Episode 22—Emotions and Trust

Emotions and Trust

Are you an emotional eater? Back when I weighed 430 pounds and all the way leading up to that time, my first response when I felt any emotion was to eat something whether there was a real crisis or not. I ate something like a dessert, fast food, chips or anything I could stuff in my mouth that tasted good to me. I never wanted salads, carrots or broccoli during these times of heightened emotional feelings. I wanted something to stop making me feel angry, sad, lonely, frustrated or any one of 1,000 other emotions.

However, if you would have asked me if I was an emotional eater, I would have said no. I felt that way because years ago I determined that I was not going to be the type of person my mother was. She had an emotional illness that caused her to be crying or sitting staring at the wall one day and dancing the jitterbug in the kitchen the next day.

That was all too much for me to understand and comprehend as a kid. During my growing up years, nothing worked to get her to express anywhere near normal, somewhat even-keel emotions. I hated the out-of-control feeling that her emotions brought to our entire household.

I was determined though that I would not be that type of emotional mood-swing person. I would manage my emotions. It was really my Grandma who unknowingly taught me how to wrongly manage my emotions. She was a great cook and any time we went to her house we could eat whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, as much as we wanted.

The foods were high in carbohydrates because Papaw was a farmer and needed that energy to get through the day. As a kid I could manage to eat those things and not get too large. However, when I grew up and moved away from home and from Grandma, I remembered how those foods took me away from all the bad stuff happening in my life. It was my way of escape. It was my way of not having to deal with any negative emotions I felt. So I ate and I gained weight. But now the habit was firmly ingrained in me.

On my weight loss journey of more than 250 pounds, I eventually learned that I have a relationship with food. Now, we aren’t really supposed to have a relationship with food. We aren’t supposed to get emotionally involved with food. Food is for fuel. It’s not something to help ease our emotions.

I eventually came to understand, though, that  certain foods, especially those made with sugar and flour, had become a companion when I felt lonely, a comforter when I felt sad, depressed or just needed to feel rewarded, a provider when I felt needy, a protector when I felt fearful. 

We cannot eat our emotions away. They are never gone completely. They have just been placated for a while. At some point they will be triggered again and we will need to throw more food at them to keep them quiet again. This is what helped me gain up to 430 pounds. Unraveling why I was doing that and turning myself around became a process in and of itself.

This whole shelter in place scenario is scary for many. That means a lot of time on our hands so what do we do? We go back to old habits. We eat! We’ve all seen the memes on FB that show a person blown up like a balloon and says this is what we’ll all look like when the virus scare is over. That’s really not too far from the truth unless we begin to embrace our emotions and let them tell us what we are really feeling. 

This may be a really scary concept for us if we have always tried to shove emotions down or not feel emotions. So how do we begin the process of actually feeling our emotions without being a basket case?

In this episode I give tips on how to stop eating our emotions and actually begin to feel them without them overwhelming us. We can’t feel our emotions if we constantly push them away and try to cover them up by eating and eating and eating. This will eventually lead us to trusting God to help us, rather than relying on food.

Emotions are not wrong. Emotions make life enjoyable. So let’s learn how to really embrace those emotions and allow them to help us live that abundant life God promised us.

Overcomers Academy is now OPEN. We also have a special limited time bonus available. For all the details, go to https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/overcomers-Christian-weight-loss-academy/. I’ll see you in the group.


Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.