Your brain's been hijacked! You just blindly shoved a sweet, crunchy chocolate into your mouth. For a moment it gave you satisfaction, soothing and other yummy sensations. But then came the guilt: "I did it again! Where was my will power?" You weren't even that hungry. How did that even happen? Feeling powerless to control your cravings, instead, you gave in to them. Can you make a different choice next time? Of course you can, and you will.
Emotional eating can begin in childhood, when food becomes your parents' favorite tools of distraction and reward, wielded in response to various emotions and behaviors that you exhibited. As a baby, they silenced your cries with a bottle. As a child, they rewarded your good behavior with candy, snacks, ice cream and various sugary desserts. As an adult, you may find yourself eating certain junk foods just because it reminds you of some happy childhood memory.
Holidays and special occasions invariably revolve around food. There, you overeat for pleasure as a way to emphasize the festivity of the holiday, to fully enjoy it and "take it all in." Or you may use food for comfort and distraction, to ease the pain and soothe yourself at a tension-filled family gathering.
Via Ellen Diane