Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Deal with Emotional Eating After a Breakup or Divorce

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Comfort Food Recipes


When something traumatic like the breakup of relationship or divorce happens, I usually turn to food for healing.

In the past, I have hurt myself by overeating, consuming sugar or fatty foods, or drinking alcohol, so now I'm cautious how I use food as way to cope with suffering.

Nevertheless, I do believe that food can be used as interesting tool for building awareness around how we feel about our bodies and souls. Especially when you're experiencing pain, for it seems only natural to want to eat foods that bring not only nourishment but also emotional comfort.

I try to acknowledge when I am using food as a substitute for love, nurture, and assurance not as a way to feel guilty but rather to create awareness about what I believe is lacking in my life. My book Love, Mindfulness & Food was a tool I developed to help deal with my emotional eating.

After my divorce, I experienced a month where I cooked Shepherd's pie for dinner almost every night. This was the food my body and soul craved, and I decided to follow my instincts. I didn't beat myself up for doing this crazy thing, but rather while I cooked and ate each Shepherd's pie, I acknowledged how much sadness, fear, and grief I was feeling. I saw this food as an outward expression of me trying to love, care for, and nurture myself. When I ate it, I felt like I was being hugged, and I knew I was using food as a symbol for safety and reassurance. I didn't eat my Shepherd pies mindlessly rather I acknowledged the needs this food was fulfilling and what other things I might have to work on in myself to actually feel loved rather than continually use my strategy of emotional eating.

Everyone has their own favorite comfort food, which usually has childhood memories of being nurtured attached to it. Perhaps a mother or grandmother made you something special when you were sick or a particular family meal helps you remember being loved. I believe consciously cooking and eating comfort food after a breakup or divorce can be a healthy tool for learning how to care for yourself while rebuilding your life.

For comfort food recipes check out my Pinterest board. More importantly, to learn how to deal with your emotional eating by uncovering the feelings and needs hidden beneath the food you eat download my free ebook Love, Mindfulness & Food or purchase a hard copy at Lulu.com