Try Boxing to Manage Emotional Eating


Understanding and managing emotional eating is a complex process.  At Green Mountain at Fox Run we discuss the four big feelings: mad, sad, glad and scared (to use little kid language) and how unexpressed feelings can  trigger emotional eating.

Mad (angry, frustrated, annoyed, pissed off) is probably the most difficult feeling for women to express. Especially women who have been taught to be nice and to take care of others feeling and discount their own.

In class recently, two women were talking about discovering the wonders of boxing in regards to expressing anger.

Life is full of frustration that we often manage with food and so finding ways to let the anger out is really important.

Boxing gives you a safe and structured way to release built up feelings.  The side benefit of adding boxing to your life is that it exercises the whole body. Punching and sparring improve balance, strength and flexibility.  You can get a full body work out and have an outlet for your frustration, anger and even aggression all at the same time.

There are many different kinds of boxing. For first time experimenters, Wii boxing is a place to start.  But for those who are aware of their anger and finding that stuffing food and eating emotionally is an attempt to manage anger, boxing at a gym or a club can help you direct the frustration out of you.

For some women who use food to cope, anxiety is a more familiar feeling than anger. Oftentimes, anxiety is the feeling that covers anger.  Anxiety or fear can be generated when you don’t feel safe. Helplessness and vulnerability add to the anxiety. Boxing can empower you physically, teach you specific self defense moves and create an outlet for emotional build up.

If you consider boxing as a tool in your stress management kit, consult your doctor and talk to a trainer who understands the concept of boxing to manage feelings and reduce stress.

What is your personal reaction to the idea of boxing?  How might boxing help you?

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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