Do you eat your emotions?

Do you eat your emotions?

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

You eat your emotions? This sounds like a strange question, right. It also means do you eat when you are lonely, angry, tired, sad, happy, or overwhelmed. I am not talking about occasionally eating over your emotions, I mean often. 

Emotional eating (or stress eating) is using food to make yourself feel better, eating to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. … And you often feel worse than you did before because you feel angry with yourself and you have not addressed true hunger with food.

Recently, I asked my community what their challenges with food were and what they wanted me to talk about.  One hundred percent of the people polled said they needed to hear more about emotional eating.

Interestingly, when I talk to people about emotional eating, initially they do not think they are an emotional eater.

They think they just eat because they have not found the right diet or they just like food too much. Once we talk about the ins and outs of emotional eating they resonate with the concept.

This occurred so much that I created the Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz (you can take the quiz here).

One way to determine if you are an emotional eater is to start noticing when do you eat. This can be extremely hard to do. If you have a history of eating mindlessly then noticing feelings that lead to overeating is exceedingly difficult. 

Another way to determine if you are an emotional eater is to look at what you are saying to yourself about food. Do you criticize yourself about your food choices and say they are “good or bad foods”? These thoughts engage the part of your brain that wants to stay stuck. Really food is food, there is no good or bad food. 

Emotional eating also comes when we eat from emotional hunger, not physical hunger. I have talked on the Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast and in my blog about the Four Hungers. 

I think it can be helpful to know the basics of the different kinds of hunger, so you can start noticing what might be leading you to overeat. 

Basically, the Four Hungers are: 

  • Tummy Hunger- the feeling of hunger in your stomach.
  • Heart Hunger- this is the emotional hunger. 
  • Mouth Hunger- the yearning for the taste of a certain food.
  • Head Hunger- the thoughts of food in your head. 

As I stated before we are an emotional eater, we mistake emotional hunger for physical hunger. Responding to emotions for our clues to eat, will generally lead us to overeat. 

What is the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger?

*Emotional hunger can be strong and can feel overpowering. It’s so easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for to help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart. Start noticing what your body feels like when you are physically hungry. Some of my clues are my tummy grumbles, low energy, mood starts to dip. 

*Emotional hunger strikes you suddenly. Bam! It hits you quickly and it feels overwhelming and urgent. 

Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more gradually, if you are paying attention to it. The urge to eat doesn’t feel as dire or demand instant satisfaction (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).

*Emotional hunger generally turns into mindless eating. You will tend to eat to overfull before you even notice what you are doing. You might have an agreement with yourself that you will only have one or a little, but you end up eating it all.

I hear stories all the time (this is my story too) where you have a container of ice cream and it is gone in one sitting. When you are eating for physical hunger, you can feel in control, conscious and empowered with food. 

*When eating from emotional hunger you do not feel satisfied when you are full. You will notice you are full, but not want to stop. This is when we say, “It tastes so good, I did not want to stop.”  

When eating from physical hunger, you don’t need to get overfull, because you feel physically satisfied. You have satisfied the physical hunger. You cannot satisfy emotional hunger with food.

*Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach. It is a sense of overwhelm and you cannot get the thought of eating out of your head. You feel compelled to eat, not matter what your physical hunger might say. You cannot talk yourself out of it.

Physical hunger is grumbling in your tummy or a hunger pain. You physically feel this type of hunger, it is not emotional. 

Now that you have learned more about emotional eating it can be time to take some action. Here is a step to take NOW:

I know that overeating can be a tough problem and the solution takes one step at a time. The first step is to take the Am I an Emotional Eater quiz. After you have taken the quiz, look at the questions you have said yes to.  Could it be that you are an emotional eater? If the answer is, yes, congratulations you are moving in the direction of peace with food.

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster, and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. 

She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. Listen to the podcast focused on emotional eating here

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz at https://kimmclaughlin.influencersoft.com/FYSU-EE

How to Find Happiness

How to Find Happiness

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Could you use more happiness? Is there actually a way to be happier? 

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she challenges us to look at happiness and see what we can do to boost it. Gretchen engages her readers in different concepts each month to build a stronger foundation of happiness.

In her first chapter, she focuses on how to find happiness. Her happiness project is fun and helps us explore the idea of happiness and how to increase it. 

Happiness is the state of being happy, a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Do you know that 1.2 billion people are looking up happiness on the internet? This tells me that lots of people are trying to find more happiness.

Not sure how happy you really are? One way to determine your happiness is to take the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H).

Subjective Happiness Scale

For each of the following statements and/or questions, please circle the point on the scale that you feel is most appropriate in describing you. 

  1. In general, I consider myself: 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Not very happy                 very happy  

  1. Compared to most of my peers, I consider myself: 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Less happy                     more happy 

  1. Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life regardless of what is going on, getting the most out of everything. To what extent does this characterization describe you? 

1     2    3     4     5     6    

Not happy at all                 Very happy 

  1. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extent does this characterization describe you? 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Not at all                     a great deal.

*Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validationSocial Indicators Research, 46, 137-155. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.

Taking that quiz can be an eye opener to how happy you are. How did you score? Did you notice in some ways you are not happy or not as happy as you want to be?

Gretchen Rubin spends time in each of her chapters looking at how to increase happiness. I think you will find the ideas presented are helpful to boost happiness.

One way to increase happiness is to boost your energy, which entails increasing some basic shifts in your life.

First, go to sleep earlier.

Focus on getting 8 hours of sleep. Truthfully, many of us are sleep deprived. Here are some ways to get better sleep:

  1. Turn off electronics.
  2. Make the room dark.
  3. Keep the room cold. 

Second, exercise better (this is a term Gretchen uses)

She talks about being more efficient in your exercise/movement. I am really a just do it kind of girl. There are many hacks I try to use: 

  1. First, I call it movement. I find many people are turned off to “exercising” because they have felt so much shame over their lives about their weight and body image. 
  2. Second, I put it in my calendar. I actually have my gym time in my schedule. I find it is hard skipping a day when it is in my calendar.
  3. Third, my movement is fun. Yes, it is fun. I make it a goal to find movement that is enjoyable. We are physical beings in a physical body that does require us to have some form of movement. Do what is fun!

Third, get rid of the clutter: toss, restore, organize:

Look around and see what type of clutter you have. 

  1. Nostalgic clutter 
  2. Conservation clutter 
  3. Nostalgic clutter
  4. Bargain clutter
  5. Freebie clutter
  6. Crutch clutter 
  7. Aspirational clutter
  8. Outgrown clutter
  9. Buyer’s remorse clutter

This clutter can make you feel energetically stuck. See where your clutter is and find a way to either toss, restore or organize. You will feel more energy from it.

Fourth, tackle a nagging project.

What is an unfinished task that is nagging at you? We all have them and they help us to remain energetically stuck. I have some craft project that I either need to finish or get rid of. What about you?

Fifth, just act more energetic.

Putting out energy or effort does increase energy. I find action creates more action. It is a physical phenomenon. 

Lastly, listen to the Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast focused on Finding Happiness

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1056343/3583681-36-finding-happiness

Getting happier is a goal I can get behind. It makes me feel good. What can you do today to get happier? 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz at https://kimmclaughlin.influencersoft.com/FYSU-EE

Wellness Tool #2 Journaling with prompts

Wellness Tool #2 Journaling with prompts

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

After blogging and podcasting about journaling as a wellness tool, I started to journal more! I find that when I start to talk about a tool, I tend to use them more myself. 

The technique I spoke about was a favorite journaling tool called Morning Pages.

I learned about this tool years ago through the work of Julia Cameron in her book The Artist Way she describes one of her daily practices called The Morning Pages. 

Here are some basic tenants to the practice:

  • Write in your journal daily.
  • Write 3 pages in your journal.
  • Handwritten journaling, no computer
  • Write upon waking, in the morning.
  • Write without stopping: no cross outs, no need for accurate punctuation, just keep the pen moving.

Today, I want to talk about another journaling practice that I love which is more of a creative writing process that I learned from writing retreats that I have taken with Laura Davis. Laura is an extraordinary writer and cowrote the seminal book on childhood sexual abuse called The Courage to Heal.

Here are some writing guidelines that I learned from retreats with Laura and from other sources:

Here are some ways to get started:

  • First, your journal does not have to be pretty. I have been known to buy very inexpensive spiral bound journals at the local store. I like them because they are spiral bound, and I can turn the pages easily. This is important to me, because I like to write with one page in front of me and these journals fold into one side. I have a harder time journaling on a hard bound journal where the two sides are open.   
  • Second, keep your inner thinking private. I make it clear to my family that my journal is private and they do not open it. I want to be able to put out all that I am thinking, and I do not want to have to temper what I say. This is not a journal that I plan to share with others.  
  • Thirdly, set a really small reasonable period of time to write, 10 minutes, everyone has 10 extra minutes. Laura Davis introduced me to the 10-minute writing idea. It is a short period of time and you really can express A LOT in that amount of time. She also encouraged us to keep the pen moving and keep writing.   
  • Lastly, you do not need to share everything you write with friends, spouse or family. This is your private inner life that does not, necessarily need to be shared.  

One of the greatest gifts I received from my writing retreats with Laura Davis was learning to just write the worst crap ever written. I found that was so freeing and my number one rule when I write in my journal.

I find that writing allows me access to the deeper and positive parts of myself. 

One technique that Laura taught was journaling through answering a question. The idea is you take one question and answer it until nothing else come to you. Then you start a new paragraph and write the question again and answer it until nothing else comes. Then you write the question again and keep writing until nothing else comes to you. 

This pattern of answering the question on different paragraphs took me to a deeper level of myself.

Here are some examples of questions you could use in your journaling:

  • I feel most free when I…
  • I am most afraid…
  • My fears keep me from…
  • I love myself most when I…
  • My childhood kitchen was…

This type of journaling is different than others and brings up greater self-awareness, which for me is why I journal. 

Once I got over the idea that my writing had to be written with others in mind, I felt freer to just write and explore what was inside of me. I encourage you to try this style of journaling and see what it does for you. 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz at https://kimmclaughlin.influencersoft.com/FYSU-EE

I have the tool for you.

I have the tool for you.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

I have been focused on wellness A LOT lately. I have found that 1 year into the pandemic, I have felt worn out. It feels like all the difficulty of the year has caught up with me. Many of you have told me the same thing. 

One of my favorite wellness tools is writing and journaling. I use a couple of different techniques for my journaling. Years ago, I came upon an extraordinary book, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. 

This week’s Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast is called: 

Wellness Tool #1: Journaling

In this episode we are looking at the value of journaling and we will:

  • Identify 5 key components to a productive journaling practice.
  • Explore 5 barriers to journaling. 
  • Learn the 4 (and more) benefits to journaling and how you can get started.

Have a listen to the program and please leave a comment, it helps our podcast get found by others. 

Here’s to using our tools.

Peace,

Kim

P.S. Have you checked out Emotional Eating Solutions Self Study? It is an affordable way to get a handle on overeating to have peace with food. 

Check it out: https://feedyoursoulunlimited.com/emotional-eating-solutions-self-study/

Good Morning Starshine- Morning Routine

Good Morning Starshine- Morning Routine

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

This week I am considering how we start our day. 

As I reflected on my morning routine, I realized there are some basics to the routine that are important to me. The days I accomplish this morning routine, I feel energized. There are ways I can start my day that leads me to feel sluggish.

First, I am not a purist with how I start my day. I have heard experts and “high achievers” talk about how they start their day, and it sounds so great to me, but I am not able to achieve that mark daily. 

I have heard about meditating for an hour, getting up earlier, exercising first thing in the morning or drinking a concoction of warm water and hot spices. I have tried all of these and I do them for a while and do not stick with them. This had made me feel defeated that I could not have this pure morning routine.

What I have learned is there are some key ingredients to the morning that do make me feel good and get me started in the right way.

  1.  Wake up around the same time every day. This also means I need to go to bed around the same time every night. I have tried to wake up much earlier because I heard it was a great way to start the day. That does not work long term for me. I love my sleep. I have learned that allowing myself to sleep too late is a sign that I am off track and I need to look at rebalancing my life.
  2. I like coffee it the morning. I love the smell, taste, the warm mug. I do not require caffeine, so generally it is decaf. I find that a lot of caffeine through the day does not make me feel good. I do drink more than one cup of coffee!
  3. I have a comfy spot you will find me sitting in most mornings.
  4. I do look at my emails first thing in the morning. I have heard guru after guru state not to look at your phone until work or after breakfast. I like to see what messages are coming in and respond to anything urgent. This works for me, consider what works for you.
  5. I also check the news and see what has happened while I was asleep.
  6. I read the Daily Word, which is a small daily devotional book that inspires me. The Daily Word also gives me a point to close my eye and meditate. I take some moments to consider what is written and how it relates to me. Some days I add in longer meditation when the house is quiet. I either use the quote from the Daily Word and contemplate it or I use Insight Timer app and chose a meditation that matches my needs and time available.
  7. I often have more than one inspirational book that I look at in the morning. Right now, I include Codependent No More daily affirmations. It is a great book to look at codependency in a different way. 
  8. Lastly, I get out my journal and I write. I like writing about 3 pages using the Morning Pages format, which is 3 pages long hand without stopping.
  9. In addition, have breakfast. I find I am generally not hungry first thing in the morning, so the coffee works. I find breakfast is crucial to helping me get off to a good start to the day.

Now what do you do? Is your morning working for you or not? Consider reimagine your morning and determine what are the components that work for you.

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free quiz on her website at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com.

Am I an Emotional Eater?

Sign up to get the Free quiz.