“I’m just one of those people who hates exercise”. That’s what I used to say. And I believed it. Man, did I hate exercise. I felt angry (and guilty and ashamed) at the mention of the word and, I have to confess, I’m worried some of you may stop reading this post for the very same reason, but I hope not.
It’s my experience that people with emotion-driven overeating issues don’t like being told what to do.
Maybe a work colleague asks “should you really be eating that?”
Maybe your partner is putting pressure on you to lose weight.
Maybe a “well-meaning” friend is always suggesting a new fad diet.
Maybe your parent says “don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
“I just want to lose weight”.
If you’re overweight you probably hear yourself say that a lot. Sometimes it might feel like the extended dance mix is playing on a loop in your head with repeated choruses of “I hate myself, I’m so disgusting”.
With such conscious thoughts, it’s easy to believe that all you want is just to lose weight and if you could do that (ideally instantly) then everything would be OK.
One of the traits that people with emotion-driven overeating tend to have in common is that they speak to themselves extremely unkindly. In fact, they speak to themselves in a way that they would never speak to another human being.
“You stupid, fat cow.”
“I hate myself.”
“I’m so disgusting.”
These are just some of the abuse-bombs that people typically launch at themselves. If you do the same thing, please don’t beat yourself up (about beating yourself up).
It’s not your fault.
You may have received a plethora of negative messages in childhood and, consequently, are treating yourself the way you think you deserve. Or years of failing diets, bingeing and weight gain may have decimated your self-esteem. Or both.