Emotional Eating and the Desire to Look "Good"
Teenagers today grow up with the idea of what the perfect body, hair, and face are supposed to look like. They get pulled into cycles of peer pressure, and will hurt themselves, and their health, if it means they can obtain this "perfect" persona.
Girls will turn to disorders such as anorexia and bulimia to achieve that size 0 that all the guys want; and guys will try things like steroids so they don’t get bullied for being the little kid. These problems can lead to a very emotional time during adolescence, and can even be carried into adulthood. Many people don’t know how to cope with their troubles, so they turn to things that give them a temporary good feeling, like emotional eating.
Emotional eating is when someone eats to fill that hole inside, whether it’s for a sad occurrence that has just passed, or an ongoing depression. Emotional eating is not a type of eating disorder, but is very common with those who do have an eating disorder. Although it’s not a disease, it can only lead to worse things. Binge eating, bulimia, and obesity are extremely common from those who manage their mood with food, or did have done so at one point in their life.
Though some people have serious long-term effects from emotional eating, some people can control their emotional eating by occasionally comforting themselves with food. This type of control won’t give you side effects; it only becomes a problem when it’s an addiction. People who do it occasionally eat a lot but know what they’re in-taking compared to the people who suffer from emotional eating habitually don’t even taste what they’re eating.
When I was 7 years old, I remember seeing my sister eating all the time and I used to think she was so lucky to still be so thin. I never saw her in a good mood; something always went wrong or made her upset. I didn’t know what eating disorders were when I was that little, so I didn’t think there was a problem with eating so much in such a small amounts of time. I recall my mom was consistently taking my sister to the doctor and yelling at her for losing so much weight in a period of two weeks.
At the time, I didn’t understand that it was bad to look the way she did, and do the things she did, but now I understand that my sister had a problem. It started with emotional eating and turned into something much more serious.
In order to stop the cycle of emotional eating, you have to make the first step. Try and figure out what emotions make you turn to the comfort of food and attempt to find other ways to distract yourself from them.
Joining a sport at school, a new club, or even something just for yourself that makes you happy, can help you see you don’t need food to feel at ease. Don’t let emotional eating become who you are; instead find what’s making you feel the way you’re feeling and go about it in a way that will truly make you happy in the long run.