“I wish losing weight would be as easy as Shradha Kapoor taking that fat bodysuit off!” That’s me sulking while flipping channels sluggishly and munching on a bag of chips. That was my life, me and food… and more food. I had developed a habit of finding solace in eating and was in denial about it. I thought I was perfectly fine like any other normal teenager, and bingeing on high sugary snacks seemed okay to me.
Being an introvert, I kept my troubles to myself, but when I started experiencing sleep issues, I decided to seek help from my doctor.
Stop emotional eating, was the diagnosis and prescription given.
Stressed spelled backwards – DESSERTS!
The first crunchy bite of that thick scrumptious chocolate melts in my mouth, I feel its soft velvety texture, heavenly delectable, the sweet caramel burst melts my mind and body… no, it’s not a chocolate advert, this is how emotional eaters feel about food.
I used to gobble on chocolates and ice creams, followed by an episode of guilt and regret. My doctor inquired about my sleeping issues, eating habits and the reason behind my excessive weight gain. That’s how I realized: I eat in stress to de-stress myself!
Feeding your Emotions:
Emotional eating is not about satisfying hunger. Instead, it is devouring in stress or anxiety, loneliness or depression. To me, it was an urge to seek instant relief through food, and I would end up consuming double the amount I could normally eat. It was like feeding my repressed emotions!
Comfort foods are mostly high in carbohydrates and sugar that provides consolation instantly. According to HeartMath book titled Stop Emotional Eating; experts agree that 75% of obesity in kids and teens is due to emotional eating.
Have you put on weight?
Is it supposed to be a question or are you breaking news to me? The repercussions of my food indulgence appeared as I started opting for bigger sized clothes and then thanks to people who pointed out my weight gain! That made me more miserable and regretful about my obsession. Consequently, I gobbled on more to feel better.
I was caught in a very disruptive cycle. There was a feeling of low self-esteem as I couldn’t control my weight, my habits or any of my problems and was completely ignorant of its long term impact on my mind and body.
According to The Obesity Society, there are high possibilities in teens to develop Type 2 diabetes, orthopedic problems and sleep apnea. Moreover, overweight teens have a higher probability to stay obese as adults with an increasing risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer.
Identify your hunger:
There is a difference in satisfying physical hunger and emotions. Physical hunger builds up gradually and can be fulfilled with a variety of healthy foods. Go slow and its satisfaction will last longer. Being aware of how much is on the plate is nothing to worry and the guilt of consuming a lot is absent. On the other hand, emotional eating is very impulsive and only specific food items comfort people; chocolate, ice cream and a variety of high calorie junk. The satisfaction is temporary and the urge to devour rises again even though the body is not asking for it.
Food for thought:
Please don’t let that that heavy garb of helplessness and misery cling forever. Take it off, and stand up determined! Emotional eating is not a therapy; it’s a short term relief making you more reckless towards the self. Teenage life comes with a whole lot of drama, and dragging it unnecessarily may only hinder the opportunities life has kept in for people. Instead of looking for solutions in that bag of Doritos, it is time to take the mind and body seriously!