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With emotional eating, we tend to try and soothe ourselves with food. When we're sad, we eat chocolate. When we're angry, we eat cookies. When we're lonely, we drink wine. Whatever the reason, unfortunately, all we really end up doing is making ourselves feel worse.

Food comfort is only temporary. If it's food you're turning to in order to resolve an emotion or feeling, then you will find yourself reaching for a second cookie and maybe even a third. These unpleasant emotions are a void that will not be filled with sweet treats. We need to find better ways to cope with our emotions and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion.

On this Valentine's Day, I ask that you love yourself enough. Love yourself enough to not turn to food out of sadness or despair. Love yourself enough to have respect for everything great your body does for you, such as powering you through a difficult workout. Love yourself enough to accept the emotions and realize that food cannot be the answer.

 

On this Valentine's Day, I want to give you the gift of 3 ways you can love yourself without food.

1. Treat yourself to a massage. There is no reason to feel guilty about how much money it costs or what else you should be buying instead. Think of how much you spend on sweet treats or dining out and instead, invest in your self-care with a massage.

2. Enjoy a day free of chores. We are OVERWHELMED in general with so much to do all of the time. More than ever, women experience feeling overwhelmed daily while trying to succeed at work and manage a household at the same time. Give yourself the day off and spend an entire day doing NOTHING.

3. Rent a movie off the television. Does this seem like a treat to anyone else? Generally, I've always seen this as a waste of money, but really, at around $7 per rental it's more affordable than actually going to the theater. Let alone, there's a reason the theater always has the popcorn popping. It's been reported the popcorn is chemically modified just for the aroma! Save the calories, the crowd and stay in from the cold where you can have a nice home cooked meal and rent a movie for less than $7. 

Most importantly, remember on this Valentine's Day to give yourself a little wiggle room. If you do happen to enjoy a treat or two, it will NOT be the end of the world. These special days are meant to be enjoyed and sometimes that means we celebrate with food. If you find that box of chocolates is calling your name, enjoy one or two and then pass the box along to the rest of the family. If you do go out to eat with your spouse or partner, remember to include plenty of fresh vegetables and lean proteins with your meal. Box up half to take home and enjoy for lunch the next day so you can save some room to split a dessert between you and your love. 

Happy Valentines Day! 


 

Amber Madden is a Licensed Counseling Associate specializing in Eating Disorders and Obesity. She is the Clinical Director at Madden Wellness Counseling, PLLC. She utilizes her skills in addiction to assist her clients in with Binge Eating, "food addictive" patterns, and develop a positive approach to overall health and wellness. She has a passion for assisting clients in achieving their health goals and learning to love nutritious foods and exercise. For more information visit www.maddenwellnessky.com

 

 

 



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