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Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care

My Emotional Eating Experience
Posted on 01/13/2014 @ 12:46 PM

As I started to fill my plate, there were clues. Lots of clues that I was vulnerable to emotional, mindless eating:

• Clue #1: My urge to eat was intense.
• Clue #2: I felt anxious, tense and hurried.
• Clue #3: I didn’t want to even ask myself, “Am I Hungry?” because I might not be, and then I might feel like I shouldn’t eat…and I was definitely going to eat!
• Clue #4: The baked “fried-style” chicken and mashed potatoes were absolutely irresistible--hot, chewy, comfort food from my childhood. The fresh green beans and biscuit and honey were bonus.
• Clue #5: I could hardly wait to put food in my mouth and CHOMP!
• Clue #6: I was ready to pile huge portions on my plate.

I took a breath. I slowed my pace. I stood in the pause. I reminded myself that asking, “Am I hungry?” doesn’t mean I can’t eat if the answer is no. There is only one rule and that is to ask. I also reminded myself that the Am I Hungry® Mindful Eating Program ( is about awareness and choices, not rules. As well, I reminded myself how much more I enjoy my meals when I eat mindfully.

I quickly performed a Body-Mind-Heart Scan, and as a result was more aware of both my hunger level and the intensity of my emotions. Indeed, I was hungry and my emotions were strong.

As I started to place the food on my plate, I consciously chose the amount that I thought best matched my hunger level. Then, off to one side of my plate, I placed a little more to placate my emotions. It calmed them a bit to reassure myself that I could choose how much to eat, even if it meant being very full when I finished. I did not need to follow someone else’s rules.

I ate mindfully and after I had finished the hunger-level portion, I checked back in and discovered that the guessed portion was a good match and that I was no longer hungry. I also checked in with my emotions. During the time that I had been eating mindfully, my emotions had calmed significantly. I did not feel as compelled to overeat. I ate 2 more bites of mashed potatoes, and cut up the remaining chicken to put in a salad for lunch the next day.

At the end of the meal, I was physically satisfied, more emotionally balanced, and again grateful for the program and the tools it provides that prepare me for eating urges such as this one.

Michelle May M.D.

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Charlene's Journal

My Perfect Weight

Emotional Stages of Saying Goodbye to Dieting

Entering a New and Wonderful Relationship

Perfectly Imperfect

Dieting Continued to Get Harder; Mindful Eating Continues to Become More Natural

100% Commitment, 100% Forgiveness

Stress, the Great Seducer

A Mindfully-Cooked Meal

How long does it take for mindful eating to become a habit?

I Love Taking My Power Back!

My Emotional Eating Experience

Creative Hopelessness

The Godfather Ate My Cake!

Our Relationship to Food is Not a Problem to Be Solved; It is a Process to be Lived

How Does Your “Little Voice” Speak to You?

Where Do I Want to Eat?

Sit. Feast on Your Life

What do you wish you’d known about dieting?

“The problem is that my behavior with food is irrational!"

The Gentle Politeness of Our Bodies

All Emotions Fit

Noticing the shift

Practicing Am I Hungry? Concepts in Other Areas of My Life

Coming to My Senses: My One-Year Anniversary with Am I Hungry?

A Note of Compassion to All Dieters, Including Myself

Follow Your Heart But Don’t Check Your Brain at the Door

Mindful Movement

Regret Over Guilt

Practicing Mindfulness

A Mindful Walk

Choosing Ease over Easy

Our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

Done with Dieting. Forever.

Fear of Hunger

Acceptance, compassion, and encouragement

Flying on autopilot

"Several “Hungry” Days Didn’t Stress Me Out!"

What Else Am I Bringing to the Table?

What do I want to eat?

Speed Bump with a Bonus

No Bad Foods, Really?

From Tunnel Vision to Total Vision

A Mindful Choice for Quality

From Redirection to Connection

Like Riding a Bike!

New Year's "Resolutions"

Merry Mindful Christmas

Curiosity is key

Fullness as an illusionary hug

Letting go of overeating and restrictive eating

Wait for it...

Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving

Hunger is the Best Seasoning

Old habits die hard

Happy Birthday to me!

Coming Home!

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