I'll be giving examples of possible reasons for overeating for the next couple articles. If you have any examples from your own life, please share them with me either in "comments" or click on "contact me" so that I can add them to this list. I've found the examples informative because sometimes I don't recognize certain overeating emotions or scenarios that may have influence on my eating.
* Eating at specific times. You may eat at certain times every day because it's what you've always done. It's just the way things are. Let's say breakfast is at 7:00am, lunch is at noon and dinner is at 6:00pm. Every day, weather or not you're really hungry, you eat at your scheduled meal time. If you don't eat at that specific time, you start to feel panicky or cheated out of something.
* Comfort eating. You hurt someones feelings, someone hurt your feelings, you had an argument with a friend or family member, you had a bad day at work, you feel depressed for no particular reason. Food might seem like a friend or a security blanket that you can wrap around yourself and just feel safe for a moment.
*Falling in or out of love eating. Even though we all want this, falling in love can bring on new emotions, feelings and anxieties that are unfamiliar. You might overeat to deal with these new emotions. I overate for this reason when I first met my husband. I went crazy with my eating. I'd been starving myself for so long and then I found someone who accepted me for who I was and I trusted him to love me for better or worse. I felt so comfortable with him that I easily let go of the tight reign I'd been keeping on my eating.
On the flip side of falling in love, there's falling out of love eating. You're falling out of love or someone is falling out of love with you. It's the end of a relationship that once seemed so good. It's not really surprising that there are overwhelming feelings here.
* Think of the starving children in the world. I'm sure we've all had this thrown our way at one time or another. How could you possibly let food go to waste when there are starving children out there? One thing to remember in this scenario is that no amount of you eating or cleaning your plate will help to feed any of those children. They'll still be starving even after you've felt sad and guilty over them. There are other ways you can help them but eating your own food isn't one of them.
* Clean your plate eating. Many times parents force this one onto not only themselves but onto their children. I know I've done it. Demand them to finish every last morsel on their plate before they can have dessert or leave the table, even if they're already satisfied.
*Holiday or family get-together eating. You may feel that these are the times when overeating is a must. You're celebrating with loved ones and the way to celebrate is to eat. That's what holidays and get-togethers are for right?
* Taking advantage of a "good deal" eating. You're walking past a bagel shop and you see a "3 for the price of 1" sign. You don't really want a bagel but when will you see a deal like that again. Or if you're walking through a Sam's Club, you just have to try every single sample offered.
* Eating in front of the TV. Guilty!! At least in the evenings. After my husband gets home from work we sit down with our meal and eat in front of the TV. I've done this for so long that now anytime I try to watch TV in the evenings without eating I feel like something is missing.
I used to eat in bed also. I'd put my children down for a nap, grab my lunch and take it to my bedroom to enjoy with a good book. It sounds strange to me now...eating where I sleep.