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Old 11-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #1
Beeb
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The Profile of an Emotional Eater

For those of us who binge or have a less than healthy relationship with food this article was very interesting and informative. Hope this may help others like me.

From the Shrink Yourself Website:

Everyone who eats for emotional reasons is unique but we can learn something from the things Emotional Eaters share in common. That's why we did a survey of 25,000 people who identified themselves as Emotional Eaters and asked them some very pointed questions. This is the largest survey in the literature on the subject of, and reveals something significant.

A very clear profile emerged from this survey. The Emotional Eater shares some of the same positive reasons that all people have when they want to lose weight: to be more attractive, fit into clothes better, to be healthy, and to have more energy. However, the Emotional Eater wants much more to happen when they lose weight. They want their life to be better; not just their body.

Emotional Eaters said that losing weight would help with their self-esteem, would have them stop criticizing themselves, would stop food from being a conflict in their life, and would help them control their moodiness, depression, or anxiety. Emotional Eaters may not realize what their answers indicate. They hope that losing weight will make them more complete psychologically. However, diets fail them because the solution happens in reverse. They have to become more psychologically complete in order to lose weight. The Emotional Eater must establish a new relationship to food.

The survey revealed this flip side of Emotional Eating. Emotional Eaters are afraid to let food go. Their answers exposed that while they wanted to lose weight, an equally big part of them wanted to hold on to food because it was the only way to stop feeling empty inside, because it made them feel better about their regrets and unfulfilled potential, and because it provided the perfect quick escape when the stress of life became too much. They saw food as a symbolic protector, loved the feeling that junk food gave them, and didn't want anybody to try to stop them from eating as much as they wanted. This is why the Emotional Eater yo-yo diets; they're afraid to give up the comfort of food (it has nothing to do with gluttony or lack of willpower).

These survey results are totally consistent with what we have seen in individuals over the years. Emotional Eating makes it impossible to lose weight and keep it off despite good intentions. Food has become so much more than a tasty treat. It has become a cure-all; something with magical properties that makes people feel great. It takes hard work to give up the magic and have to learn more effective ways to handle the tension of life. The Emotional Eater must learn to let food go psychologically and then they can lose weigh.
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A man asked Gautama Buddha, "I want happiness." Buddha said, "First remove "I," that's Ego, then remove "want," that's Desire. See now you are left with only "Happiness.”
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