May 24, 2023

From Mindless Munching to Conscious Choices: Taming Our Emotional Eating Beast

From Mindless Munching to Conscious Choices: Taming Our Emotional Eating Beast

In this episode of The Fit Mess Podcast, hosts Zach and Jeremy open up about their struggles with emotional eating and the challenges they face in maintaining healthy habits. They candidly share their recent experiences of indulging in unhealthy...

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In this episode of The Fit Mess Podcast, hosts Zach and Jeremy open up about their struggles with emotional eating and the challenges they face in maintaining healthy habits. They candidly share their recent experiences of indulging in unhealthy snacks and how it affects their physical and emotional well-being. They emphasize the importance of self-compassion and self-awareness in overcoming emotional eating patterns. The hosts offer advice on recognizing triggers, taking back control, and making healthier choices. Throughout the conversation, they inject humor and sarcasm to lighten the topic. Overall, the episode serves as a relatable exploration of the emotional and physical aspects of food cravings and offers insights into how to navigate them more mindfully.

Topics discussed:

  1. Staring into the cupboard full of food when not hungry
  2. Realization of emotional eating habits
  3. Coping mechanisms from childhood
  4. Self-compassion and avoiding self-judgment
  5. The impact of emotional eating on physical well-being
  6. Recognizing the need for change
  7. Breaking the cycle of unhealthy habits
  8. The role of awareness in behavior change
  9. Finding curiosity and growth in uncomfortable moments
  10. Balancing enjoyment and healthy choices in eating habits

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If you enjoyed this episode, check out:

 How to Heal Your Hunger and End Emotional Eating with Tricia Nelson



Zach: [00:00:00] Have you ever found yourself staring into a cupboard full of food, looking for something to snack on, and you're not even hungry?

Jeremy: Do you have a camera in my house?

Zach: I won't answer that.

I know I have, I've been trying to fight the cupboard, but lately the cupboard is winning.

Jeremy: Today we'll take you on the emotional eating bender that Zach and I have been on for the last few days. And with your help, perhaps all of us will get out of this a little bit healthier than when we started.

Zach: Highly doubtful, but let's give it a try.


Jeremy: Bo, both Zach and I just had this amazing realization that we've both been emotionally eating for days. Literally, he's got a, uh, a Nutella [00:01:00] uncrustable in his hand that he's snacking away on.

We're both in this mess right now. What's going on?

Zach: What are you talking about? This is just life, right?

Jeremy: Dude, I like it's, it's been bad. It's been days. And honestly, you know, when mine started, I hadn't gotten on the scale in months and the other day it was there and I was like, ehh, let's just see what's going on. I'm feeling pretty good. I'm looking pretty good doing all the things. I bet I lost a few pounds.

I'm up 10. I'm up 10 pounds. Rattled me to my core, even though I know that number means nothing. And I broke down all the inner data of the, you know, percentages and all the other stuff that's going on, but that sent me on this spiral of, fuck it, man. This is too much work. It's too hard. I can't keep doing this every day.

If this is the result

Zach: Mm-hmm. I'm literally eating the nettella sandwich as we're

Jeremy: as we're talking, it's amazing. It's amazing.

Zach: I hear ya man. I don't know what happened, but like all of a sudden, like I just, I know it's [00:02:00] life. I know I got a lot of things going on. There's just like, there's work stuff and personal stuff and then everything else, like it's just, it's crazy how much stuff is going on and at like 10 o'clock in the morning, you know, I've told this this story before, like I know I'm stressed if I'm in the cupboard at 10, cuz I usually don't eat until like two.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Zach: And I have found myself out there at like nine. For the last week, like in the cupboard looking for something. And we just went to Taylor Swift. So I've got like trail mix and like all the snacks that I bought for the car are in the cupboard. So it's bad news man. It's really bad news. Cause I opened the cupboard and I'm like, oh yeah, cheese and crackers.

Yep. Here we go.

Jeremy: dude. So the thing is, , I have become. Fully aware of this pattern. We did some episodes recently about like sort of inner child healing stuff, and I had this huge epiphany about how as a child dealing with my stuff, the way I dealt with it was video games and the pantry. That was where all that pain went.[00:03:00]

And so I've become fully aware of, I'm standing there, I'm looking in the pantry and I'm going, I am not hungry. In fact, I'm probably too full, but the feelings are, are needing to be dealt with and this is how I'm gonna deal with them. And unfortunately the awareness is not enough to make me change my behavior right now.

Zach: Again, some, we talk about it all the time, self-compassion. You can't be perfect all the time. You're gonna have moments like this, and I'm actually. Looking at this moment, and I just finished my sandwich, so I'm totally done.

Jeremy: Fully focused now,

Zach: yep. Totally into this as I'm like picking Nella outta my teeth. So good. But these are great moments for me anyway, because I fully realize and remember like, oh, eating this stuff makes me feel bad. , and feeling that pain, feeling that badness. So a, I get to enjoy a tasty treat in the moment, [00:04:00] and then I feel bad for two days. Like that's such a good reminder for me.

Like this is why I don't eat this stuff because I've got brain fog. I feel like shit, my stomach's all over the place. I'm in the bathroom more times than I can count sometimes when with this processed garbage. My body's not used to it anymore. So why do I do it? Well, I do it because of emotional eating.

And it's just a, a moment where you're like, ah, okay, maybe I need to meditate more. Maybe I need to take a deeper look inside on this one a little bit more. Maybe I'll have one more sandwich and then I'll close the cupboard.

But like, just be okay with it. Like you, you just gotta be like, okay, this is happening for a reason.

If you continue doing it without, like, tackling those demons, without looking at what is going on in my life that's causing me to do this. And going and doing something about it, then it's a problem.

Jeremy: The pattern I'm noticing for myself is it tends to be about a three day pattern where, you know, there'll be some slip, uh, the old habits kick in to get me through whatever roller [00:05:00] coaster I'm on, and then, yeah, my body feels bad. The depression starts trying to creep up. Like all the stuff that it creates, all this negative stuff that it brings into my life.

Just feeling like achy joints, inflammation, all the stuff. And then all of a sudden I'll realize, oh, right, it's cuz I'm on this like, you know, Netflix and Cheese at Bender right now. This is horrible. , and so all of a sudden it's time. Okay, let's hit the reset and let's go back to work on Monday. And, and you know, part, part of it here in, in Lovely Canada, we have the, the May long weekend wrapping up.

So it's been four days of no routine, no gym on the go, doing fun things out at places where there's not healthy options to choose, you know, to eat. And it just, it becomes this slippery slope. Or once you cave on one of those tasty treats, your body goes, oh my God, more, give me more of that. And the dopamine T takes over and you're psyched.

You feel awesome until like an hour later when your gut goes, oh wait, no, that was a huge mistake.

Zach: Yeah, absolutely. , somebody even pointed out to me that like, I drink very rarely these days, but somebody pointed out to me and they're [00:06:00] like, Hey, you're having like a drink a week? I. That's a lot for you. I was like, huh. It is a lot. , even looking back and going like, oh, that's, that's actually, I think that's impacting me.

I think that's making me feel like shit. It's, it's amazing how it creeps in. This little stuff creeps in, so you're right, man. Reset. And you don't even have to wait till Monday. Like,

Jeremy: Don't wait till Monday. Don't wait till next week. Don't wait till Saturday. Don't wait until, , June, whatever The minute you catch it, the minute you can take back the wheel and start driving the thing yourself again, and not letting the feelings drive.

That's when you get it under control. That's when you, instead of going to the pantry for the sixth time, that hour, take a walk instead of grabbing, , an alcoholic beverage or some other beverage that may not be ideal for your system, maybe try some water. I hear that that does wonders for you. So the minute that you're able to, to get that control back, you gotta grab onto it and just do whatever you can to get things back under control.

Zach: But Jeremy, I'm already off the horse, so like I might as well just like go on a bender of [00:07:00] junk food and crappy food until next Monday, right?

Jeremy: If you want to keep feeling like crap every day. Yeah, absolutely.

Zach: no, I don't, no, I don't want to hear that. What I want to hear is I should continue on until my chosen date. Right. So I can just, so this gives me a free pass to eat whatever I want for the next couple of days. Right.

Jeremy: Oh, sure. If, if that's the way you wanna live your life, just constantly off the hook and, and just slippery slope after slippery slope. It's just gonna keep feeding on itself just like the good behaviors do when you do the things you want to be doing to become the person you're trying to become.

Zach: you're so judgy today.

Jeremy: I'm looking myself in the eye. I'm talking to me right now. Yeah, dummy. Keep eating the garbage, keep making the bad choices, and keep feeling like trash for three days. Or get it under control, take back control over your life and do the things you're trying to do to become the person you're trying to become.

Zach: That's fair. Okay. You've convinced me I heard it at the right time.

Jeremy: Oh wait, were you listening? Because again, I was talking to myself.

Zach: [00:08:00] You know, we have to joke about this topic a little bit cuz otherwise you cry. Right?

Jeremy: And you go eat some more junk outta the

Zach: Exactly. And we gotta be a little sarcastic. But seriously, like I do fall off the wagon just like everyone else. And I have recently just fallen off the wagon to some extent. Like, I mean, not going crazy, but there's a little extra eating that I shouldn't be doing. like you said, once you decide, okay, why am I doing this? Get back on track. It's gonna take a couple of days to process that all out and start feeling a little bit better. But you really do need to take a step back and go, what is going on in my life that's causing me to do this?

Because we are creatures that emotionally eat. We don't just go eat. For no reason at all. There's something [00:09:00] going on and nine times outta 10, we are not hungry. We're just going to solve some emotional need that we haven't dealt with. So really take that look inside, be okay with being wrong, understand what's going on, be curious about you and just try and figure it out and then go eat some rice or go eat some, some other stuff that'll clean you out.

Jeremy: One of the things I'm proud of for both of us is that, you know, I think a few years ago, if you and I were having this conversation first, we probably wouldn't have recorded it and shared it with the world to, to hear. Uh, but second, uh, I know for me anyways, uh, I would have been beating myself up every time I open that cabinet door, or every time I open the fridge, it's like, oh, you're such a loser.

Oh, why? Why do you keep doing this? Like, whatever language I would use to just punish myself for, for following that behavior. But I've gotten to a point, at least in my life, where I recognize it. I don't judge it. I accept that this is a pattern that I learned as a kid. I taught myself as a kid, as a, this was the way I was gonna cope with my feelings.

It is something I'm still working [00:10:00] through. Right now I'm not doing a great job, but that's okay because I'm aware of it and next time I can try to do a little bit better. And the more that you can approach this sort of behavior, this sort of habit, with that self-compassion, the more that you have a better chance of changing it and replacing it with a better habit in the future to better manage your, your feelings and emotions.

Zach: Exactly. So everyone out there, you're okay. Be nice to yourself. Unless you're Jeremy, then you've screwed up royally. Jeremy

Jeremy: Well, somebody's gotta beat me up. I don't do it to myself anymore, so

Zach: I don't want, I can't, I can't have you losing that voice that's, that's one of your driving motivating factors.

Jeremy: It's, it's, it's been the only voice in my head for years and now without it, I'm awfully lonely.

All right, so a bit of a confession from both of us struggling right now, the, the way that we are and, and that perhaps you do too, but also hopefully some advice that you find helpful right now if you're going through the same thing. Just a, again, we talk about this all the time, how important it's to be compassionate with yourself [00:11:00] to allow yourself to learn these lessons sometimes the hard way.

And just be, be gentle because beating yourself up is not gonna get you through it any faster.

Zach: And just remember that when you do go off the rails, a enjoy whatever it is you're enjoying. Right. 80 20. Do enjoy it cuz it is fun to eat sometimes. But really, really be curious about why you're eating that, why you're having this emotional eating moment. Because again, that's where the uncomfortable part is.

That's where the growth happens. That's where the frustration is, and that's the most important part of this whole thing, is taking those moments and turning them into learning opportunities and changing your life. Don't be like Jeremy.

Jeremy: In more ways than one. One way you can be like Jeremy, you can subscribe to our newsletter. You can do that on our website, the fit Like to offer additional tips and resources to battle things just like this. We also offer bonus clips from interviews from shows where we feature guests.

You can get that newsletter at our website that is the fit, and that is where we will be back in [00:12:00] just a few days with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening.

Zach: Everyone.