Please don’t remove the emotion from your eating

The words “emotional eating” have assumed a negative charge like few other. They conjure up images of collapsing onto the kitchen floor with a gallon of ice cream, or ugly crying while smashing potato chips into our pie holes.
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I understand the fear around emotional eating – the terror of that chaotic feeling and what it portends, the general disdain for unrestrained emotions and undisciplined eating, feeling out of control. It is scary and this type of eating is something to pay attention to. It’s actually quite workable. Especially when emotions aren’t a problem.
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Chaotic emotional eating is just one small slice of our emotional eating selves. Eating, as far as I am concerned, should be emotional (but I guess I think everything is emotional).
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It’s emotional to feel hunger and not know if you will have enough. It’s emotional to be sick and want to feel cared for with a bowl of soup. It’s emotional to eat the dishes generations of your family have eaten. To eat to mark a celebration or mourn a passing. To soothe a broken heart (yes, you can consciously choose to eat in this particular emotional way to comfort yourself and you won’t be breaking any Intuitive Eating laws).
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So please don’t take the emotion out of your eating. Know that chaotic “emotional eating” is something to be worked with (rather than against) while learning to experience the full range of your emotions (have I mentioned how wonderful meditation is in supporting us to do this? Oh, I have?) so that you can enjoy the full spectrum of emotional eating.