Relationships can trigger emotional eating

Posted in: Clean Eating Blog

Watch The Gap —  Coming to terms with your loving relationships (and the other areas of your life) without triggering emotional eating

I am sure it may seem rather obvious that relationships can trigger emotional eating. Let’s take a closer look.

My good friend Susan and I were talking two weeks ago about her boyfriend Rob.*

It seems that every time she feels like things between them are getting better, he pulls back. Susan asked me what I thought may be going on with Rob and we talked about lots of things.

But one emotion kept coming up over and over.


She mentioned that he had a history of casual relationships and when they first started dating, he was honest with her, but she just knew she could change him.

Her expectations were set early on. Susan was prepared for love and being thirty one, it was her time.

She was also doing more work on herself and began a new fitness and nutrition program in January and it was going well. Susan was getting compliments and looked and felt great.

Work was work, but since Rob came on the scene, she felt like her life was going according to her plan.

Her plan.

Do you find yourself making plans that sometimes don’t play out like your picture of them?

Are your expectations of others leaving you disappointed when they fall short of your hopes?

Is there a gap between your ideal life and what your current experience of it is?

Susan tried to talk to Rob to see if she could get him to open up and confide in her about what was up, but he only shut down more and she was devastated. In fact, his weekends started filling up with overtime at his job and the occasional family plans.

Rob was never one to work too much and he certainly wasn’t that close to his family when they started dating around Thanksgiving.

What the hell was going on with him?

Susan was feeling so frustrated and alone, that she stopped going to the gym and went back to some of her past eating patterns.

Bam. Trigger. Emotional eating begins. Bagel for breakfast, pizza at lunch, pint of Haagen Dazs at night with her new boyfriend, Netflix.

She let her self-care go because of Rob and his distance.

We don’t often see the connection between our relationships, romance, job, wellness and our behaviors, but they are all part of this thing called our life.

I felt terrible watching all the work Susan had done on herself over the past five months go out the window in only two weeks. I wanted her to begin to see the pattern between her feelings in her relationship and how she was being triggered to emotionally eat.

Have you ever experienced relationship woes that impacted all the other areas of your life? Susan is not alone in her despair.

A 2010 study from The American Psychological Association illustrated that we are experiencing more external stressors today than twenty years ago. In particular, our love relationships are suffering from lack of open communication between the partners.

Combine this increasing oppression and silence with career stress and health issues and it’s becoming more essential for each of us to develop a daily practice of self-care based upon a foundation of self-love.

Susan and I spoke this morning and she now sees that Rob is not the problem. Rather her expectations of him are. She said the same about her job. I listened as she read me her list of areas that don’t look like her “picture” of them.

Are you letting outside events, circumstances or people dictate to you just how awesome (or terrible) your life can be?

How important is your personal wellness to creating the life you want and deserve?

Do you feel you are worthy of enjoying great health, vibrant, truthful love and working with your passion?

We’re all conditioned as young children to paint a perfect picture from our mind’s eye view of what life should be.

If your picture doesn’t look like you expected, it may be time to change your canvas. The good news is that you are the artist.

And your daily self-care is the paint.

Get your free BOSS Self-Care Manifesto by click the button below and start making yourself “item one” on your to-do list.


If you want to jumpstart your self-care, and build a better relationship with YOU, connect with Rick here.

* Names changed for privacy

One Response to "Relationships can trigger emotional eating"
  1. Jane Savage says:

    good stuff!

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