In my work I encounter many issues around emotional eating. Some clients feel the need to fill the “empty hole” inside in order to feel, safe, cared for and protected. This pattern may have been established when they were very young, and definitely served a purpose at the time. Behavior always makes sense, so in this case the young child learned that “when I eat, things will be alright”. This pattern can continue for 20, 30 or 40 years. It goes beyond intellect, weight loss knowledge or simple behavior change.
The truth is in our belly, our core, our middle. That’s why diets fail over and over again. When the true underlying emotional issue is not addressed, then dieting, exercising and counting calories can never be the solution. The good news is that it is never too late to “mother” yourself and tell the scared child inside of you that things will be okay, that he or she is safe and protected. The adult part of you can learn to protect the little one, so to speak. In therapy that is called “inner child” work and is the most valuable tool if you are an emotional eater.
Be as gentle and caring with that part of yourself that needs reassurance and support. This is a longer therapeutic process, which will lead to freedom from emotional eating.
From my heart to yours, be good to yourself.