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How Cooking Heals Compulsive Eating

And now, a guest blog post from our friend, Isabel FoxendukeABOUT-1024x768

And I’m using the term “compulsive eating” to describe any thoughtless, quick, impulsive decisions around food, that occur in reaction to stress, deprivation or what I like to call “energy-bunny mode.”

Many women, and in particular “type-A,” second-shift, perfectionistic dieters, often find themselves turning to the refrigerator when they’ve just had enough, and can’t take it anymore.

You know what I’m talking about: STRESS EATING. The kind of eating that you do standing up in front of the refrigerator, or at the secret candy bowl in the back of your office. I am not kidding, at certain points in my life, I would actually sneak food into the women’s bathroom at work, just because I needed a break.

If this is familiar to you at all, I’m about to give you the best tip ever: MAKE. TIME. TO. COOK.

Cooking is this magic activity that we partake in to truly nourish ourselves, both physically and emotionally, so we don’t burn out and end up facedown in a pan of brownie batter for no reason. It works in a few ways…

1. Cooking is one of the most primary human acts of self-care. Emotional Eating is, by definition, a self-care deficit. We are putting a band-aid on a bullet wound, instead of dealing with what’s actually going on. When we start to practice radical self-care, emotional eating naturally dissipates.

2. Cooking cultivates gratitude and patience. When we becomes intimately related with the physical labor involved in making a meal (going to the grocery store, picking the ripest vegetable, cutting and measuring) we can not help but to appreciate our food in a new way. We stop taking what we eat for granted. It’s no longer a substance to be abused, but a substance to be honored.

3. Cooking helps us slow down & simply RELAX. In the right mindset, cooking is a meditation — a time away from our computers, when we pay attention to the simple things. (And if you find cooking kinda stressful, because you’re afraid you’re gonna have to “resist” sticking your fingers in every mixing bowl, download my guide, “How To Not Eat Chocolate Cake” — I wrote it for you.)

Isabel Foxen Duke helps women make peace with their bodies, so they can stop obsessing about food and start living again (or for the first time). Your weight dramas are scared of her. For more articles, visit www.IsabelFoxenDuke.com and download How To Not Eat Chocolate Cake. You can also follow her on Twitter @IsabelFoxenDuke and Facebook.com/

3 Responses so far.

  1. Your writing is a pleasure to read, and your dedication to something that really matters is admirable. I am definitely a big fan. Thank you for being so honest.

  2. What a pleasure this post is to read and contemplate. Cooking is self-care first, but, in the case of sharing that food, other-care as well. Recent studies show that children feel more loved when there is a vegetable served at dinner, for instance.

    Along with patience, cooking is a great stress buster by the very nature of its repetitive rhythms (chopping, measuring, stirring) and it gives the cook control over using ingredients with the nutritional oomph that can also help control compulsive overeating.

    I’ve shared this post with readers and patients. It fits perfectly with the philosophy of The Hunger Fix, the first addiction plan integrates personal empowerment, spirituality, along with whole food nutrition and restorative physical activity.

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