Boredom Eating + Thankful Thursday

While chatting with a few friends the other day, one of them mentioned that she isn’t so much of a stress eater, but more so participates in boredom eating. {I obviously did not ask her about her *eating* preferences, but once people find out what I do, they offer up a lot of information and beg for answers. It is kind of funny!}

I sort of half smiled, and replied that she is not alone.

In fact, there are so many who consider themselves closet eaters, boredom eaters, stress eaters, emotional eaters, binge eaters, or all of the above (pretty sure at several different points in my life I’ve been each + anorexic/bulimic :( ), that there are now programs to help in these areas.

"I'm not bored, I just would rather play than eat!"

Boredom eating is exactly that : eating because of, in the midst of, or in spite of, being bored, even when not physically hungry.

I think that is the key, “even when not physically hungry.” I am sure that each of us has been bored and hungry, reached for an apple, or cheese stick, and thought nothing of it.

However, for those who struggle with boredom eating, it is a much, much different thing (kind of like eating binge episodes)

used to be: somehow more appealing when bored...

During my *time* with boredom eating I ate when I had nothing to do. Now this did not happen very often, but when I was truly bored, I just turned to food. Food is something that can physically stimulate us to feel happy, comfortable, safe, and assured. It also gives us pleasurable sensations. What food can not do is fill an emotional need. Or fill boredom the right way.

I learned this by taking the hard, hard road.

And then became *scared* of being bored! I filled my days with activities, school work, appointments, the gym, friends, dating, etc. But it still didn’t fix the issue, because whenever I was bored, my mind wandered to food, snacks, and what I could have next.

Vicious cycle, I tell ya.

boredom eating => 5x more cookies

Anyone who has suffered through anything similar can attest to the fact that it is horrible, relentless, time consuming, and frustrating.

However, there are some things that can HELP boredom eating. I was able to figure them out, but here is my list in case anyone wants an extra boost :)

Ways to Help Alleviate/End Boredom Eating

  • Admitting to self what’s going on.
  • Confide in a friend.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Enjoy regular physical activity in something you LOVE. (Zumba + BodyPUMP + Pilates/yoga for me!)
  • Write in a journal.
  • Avoiding times/places that *cause* the boredom.
  • Or try a new activity in place of eating during that ‘boredom’ period.
  • Learn to laugh, have fun, and relax.
  • Chat it up with a good friend.
  • Read a healthy living blog or website <—can be very motivating!
  • Watch a movie, get a new hobby, learn something new, or read a great book.
  • If a craving hits to eat while bored, call a family/friend who will listen.

It is worth it to give it a shot and try to change! I promise that life is so much better when the focus is on living instead of on the food. But remember, with change comes patience, time, and small steps of progress. So make each step forward count, and reach out to me if needed :)

    Thankful Thursday

    1. I am so grateful for my health. I had several experiences this week that made me reflect on how lucky I am to be healthy.
    2. I am thankful for a weekend of relaxation, rejuvenation, and inspiration coming up!
    3. I am grateful that I get to teach BodyPUMP tonight <3

    What other tips might YOU give to someone working on boredom eating?? What are YOU thankful for today??

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    Comments

    1. I think it’s tough – I think to some extent we ALL eat when we’re bored. It’s just a matter of making sure you’re listening to your body the majority of the time and giving it food that it needs. And realizing that every once in a while, you might over-indulge because you’re bored, but it’s not the end of the world and it’s important just to get right back on track the next day!

      • Very true. I was mostly addressing the fact that many struggle with this issue to a larger extent….readers who want to work on it!
        But yes, getting back on track and listening to the body are great ways, thanks :)

    2. Great, great advice. I, too, went through many disordered eating patterns (boredom eating has been in the mix too), and I’m still challenged by it every so often. Now I know how to deal with it though so I can conquer it before it overtakes me. Thanks for being so real – you’re awesome!

      I feel like I know you even better now…I’m so glad we found each other’s blogs. :) Too bad you live so far away!!

      • seriously…..why did we *now* become friends?!

        Yes, disordered eating is not talked about enough….and too many people are struggling! Gotta get the word(s) out to help in any way I can :)

    3. I’ve done that before…haha, who hasn’t!? What great tips…love it!

      I know when I’m traveling it’s easy for me to want to snack more than I need to…so gum really helps with that…or even just chewing on organic carrots. Low cals and they’re good for me!

    4. Such a great post!! I can relate to all of those types of “eaters” (well in my past that’s for sure!!) For me, I feel like avoiding being bored is my safest bet!

    5. I definitely struggle with all of the above :(

      I have found the best way to work with my boredom eating is to chew gum and it usually takes my mind off stuffing my face, haha

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    1. […] NOTE: most women will eat emotionally or out of boredom once in awhile. There is nothing innately wrong with this at all–I definitely have my […]

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