Have you struggled with emotional eating or an eating issue? I have, big time.
Emotional eating is a topic near and dear to my heart. I suffered from bulimia for years, and a lot of bulimia has to do with using food to avoid feeling and showing emotion. The bad part about bulimia, or any kind of emotional eating, is that even after you recognize what you’re “actually” doing, the process becomes addicting. In my case, the emotional eating process was binging and purging, and I became addicted to it. You become chemically dependent on the “release” and rush of dopamine from all the binging and when you’re not binging, you crave it, so much so that you have to treat yourself like an addict to overcome the cycle. A lot of people don’t talk about that part of emotional eating, but I was happy to discuss it with Amber Romaniuk in my latest Causes or Cures podcast episode. By the way, for those who are struggling with bulimia or who are interested in “my” story, definitely check out my book Manic Kingdom, a True Story of Breakdown and Breakthrough. It’s not a comfortable, feel-good story. It’s raw, odd, suspenseful, base on a true story and makes a lot of readers incredibly uncomfortable… I think because after they read it, they think, “If this could happen to someone like her, could something like it also happen to me?” The answer is yes, it could, and that’s why we should embrace humility and uncertainty and stop pretending like we’re masters at life and know the answers to everything. (Instead, those readers try to forget my book, give me a 1 or 2 star rating and hurry back to their comfort reads full of answers! Almost like…the emotional eating of books? ;) ) By the way, as creator of the ZENBand, I must say that learning to embrace uncertainty moved me closer to a zen-like state more than anything else I’ve tried. It’s why I made up the word, “Uncertzen.”
Anyhow, back to my book…the main character in Manic Kingdom ( based on me) has bulimia. She’s a text-book emotional eater. One reader wrote me and said it was the best and most provocative description of bulimia that she’s ever read. I didn’t hold back- all the ugly is included. All the fine details, right down to the puke particles stuck in my hair, are included in the book. Manic Kingdom is about much more than bulimia, but the main character struggles with the disease, and bulimia is a big reason she spirals out of control.
Now…, back to the podcast. ;)
In this episode of Causes or Cures, I was thrilled to chat with Amber Romaniuk, an Emotional Eating, Digestive and Hormone Expert who now helps women achieve optimal health through mindful eating and teaching them how to overcome their struggles with food. Amber describes her own struggle with emotional eating that involved her gaining and losing a total of 1000 pounds and spending 50,000 dollars on binge foods. She talks about what she calls her “lowest point,” which was when she was going through trash to find food to satisfy her emotional eating habits. While that may sound foreign or frightening to some of you, I can’t tell you how many times I did that during a bulimic binge. When my parents were trying to help me overcome it and I relapsed, I’d puke in trash bags and bury the bags in the yard, like I was trying to get rid of a dead body. Emotional eating can get ugly. Addiction can get ugly. They cause us to do gross things and behave in appalling and terrifying ways. Those things don’t define us, but I think it’s important to be honest about how ugly things can get so others who are out there and going through it, feel less alone.
Amber also discusses how to identify if you are struggling with emotional eating, how it may be affecting your relationships, how she overcame it and how you can overcome it. She also talks about her Body Freedom program and how it’s helping women all over the world. Please click here to listen to the podcast, ( Causes or Cures is also available on Apple and Spotify), and if you’d like to learn more about Amber, visit amberapproved.ca.
Other goodies from the Causes or Cures Podcast:
As always, if you have any ideas for podcasts, email me- email@example.com