me know how it goes!
Thank you again so much for being here.
I hope you are very, very well.