Today I want to share with you a little bit more about the triggers that you might come across this holiday season as an emotional eater.
This time of year is especially potent for triggers. It’s the holidays, it’s super busy, there’s a lot of stress, a lot of get togethers, and a lot of food. It’s a lot! There can be a lot of triggers into your emotional eating. It gets very busy and chaotic.
Emotional eating is what we do whenever we want to soothe ourselves from any discomfort or distress that comes up in our life. It’s a coping mechanism which means we don’t deal with what is at the root.
So if year after year you find you’re just emotionally eating more and more around the holidays and times of stress or you gear up for that diet in January, it’s important that you start noticing what your triggers are.
Triggers are just the starting point to accessing what might be going on for your emotional eating. It is a key and important area inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. When I work with clients, a big part of the program is noticing when we’re triggered into our emotional eating.
A great way to see when you’re triggered into emotional eating is when you are feeling out of control around food. When you’re going towards food or obsessing about food. That’s going to give us an indicator of something else that is going on under the surface.
There are different types of triggers that could be happening this time of year. I’m going to outline them according to the different phases of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. So this will be around the themes of food (True Nourishment), Body (body acceptance) and Emotions (emotional wellness).
So around True Nourishment, how you can be triggered into emotional eating is that if you haven’t really resolved the underlying emotional eating pattern and you are exposed to more food and treats. You might find yourself blindly eating out of social anxiety, out of just eating in a way that’s not truly nourishing your body.
You might decide to starve yourself for the first part of the day and then you’re triggered into more bingeing. Because there’s more stress and people around, you may use food to cope with the overwhelm.
What you can do…
So around this time of year, because of the high stress and because of just an exposure to so much more different types of foods, you might feel you can’t control everything. It’s not about controlling externally. It’s about really going deeper into the pattern you have around food.
If you’re using food to soothe and you’re in uncomfortable social situations with food, you’re going to be eating more and more of the food unless you start creating a healthier relationship to the food. You’ll need to be actively digging in and resolving that emotional eating pattern under the surface.
You might try to avoid social settings as well. It’s not about avoidance. Once you heal your emotional eating pattern, you won’t have to avoid social settings with food because you’ll be able to have a healthier relationship to it.
The second area is all around your body. Because at this time of the year there’s so much going on, there’s more stress. You might push aside the rituals that your body needs because you’re short on time. You might not be having the movement that you need or the rest that you need.
You might be feeling out of control with food and become extreme with exercise. You might say to yourself “I ate too much, I’m going to punish myself, or push myself at the gym” which is unhealthy.
That negative self-talk about your body starts triggering emotional eating. Instead of really noticing what your body needs day to day your fill up your day which is extreme. This is going to stress your body out.
Any increase in stress disrupts our mood and pushes us into the emotional eating patterns. This is a time of a lot of stress. We might have a lot of physical stress. We might be pushing past our limits.
If there are get togethers and staying up later than we normally would, this is going to push us into more emotional eating and more hunger cues.
The third area is all around emotional wellness and this is going to be the most important area. What are we doing with those uncomfortable emotions that come up? Are we just stuffing them with food when we’re around family, friends or just more people in general?
There’s just so much going on. I see this time and time again – a lot of busy schedules so there is no time to acknowledge and see what emotions are coming up and triggering emotional eating.
Again, emotional eating is when we have any discomfort or distress coming up, and we go towards food to soothe. In these moments where we might be triggered more emotionally we don’t know what to do with it. So we reach for food whether it’s around us or not.
This puts us back into the shame spiral of feeling out of control. We need to be actively working on resolving that pattern. The deeper root pattern of the emotional eating is usually the result of unresolved trauma that lives in our body. We need to resolve it at this level. When we’re able to do that, then we can move through the pattern and be better able to handle those triggering emotional situations because we know how to move through it. We weren’t modelled how to be with our emotions and our discomfort and we needed to cope and use food as a band aid.
Tis the season for triggers
There’s more things to do, there’s more people, there’s just more triggers in general, there’s more food, there’s just so much more pushing the limits. This is going to push us into our emotional eating pattern even more. There are many triggers and becoming more and more aware of your triggers is a great first step.
When my clients work through The Emotional Eating Evolution Program before the holidays, or they’re in the program during the holidays, they move through the holidays with so much more ease. They’re more connected to their body and their emotions.
Life is going to happen. There are going to be situations and get togethers. We want to have the tools to be able to move through that effortlessly. Clients don’t feel out of control and they don’t feel like they did in previous years.
What they’re doing at this deeper level is resolving this pattern. They’re not waiting for the holidays to come to trigger them. They’re actively committing to resolving the pattern from the root. They’re not looking for a tip or a trick.
There’s no tip or trick that’s going to get you out of emotional eating.
There’s no magic bullet or pill. It’s a process. And as we move through it, you’re going to feel more empowered and able to better handle these situations. And so you’re not going to be running to the gym or the latest diet in January. You’re going to already have all the tools in place.
And so this is why The Emotional Eating Evolution Program is so amazing for clients, because they have so much support, they have guidance, they have a step by step plan, they have accountability and they have the tools and the support to go deeper into the pattern. So they resolve it at the root. So it’s not running the show, it’s not running their life, it’s not controlling them. They can enjoy these times of the year, these holidays, these get togethers vacations, and feel good about it.
If you haven’t been resolving your emotional eating, don’t wait to be triggered during the holidays. Be pro active about it. Have a plan in place. Have support in place so that you can move through the holidays with so much more ease and not let yourself be at the whim of what’s going on, of your old patterns, of the old way of yoyoing in and out of the situation and then feeling awful in the new year.
That’s not a great way to start the new year.
So if what I’m saying is resonating with you and you do recognize you get all of these different triggers around the holidays, I would love to invite you to check out more about The Emotional Eating Evolution Program.
We move through these triggers, we help you resolve them and give you the tools to really move forward in a powerful way so that you start feeling confident and at ease in your body and around food. You’re not derailed even during such a busy time. You can find out more about the program HERE.
To ease around food and in your body,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist + Emotional Eating Expert