Linda Pevnick, MSW, LCSW
Overcoming Emotional Overeating
Do you sometimes feel embarrassed or depressed by how much you are eating or like certain feelings can only be “fixed” by eating? Do you sometimes feel desperate to control your eating habits or your weight, but at the same time often feel like no matter how much you eat it isn’t enough?
You may be experiencing Emotional Eating or Binge Eating. This kind of eating often feels compulsive, like you can’t help it or control it. It is too often looked at as a moral failure or a significant lack of willpower. Overeaters are told that they should just “cut back” as though the urge to overeat could be so easily controlled. As a result, compulsive overeaters may feel like failures for not “just cutting back”. Not being able to “control” compulsive overeating can not only be unrealistic to do, but, painful and impossible.
Instead, let’s ask this question, “What is causing the urge to overeat in the first place?” In my way of thinking about things, everything happens for a reason. Emotional Eating is a way to cope with unrecognized emotional conflicts or problems that are not really about food or weight. You can learn what these are and find other ways to cope that will be less “costly” than trying to handle feelings with food.
Losing weight and learning how to live a healthier life are useful and worthy goals. But, if you need more help to resolve what drives your overeating, I offer several ways to help.
Six-Week Psychoeducational Group for Emotional Overeaters
This group will explain to you what feelings and triggers most commonly drive Emotional Eating and help you learn alternative ways to cope that will work better to resolve the problems than feeding yourself foods that only unwanted add inches to your waistline. This group will be informative and ask you to reflect on your relationship with food. Members will be encouraged to talk about their experience with emotional overeating and how they might incorporate change into their lives. Please call to find out when the next group will be starting.