Emotional eating can come in a variety of forms.
My emotional binge eating felt like it was going to be the death of me being able to reach my goals as I had gained more than 50 pounds over the course of 2 years from it.
I desperately wanted to look and most of all just feel confident in my own skin again.
I tried numerous times to only fail and gain even more in the process, but it wasn't until I made this one decision to work on it and fail forward that I was able to overcome it.
Recommended Reading: 10 Compelling Reasons to Have a Flexible Diet
My emotional eating became my story 7 years ago, but I learned how to gain control of it with working on myself and building a better relationship with food so that I could get the results that I deserved.
A little about my story
How I realized I had a problem
When I was at my lowest, I was already eating out practically every single meal each day and living off of caffeine just to get through my day. Even though I didn't realize it right away, I knew the weight was slowly increasing and my clothes were not fitting.
I was stuck in this cycle and I got to a point where I just hated how I looked in the mirror. I didn't recognize myself anymore and didn't feel confident in my own skin.
I had scrolled through Pinterest daily saving multiple pins of workouts, healthy meals, and inspiration to not use them...
Finally made the decision after I was nearing 200 pounds, to finally making some changes if I wanted to feel better in my own skin and have energy again.
It wasn't until I started to try and eat healthier that I realized it was hard... and every chance that I was upset, angry, or stressed.... I was turning to food to help me to feel better.
This put me in a constant cycle of losing 5 pounds and then gaining back 10 within a short period of time because I would fall off completely with working out and eating healthier.
What changes I made
At the beginning, I just made changes to not eat out as much and pack my food. I even bought some expensive supplements. I started with the workout program Insanity and I was ultimately determined.
However, I ended up with shingles at 19 years old. It was a shock to my system to workout as intense as I was.
I was still hungry even though I was packing healthier foods and eating those. I couldn't even tell you how much I was eating because it seemed like a lot, but I didn't have balance in my nutrition at all.
I would track some food every now and then but I couldn't stick with it at that time on top of everything else.
Overtime I slowly learned how to eat healthier and found my grocery staples for meals that I liked and how I was seeing results.
In this time I also was working on myself mentally by reading personal development books to help with my confidence and motivation to continue to show up and work for my goals.
I finally lost 50 pounds and felt amazing. I even went on to compete in my first Bodybuilding competition because now I just learned to love to challenge myself.
How it's going now
All of this lead to me becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and NASM Behavior Change in Exercise Specialist. Which in turn lead to me creating Top Knot Strong.
It became my passion to help other women through emotional eating and develop a healthy relationship with food and workouts to reach their goals in a more manageable way.
Rather than killing themselves in their workouts, eating salads every day, or starving themselves just to lose weight.
Helping 100's of women now to do just this and for that I am thankful for my journey and gaining the weight that I did.
It taught me more about discipline, how to take care of my body better, and to continually challenge myself out of my comfort zone.
How to start gaining control of your life
Be honest and make the decision
Before I could do anything, I first had to make the decision that I was going to reach my goals no matter how many times it may seem like I fail.
It's inevitable that you will fail or feel like nothing you are doing at first seems to be working. That is normal.
What matters more is how many times you get up and back to working towards you goals no matter what is thrown your way.
I was honest with myself and truly looked at what I was doing that was not getting me to where I wanted to be.
Whatever was not working was changed to something else or eliminated completely whether that was friends, habits, trigger foods, etc.
Ask yourself these questions
I am someone who likes to write things down. They just stick better for me and get ingrained into me.
As I was getting honest with myself, I asked myself these questions:
- What can I do consistently and stick to that will get me to my goals?
- What am I doing now that is not helping me to do that?
- What do I need to learn that will help me in this process?
- What foods do I want to grab when I experience wanting to binge?
- Are there healthier options that I can have?
- How can I keep myself accountable to keep making progress?
While there are a ton more that you can ask, these will help to get you started in the right direction.
Journal and Reading
This became an essential part of my life to stay on track.
Journaling how I felt and all of the emotions that I was going through at the time and reminding myself of what I was working towards and dealing with the change that I was putting myself through.
We all know changing our habits are hard to do as we have to learn to do things in a different way.
I read books that helped with confidence and my mindset for my goals. My favorite that helped me the most when I was going through the hardest part of my relationship with my ex was "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero.
Totally changed how I was viewing everything. Including myself.
Both I incorporated into my daily routine for at least 10-15 minutes as I didn't have a whole lot of extra time. It was so worth it though!
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Building a healthier relationship with food
Making a plan of action
Whatever you do, your plan should work for you.
This means it needs to fit your goals, needs, and abilities.
1. Plan out the things that you need to do daily as if you have already reached your goals. --> If I have already lost 20 pounds, how would I be living my life every single day?
2. Learn the things that you currently are not sure about. --> What things do I need to learn in order to reach my goals?
3. Start incorporating the things that you can stick to slowly. Adding something each week to start making a habit out of it. --> What can I focus on this next week and track to make it a habit in my new lifestyle?
Be forgiving with yourself
This is a learning process. So you will need to be forgiving with yourself when things didn't work the way that you wanted them too.
If it didn't work for you, reevaluate it again and again making slight changes to make it work even better for you.
I don't even expect my clients to get it right away because I know we are changing months and years of habits that they have developed. T
Those are not just going to go away overnight.
Enlist help when needed
If you struggle to make plans for yourself or stick to your plans that you have made before, it is helpful to enlist help from someone else.
Having a coach can help to reduce the stress of making your own plan, help teach you and give you the tools that will help you get to your goals, keep you accountable towards your goals, and of course save you a lot of headaches of trying to figure it out all on your own.
There is nothing with having the help. My clients have found that it was more than helpful and they have been able to get to their goals in less time than they would have done on their own.
Regardless of your current situation, you can overcome it. Emotional eating of any kind can be tricky and complex to deal with. Remember to give yourself grace through the process and never to give up.
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We share posts every single week that touches on nutrition, fitness, mindset, competition prep, and more.
Enlisting help with your nutrition became easier
Here at Top Knot Strong, I take a more balanced approach at nutrition.
Many diets restrict you of certain foods and limit the freedom you can have in order to reach your goals.
This is why I created the Top Knot Strong Tribe to help you dial in your nutrition while also addressing the areas that you struggle with.
All to help create a custom plan that will work with you and not against you in the process.
Schedule a free 15 minute consultation to go over goals, needs, and abilities to start creating a plan to fit you.