This took me years to figure out.  I have heard it but it never clicked until I took the time to really learn discipline.  Chocolate does not equal happiness.  It sounds silly doesn’t it?  How many of us have had a bad day and have found ourselves mowing down on some chocolate covered almonds saying things like “well I had a bad day I deserve a treat,” “I am so upset…I need chocolate,” and “I worked out hard this week I should have a treat!”  So how is it we came to the conclusion that chocolate or greasy food is a reward or a comfort? 
            I want to clarify that chocolate is not evil.  It is not the chocolate that causes problems, it’s us.  What it boils down to is that we aren’t dealing with our emotions and we are using food as a distraction.  I ask my clients to plan their “treats” one week in advance.  My suggestions are a nice dinner out, a couple glasses of wine, or some dark chocolate on a Friday night!  There is a method to my madness.  I’m not trying to control their actions but I am trying to get them to control their actions.  When we remove the emotional response to turn to food for comfort we realize that these two things have nothing in common.  When you are upset or something terrible has happened and you consume junk you are your own worst enemy!  By bringing attention to your emotions and dealing with them in alternative ways (away from food) you can successfully separate the two.  Breaking this cycle is one of the best gifts you can give yourself!
The consequences of emotional eating are:
      You lose control of your actions.
         You spike your blood sugars causing mood swings and/or depression.
         You hurt yourself further by stalling your weight loss efforts.
         You take the joy out of having a treat.
         You neglect dealing with your emotions.
         What I most want to achieve with this article is to help people.  I think everyone should recognize emotional eating and their emotional barriers.  I firmly believe from my own experience that ninety percent of excess weight is due to emotional eating.  Breaking this barrier will set you free into a lasting healthy lifestyle.  If you truly want to change your life, you need to change your thought patterns.  Allow yourself to feel true happiness.  Let go of the short-term fix and feel the true pleasure of living a healthy lifestyle. As always, I love hearing from you!  Email me any questions or topics you would like me to discuss.  I am never in judgment and have felt and/or deal with about 98% of anything you can throw at me! 

Amy Layne