Recently, I was at the supermarket, and I picked up a green juice. It was a brand I hadn’t tried before, so I bought it and drank it while I waited at the doctor’s office.
But it got me thinking about the times in the past when I made my own green juice. Once upon a time, I didn’t drink green juice because I felt like it. I drank green juice because I was emotionally starving my body as punishment for emotional eating the night before.
Does that sound familiar?
Why are you choosing the ‘healthy’ options?
There is nothing wrong with choosing healthy, nutritious options because you want to nourish your body. I love to enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense foods, as well as a good caramel slice! But many women are choosing the healthy option for a completely different reason.
What thoughts are running through your heads when you’re making the choice?
Are you thinking, ‘I’m going to choose this because it’s nourishing, and it will help me reach my optimal health’?
Or are you thinking, ‘I’m choosing this because I want to lose weight, I feel like crap because I don’t deserve the treat option’?
You might even choose the juice as a penance in advance. You know you’ve got a few events over the weekend, or that you’ve got drinks with your friends tonight, so the juice is to ‘make up’ for a few unhealthy choices or an extra glass of wine.
What are you telling yourself about that choice?
Your inner Cookie Monster vs your inner critic
When you’re emotionally eating, your inner Cookie Monster kicks in. It tells you to go ahead and have that extra treat because you deserve it. To eat that whole bag of chips because life is short and this is one of your little pleasures. To eat that bar of chocolate at the end of the day, because it will make you feel better after you’ve dealt with so much stress.
But whether you listen to that Cookie Monster or not, this is often when your inner critic will kick in. You might call it your inner mean girl or your inner bully. It’s the voice that tells you that you don’t deserve nice things, that you’re only worthy when you reach a certain weight/size/appearance.
It’s this voice that tells you that you need to starve and deprive yourself to make up for it if you do emotionally eat. The voice that tells you that you have to follow strict fad diets to achieve your health goals.
Let’s get one thing straight. You can drink green juices until the cows come home. You can swear to live off nothing but quinoa salads and detox teas your entire life. But if you don’t sort out the chatter that goes on inside your head, it’s not going to work. You’re going to keep going between emotionally eating and emotionally starving yourself.
So how can you get started?
Pull out your journal
Get really clear on what you are telling yourself about your health journey. Write down everything you think – whether it’s mean or nice, or a mix of the two. The first step to addressing your inner dialogue is to become aware of exactly what you say to yourself.
Next, think about why you’re on this health journey. Are you following fad diets because your mother-in-law told you to lose some weight, or because your partner has been cracking fat jokes? Or is it because you want to become your best, healthiest and happiest self – whatever that looks like?
If you’re ready to start looking after yourself and end your emotional eating cycle, I’m here to help.