March 19, 2009


My earliest memories of emotional eating go as far back as elementary school. By my teens it had escalated to something that was very difficult for me to control.

Food became the only thing that could calm my emotional anxiety and fill an emotional void. I felt as though food controlled me, it tempted and manipulated me. I literally woke up every single morning panicked with worry, wondering how the day would unfold. Would today be any different? Would I actually start that diet, or would I give into the pain and eat my way back to the comfort of emotional numbness?

I felt that my struggle with emotional eating was at the center of everything that was wrong in my life. If only I could release myself from the grip food had on me... I would no longer feel tormented by food, I would slim down and feel comfortable in my own skin, I would finally attract the man of my dreams and feel more confident to pursue the life I had always envisioned! I blamed my compulsive relationship with food for not having achieved any of these things.

I remember so many days when I just wanted to give in and give up. What if I could just move away where no one knew who I was? I could hide out and eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted. Sure that would mean settling, but I'd be set free from my internal food conflict. Or so I told myself. 

It was only when I started to understand the role my thoughts played in creating my life that it finally dawned on me, my negative associations (in terms of what food meant to me) had to change. Food represented something destructive in my life, and I needed to change that relationship. I had to associate food with something positive and healing. It was for this very reason that I was drawn to the concept behind raw foods. I love knowing that the foods I eat today nourish me and bring nature’s purity and healing to my body.

The one thing that has really helped me on my journey to overcoming emotional eating is to define for myself exactly how I wanted my ideal diet and lifestyle to look like. Drawing from the knowledge of the many health books I’ve read over the years, coupled with my own intuitive knowledge, I created some guidelines for myself that I felt were appropriate and realistic for me.

It feels wonderful having a custom lifestyle plan just for me! In fact, it gives me that much more incentive to stick with the lifestyle, because I know it’s mine and a lot of thought went into it.

I can truly say that by connecting back to a natural way of eating, food has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It is no longer something I desperately need to calm fear and anxiety, but rather something that brings healing and nourishment to my body.

But I also keep in mind that it’s an ongoing journey. I try to stay flexible as I continue to evolve and fine tune my diet and lifestyle. I have learned to let things go and not give myself a hard time when I'm not on my best behavior. I truly give myself love and understanding every step of the way (especially during an emotional relapse).

In overcoming emotional eating, I believe it begins with learning to love ourselves. Issues around eating, whether it's expressed through binging or starving, is a form of self punishment and self sabotage. As I continue to love and accept myself, I find that I have far less self-destructive tendencies. Plus, the cleaner I eat the more clarity I have about the choices I make, and thus it gets easier!

So breathe, and surrender yourself to the truth and wisdom of nature! In admiration of nature's beauty you will find a simple universal truth, that only the perfection and magnificence of nature can bring perfection and magnificence into our lives.


  1. Great article, Mila. Like you, I can trace my emotional eating back to elementary school. However, at the time, I didn't have a clue that I was eating to quell my uncomfortable emotions. That realization wouldn't come until years later. I never made the connection. For me, the focus was always on the weight; on my less-than-perfect body.

    It was when I made the conscious decision to change my relationship to food, that things really began shifting. I wrote an article about it near the beginning of my journey last summer. It's entitled Our Bodies, Ourselves.

  2. It's funny but even as a young girl I always knew that food offered instant comfort, I just didn't think anything of it... but I knew where to get relief.

    I will most definitely have to read your article!


  3. If interested, I talk about the mental and physical side of overcoming cravings on a raw food diet here:

    Emotional eating can be a big problem.

  4. Mila - I love this article, I will read it daily for my motivation to help me with my new raw foods diet.

    I'm just starting to eat raw and honestly it's a LOT easier than I imagined. I'm not setting my sites too high right now so I'm trying to do about 50%-60% raw. I have to find someplace to buy raw milk or make my own yogurt from almond milk. I need my yogurt.

    and eggs, oh and cheese ... I love eggs and cheese (so for right now I'm not eliminating those completely but try to rashon to one cheat a day). Eventually I will find some to buy, but right now as this is so new I'm trying to use up what I have and buy new stuff when I need it.

    Breakfast and Lunch are very easy for me... as I usually do fruit and salads anyway ... dinners are tougher for me ... which is when I have an egg or some cheese on my salad. This will get boring but I have loads of books at home that I will have to delve into soon.

    Everything else is sorta easy for me. I gave up red meat more than 20 years ago and never looked back.

    Thanks for being so wonderful and supportive (oh and informational).

  5. Andrew, I will most certainly read up on the mental/physical side of overcoming emotional eating with raw foods... thanks!


  6. Dear Tornato,

    Seems like you're on the right path!

    By the way, cheese was the absolutely last thing I gave up... I loved it so much! You'll notice your cravings gradually chance. These days I crave leafy greens... kale, chard, collard, spinach, etc. (Light years away from my cheese pizza cravings only a couple years back.)

    Warm Regards,

  7. I can definitely recognize myself in this post. It is so beautiful when you come to light that in many ways so many of us struggle with similar issues & that change is possible.

    Mila! Thank you.

  8. It's interesting how many of us resonate with this struggle. Change truly starts with loving ourselves enough to eat the foods that are good to our bodies.

    Thanks Gabrielle,

  9. Wow. I can totally relate to this post...

  10. Hi Audrey,

    This it a reality for many of us... just have to take it day by day! But I hope to see more of us start relating to the solution :-)

  11. Thank you so much... I have spent years tormented by food and what you said about changing the way that I look at it, wow. With every bite I take I am making a choice and I can chose, with every bite to love myself. Thank you for speaking the truth and for being so brave in sharing your heart and story.

    In joy,

  12. It's so heart-warming to know that you're able to take something from my words, glad to share my experience ;-)


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