Have you suffered from a trauma in your life? How would you define trauma? Before I really understood trauma, I would’ve told you that traumas are grand-scale events that completely change the world as we know it. What I have come to learn is that trauma actually comes in many forms. It can be ongoing or a one-time event. More importantly, these different types of trauma all can and do play a part in emotional eating.
Trauma can be “big T” Trauma such as a 9-11 or the sudden loss of a loved one or “little t” trauma such as ongoing neglect from a parent or constant fighting with a spouse. How that is defined depends greatly on your own personal set of experiences and other factors. Regardless of the type, trauma can and does play a part in your emotional eating habits.
When we suffer any type of event that is emotionally distressing, our brain will classify whether or not this event was traumatic. If so, our brains will store it in such a way that it can be accessed aka “triggered” and serve as a reminder that we are in danger. A lot of this triggering happens behind the scenes and when it occurs, we are not our rational selves. That is why we will do things to self-soothe such as overeat despite the fact that we know this type of self-soothing is counterproductive to our goals. Responses to triggers are not rational and willpower is not enough to control them.
YOU SIMPLY CANNOT STOP EMOTIONAL EATING WITHOUT ELIMINATING TRIGGERS FORMED THROUGH TRAUMA
No diet, food plan or mindfulness method alone will eliminate emotional eating. Working with your triggers and healing them is the single most important step in getting past your emotional eating cycle.