By Natalie Haynes, Psychotherapist


Hello, my name is Natalie Haynes and I am the resident Psychotherapist at Cornerstone Health Centre.  I have been at Cornerstone since it was established back in 2009, working with individuals and couples dealing with a variety of personal challenges like anxiety, depression, relationship issues, grief and anger.  But today I would like to focus on something that can affect all of us.  I would like to create a conversation about emotional eating and weight.

Welcome to “What’s eating you – a conversation about emotional eating”.  In this blog, emotional eating will be explored in a new way. Your participation will be required as we look at how the struggle to lose weight is often overpowered by the desire to emotionally eat.

Join me over the next 6 weeks, conveniently as we move into the Christmas season, to explore how emotional eating affects you and how it shows up in your life.  Emotional eating has been talked in so many different ways, but what I would like to do is to use this blog to share our common experiences.  It is our contact and connection with one another that the things about ourselves that feel so different is what actually makes us the same.

When you are asked a question or to take part in an exercise, respond back her and share your thoughts and experiences.  You can do this on your own or chat about it with a friend, but come back and share your responses.  Take the time and get curious about how emotional eating may be impacting your life.

So let’s get started.  What is Emotional Eating for You?

Starting the conversation

We all emotionally eat from time to time. Emotional eating is the act of eating when you feel something you are uncomfortable with.  You don’t feel, you eat.  If you have been emotionally eating for a long time, you may not even be aware that you are emotionally eating or that you are even feeling something uncomfortable, but the automatic gratification that comes from eating is now habit. You may be bored, sad, angry, excited or lonely and food is your way to make things right. Food is wonderful, accessible, pleasurable and satisfying and you can get it everywhere! Food is used for celebration, to soothe when we are down and we need to eat to survive.  Though food can be a great companion to you when you are in need of comfort, using food instead of feeling the emotions created from life’s stresses can wreak havoc on your self-esteem, confidence and your health.

Here is where I want your participation:

Take a moment and consider the following questions. How do you emotionally eat? Where do you eat? What is your food of choice? Do you eat alone, stand in front of the fridge, do you hide what you are eating? Do you know when you are emotionally eating?  Give a description of what emotional eating looks like when you do it.  

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