Emotional Hunger

 

“You are bored, not hungry”

 

I keep telling myself this every time I feel like I want to eat. Yes, every time I like to eat and not hungry. Eating is a fun activity for me. I view it as something to do and not for what it is meant to be, nourishment.

With my anxiety attacks, eating was an escape for me. Back in Manila, I would go out late at night and go to McDonald’s and order a double cheeseburger with fries and coffee. I used eating as an excuse to feel better but I never did. I will go home sadder than I was originally because I’m fat, spent money on food I don’t need and still feel something is missing.

I was loved as a kid. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t abused or anything. People sometimes call me “spoiled” because they thought that I was given everything I need. So my excessive eating is not because I wasn’t loved as a kid. I just love to eat. This is not hunger for love.

My battle with weight loss is mainly emotional. I eat when bored, I eat when sad, I eat when happy. It was maybe because our Filipino culture. We always have food on any occasion be it a happy or a sad one like a funeral. We often kill pigs and cows when we have funeral to feed the mourners. When my father died, we held the wake for 5 long nights. We feed the visitors from morning to late nights. I don’t see Americans doing it at least not when my step grandfather passed away.

I don’t want want to blame my culture or other people for why I’m fat. This is just my way of finding out why some people are healthier than I am. What did I do differently?

Now that I’m aware that I am an emotional eater, I constantly ask myself this question every time I like to eat:

“Am I physically hungry?”

“Am I bored?”

It maybe very elementary to ask these questions but my mind needs constant reminder to keep myself from grabbing a piece of cake and shoving it in my mouth. As I believe that I was trained into emotional eating, I’m now training myself to eat for nourishment.

 

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