Filling the Void With Food: Emotional Eating


How many of us have used food to pacify feelings of loneliness and boredom. Now's the time to stop.

Several years ago I found myself standing in my food pantry scanning the shelves, intently looking for something. I’d had a good lunch and I was not at all hungry. What was I doing there then? For some reason that particular pantry raid stuck with me. I started thinking about what I was doing to myself with food and asking why was I doing it?

After some internal work, it came to me. I was filling a void with food. I was lonely, bored and unfulfilled – yeah, the big 3; even though I had a loving partner, a full time job, great friends and two grown kids. This is where I had a choice; do I want to continue the pattern of piling food on top of my feelings or do I choose to look at my feelings and deal directly with those. It should have been an easy choice – but as anyone who has struggled with emotional eating knows, it’s a very tough habit and cycle to break.

If you think about it, you will NEVER have enough food to erase your feelings; they’re a part of you. And unfortunately for those struggling with loneliness and boredom, adding more calories and food into your diet will only make it worse. One of the important realizations I made was that I needed to tell someone. I instinctually knew I could not process it all alone. If I tried, I would not make the changes necessary to change the cycle I was in. I hired a wonderful professional to help me and it helped.

The experience started me on a journey of addressing things in my life that needed changing. I was living the majority of my life feeling totally UNDERwhelmed. I needed to connect with people in a much more meaningful way than my 8-5 office manager job allowed and I wanted (and needed) to be stimulated and challenged in learning and discovering. Major pieces of me were not being fed. If you think of the phrase, “What fills you up?” well, I was running on empty. If this resonates with you, than you too have a choice. When you are ready to take a look at the “why?” and the “now what”? , I’d love to help.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.