Stop Emotional Eating Even When the Sh#$%t is Hitting the Fan


Negative self talk, body hate, and being overwhelmed are common feelings for women who use food to cope.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that anything can change, that you can stop emotional eating, that you can change your eating patterns. We use food in so many different ways, but one we have been discussing at  Green Mountain at Fox Run recently is using food to manage stress.  We live in a climate of stimulation, busyness, never enough, the faster the better.

So when all the sh#@%t hits the fan — too much stress, feeling fat, and stuck at home — what is there to do? 

Tune into your thinking and move into the mindful moment.  Many women tell me that they just don’t have any energy to take action on behalf of themselves.  They have given all their life juice to work or to others or to anything but themselves.

Here are some strategies that allow you to feel good in the moment, even when the sh**&$t is hitting the fan….

  • Take a deep belly-filling breath…then take another one.
  • With intention, wash your hands to self soothe.
  • Change your thinking…say Even when everything feels bad, I can notice one thing new, and appreciate one small success today.
  • Add compassionate talk…say May I be kind to myself in this moment.

The last time you experienced a stressful time, what did you do to feel better in the moment?

2 responses to “Stop Emotional Eating Even When the Sh#$%t is Hitting the Fan”

  1. Victoria says:

    Great post, Darla. I’ve found that being mindful about what emotion I’m feeling is a great first step to realizing what is it that I need to give myself- instead of mindless eating. Am I upset about something or am I feeling bored? Or is it frustration? I know if I’m upset, I’d be much better off calling my sister or a friend, instead of opening the fridge door and looking for something to munch on, like I used to do. Being more mindful means allowing myself to feel that emotion and perhaps letting it pass before I mindlessly try to regulate it by stuffing it down with food. Now, as I’m more mindful, I notice less anxiety and more confidence with food – less fear.
    If I know I’m going to get home late from the office, I make sure I have dinner early, as eating later in the evening has been a problem for me in the past. Sometimes I bring a dinner with me if I know I’ll be working late. Breakfast and lunch seem easier to plan. Being organized prevents stress around what and where I’m going to eat dinner. Having a healthy restaurant meal earlier is so much better for me than a home cooked meal late in the evening.

  2. […] I believe that any of us who have used food to cope also have challenges staying grounded. We tend to feel things very deeply and can get easily overwhelmed by feeling “too much,” by trying to pull it all together, by putting all sorts of pressure on ourselves to keep it all together, which is generally a pretty tall order. Add to this any big changes and the stress becomes overwhelming. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

View Author Page