Flooded with Feelings


flooding with emotionsWith the massive flooding which occurred in Vermont, I have been listening to the myriad of feelings about the damage from “I feel so lucky” to “It has been so devastating.”

Emotional Eating: Coping With Food

The muddy waters and pouring rains of Irene have inundated our state, but Green Mountain at Fox Run up on the hill was unscathed. What has happened in Vermont is similar to the experience of noticing what drives emotional eating.

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Overwhelming Fear and Fat Feelings[end-div]Many woman tell me that they have been using food to cope for years and the mere suggestion of exploring the underneath feelings leads to fears of being flooded which can lead to emotional eating.

Unstructured Journaling: Explore Your Undercurrent Of Feelings

Unlike our experience with Irene where there was no way to hold back the tide of the flood, getting to know the underneath feelings can be  approached at your own pace and time.

A mindful tool which can help get started with feelings so as not to feel flooded is structured or unstructured journaling.

4 Journaling Prompts To Get You Started

[step]1[/step] One guess I have about the knot in my stomach is …

[step]2[/step] If I could see inside my heart one thing I might see is …

[step]3[/step] Sometimes just before I go to sleep I …

[step]4[/step] If I was talking to someone about the flatness I feel I would say…

Take Small Steps To Prevent Your Feelings From Flooding You

Small steps, instead of letting the feelings flood you, is a way to start getting to know how and why you might use food to cope.

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Balance: The Plate Model for Food and Soul[end-div]For example, remember that in little kid language the 4 feelings are Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared. Any guesses about which feeling might be closer to the surface for you?

Try journaling and let us know about your experience.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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