Valentine’s Day Inspired Emotional Eating: Step Away From The Chocolate

step away from the chocolateIn a military family, Valentine’s Day might quite possibly be one of the most depressing holiday ever. There’s a 50/50 chance your loved one won’t be around. Seems like the military has a knack for keeping couples separated during almost any holiday, doesn’t it?

Coping mechanisms can run the gamut, from throwing a ladies only party, to celebrating with the kids, to downing all the chocolate and ice cream in a 5-mile radius and washing it down with a few bottles of wine at home.

Better known as: Emotional Eating.

It’s one of those dirty little secrets that almost everyone has.

No one likes to admit that they’re an emotional eater, but how many times do you hear someone say they NEED (x food/drink) because they’re stressed?

News flash#1: Stress eating = emotional eating.

We eat because we feel like we’re not good enough, or we’re sad, or we’re depressed, or we’re angry.

We eat because someone called us a name or was mean to us or we feel lonely or because the kids just drew all over the bedroom walls with permanent marker.

Sometimes we even eat so we won’t cry. How messed up is that?

News flash #2: Using food to fill a void is like using a band-aid on an amputation.

It just doesn’t work.

Sure, that cupcake or chocolate bar will make you feel better for the moment, but later … later the guilt will set in. You’ll be disappointed in yourself and feel bad for “giving in” to your craving. And then you’ll reach for food to fill the void that disappointment has created.

And the vicious cycle begins.

News flash #3: Emotional Eating Does Not Erase Emotions

That box of chocolates is NOT going to make the sadness of being away from your husband go away.

Instead of using food as a reward or a security blanket, turn your attention to things that might actually make you happy.

Try buying yourself flowers, renting your favorite movie, picking up a new book, indulging in your favorite magazine, getting a manicure/pedicure, etc.

Now, put down the ice cream, step away from the chocolates and do something nice for yourself. Stop beating yourself up because you feel bad. Feeling bad is just that – another feeling. Acknowledge it like you would a stranger on the street and keep on going.

Keep the wine, though. #priorities

Are you spending Valentine’s Day solo?  What are your plans?  Share them with us!

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