Our relationship with food – emotional over/under eating (#obesityawarenessweek)


Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post.

This week is National Obesity Awareness Week (#obesityawarenessweek), and in this post I’d like to focus on a particular aspect of our relationship with food: emotional eating (or not eating).

Firstly, I’d like to point out that obesity is an issue and it should be tackled, discussed and treated with compassion and sensitivity.

Secondly, I’d like to point to another issue – undernutrition, being underweight. There is information out there on this topic, but it’s discussed much less.


As mentioned above, I’ll be focusing on emotional over-eating or under-eating. There are so many more aspects of obesity and undernutrition to discuss!

Some people over-eat when they are stressed or upset. Others under-eat.

Over-eating leads to being overweight and a bunch of health issues – both physical and mental.

Undereating leads to being malnourished and underweight, which brings its own health issues.

The cycle of over/under eating is vicious. 

We eat/don’t eat to placate our stress and as a way of dealing with our emotions by distracting ourselves from feeling them as they arise.

Then we feel guilty for eating too much or making ourselves go hungry.


So now we have the original avoided emotions plus guilt for over/under eating.

(If you’ve read any of my other posts, or psychology related literature out there, you know that if we repress or don’t process stuff when it’s happening, it will come back full force later on! So it’s best to deal with them as they happen, no matter how uncomfortable. This is where therapy can help.)

Being aware of what we do is one of the first steps to help us deal with our emotions in the best ways rather than in dysfunctional ways that will only make it worse.

It is through this awareness that you can start reviewing your eating habits, maybe reaching out to a nutritionist for help with how to move forward with your eating.

You can also reach out to a counsellor to help you work through the emotions linked to emotional eating and to work through those unresolved issues that were being covered up by unhealthy eating habits.



The point of seeking help and changing your eating habits is this:


you might need to remove the link between eating and coping with emotional and life stuff. 



Go back to when food was something you did because your body needs energy to keep going through your day. Your body needs nourishment and eating is a way to get it.

Your emotional world doesn’t quite work the same. In order to nourish your psychological and emotional world, sometimes going through the hard stuff is necessary to clear up the clutter that can accumulate in your mind and start afresh, with a new grip on your emotions.


By getting a new grip on your emotions I mean that, by working through these emotions and patterns of eating behaviour with both a therapist and a nutritionist, you’ll be able to manage whatever life throws at you in a much more productive light.

The challenges that life throws at you might seem like monsters now, but working with professionals and with your support network (family, friends, colleagues) will allow you to “shrink” that monster into something you can manage and deal with.

You will deal with it without needing to link it to food.



I found a very useful article from

I’ll summarise some of their main points, you can read the full post here.

(I highly recommend reading it in full!).



The difference between emotional and physical hunger

  • Emotional hunger comes on suddenly.

  • Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods.

  • Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating.

  • Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full.

  • Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach.

  • Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt or shame.

What are your emotional eating triggers?

  • Stuffing emotions

  • boredom or feelings of emptiness

  • childhood habits

  • social influences

  • stress

In this article, the authors also give alternatives to emotional eating when you are depressed or lonely, anxious, exhausted or bored. They also talk about mindful eating and how to start eating more mindfully.


Here are some more helpful articles for further reading:

What is obesity, BMI calculator, Tips for losing weight – Article by HealthAssured

A new awareness week to promote sustainable, healthy living starts today (9 January). – Article by the Royal College of Midwives

Obesity Awareness Resources – NHS Employers website

Children’s Health: The Opposite of Obesity: Undernutrition Overwhelms the World’s Children

Emotional Eating: how to recognise and stop emotional and stress eating

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.




The Importance of Sleep – #festivalofsleepday

twitter the importance of sleep

Hi, and welcome to the first post of 2019!

I hope your celebrations went well and that your 2019 is starting off very well.

I’m excited about all of the fantastic products and services I’m planning for you this year. You can find some of these already set up on my directory, where you can find everything I offer in one place! 

Last Thursday was #FestivalofSleepDay, and in honour of that most-loved activity, I bring you today’s blog post.

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy my naps and going to bed for a good nights’ sleep.


It can be very frustrating on those nights when it gets a bit tricky to fall asleep, or we wake up in the middle of the night for no real reason – or due to worrying or thinking about things that are happening in our lives at present.

Something that I’ve found through personal experience and through reading articles on sleep, is that everyone is different and therefore everyone needs different amounts of sleep.

Some people function very well with 5-6 hours sleep every night. I need at least 8 hours!

Find your right number and aim for that.

Reassess as you get older or your needs and lifestyle change.

Let’s look at some of the ways sleep is important.

  1. Sleep helps our body re-energise after a busy day, so we can do it all again tomorrow!
  2. Sleep allows our brain to stay fit, and that means that we are alert and ready to process the stuff that comes our way throughout our day. (this prevents car accidens and mistakes at work!)
  3. If you are studying, sleeping will help you retain the information you learned in class and when you are studying for exams.
  4. Getting the amount of sleep we need keeps illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and others, at bay.


How to ensure the best night’s sleep. 

  • Avoid caffeine a few hours before going to bed.
  • Have a hot bath or shower.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Wear socks to bed.
  • Practice relaxation techniques which include going from toes to head.
  • Change your bedding often. Clean bedding does make a difference!
  • Replace Caffeine with chamomile or other fruit teas.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Write your worries down in a notepad. Sometimes just getting things “out of our heads” might help, even if only for the night.

Get the book today, and get these lovely printables to support your self-care throughout the year!.jpgIn my Book, 20 Self-Care Habits, I write about the importance of sleep.

I also give you some ideas on how getting a good nights’ sleep will improve your quality of life, wellbeing, and your relationships.

I also offer you a reflection time broken down into three areas: think, feel, act.

Here is a little snippet out of the book:

“Have you ever been so tired that you want to cry? A lack of rest can cause you to be irrational or agitated and can affect your judgement and perception in negative ways.” (page 109-110)

I leave you with this quote, which is very poignant for the chapter on sleep, and for this post:

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep. – E. Joseph Cossman

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

(Credit to alyssa-sparacino for some of these tips – watch full video here)


Human Rights Day – Monday 10th

human rights day

Today is #HumanRightsDay and I’d like to talk about some rights that I believe should be respected in the realm of our personal and professional relationships.

I found this quote in the United Nations Human Rights Day page, and thought I’d share it with you here:


This quote talks about the exact thing I was thinking about before sitting down to write this post.

It’s in the small places, close to home, that we most need our humanity and our rights respected.

Here are five rights to consider upholding for yourself in your relationships, and possibly helping others enforce them in their own lives.


1. The right to set boundaries 

If you’ve been following my posts, you will know boundaries are a big topic for me.

We sometimes have to learn to set them after a major incident with someone.

Other times we are better at setting them because we had a good example through our relationships growing up.

The main thing is that we learn to set them and stick to them. In my book, I talk about how to set clear boundaries and plan ahead when someone challenges us.

It’s important to stick to what we know is right for us, and what will help us have good realtionships with ourselves and others.

42. The right to personal space

We all have different ways of measuring a safe physical and emotional distance from others.

We also gauge this as each relationship develops. We might enjoy being closer to some people, but might want to put a bit more distance with others.

We need to respect this fact within ourselves so others will also respect it. If we set the example, we will communicate clearly what our boundaries are in regard to personal space, and we will be listened to.

If we’re not, then we can decide whether to set an ever bigger distance with some people.

If we are, then we know we can feel safe being close to some others.

53. The right to shelter and food

I walk past so many homeless people. I sometimes ask them if they want some food and get it for them.

Other times, I might not have enough time or money. But walking past them, I feel a sense of anger and feel that it’s so unfair that they are in that situation.

I’ve spoken to some homeless people and they are fantastic, profesionals and creatives that find themselves in a horrid situation due to relationship breakdowns, losing a job due to mental health issues, and more.

I find it appalling that this is happening in a First World Country. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it should happen in any country, but it is a reality.

These lovely people still have the right to shelter and food. There are things to do to remedy this (I won’t get into politics, you know where this was gonna go if I did!).

I do know that there are cafe’s and churches and other places that support and provide food and shelter to rough sleepers and homeless people, which is great as they are acknowledging these people’s basic needs.6

Nobody should be denied the right to a warm bed or a warm meal.

4. The right to healthy and safe relationships

We all have the right to healthy relationships where we feel loved, appreciated, respected, safe and understood.

We also have the choice to leave a relationship when it’s not healthy for us.

Sometimes this is made difficult as the person we’re trying to get away from is toxic, aggressive, and we might be scared to leave.

It might feel like you are trapped in a relationship, but there are lots of places that help you find refuge and support. You don’t have to suffer any longer!

75. The right to happiness and preserving our wellbeing

We all have the right to pursue happiness in any way we find works for us, as long as it doesn’t break any laws or impinge on the rights of those around us.

One aspect of this that is very important to me is doing what I love to do as my profession and job.

I’ve never stayed in a job that I didn’t enjoy anymore. I defy the idea of staying in the same job for the rest of your life even if you’re miserable.

We spend a lot of time at work so it makes sense to enjoy what we do. I love being self-employed and working in my businesses. I wouldn’t change them for the world!

Another way in which we can pursue happiness is by keeping those people in our lives that are good for us. Those that provide positive vibes and those that support us when we need it most (it works the other way around as well!).

Having hobbies and likes that make us smile is also a way to pursue happiness and keep us feeling well.

Finally, exercisng and eating healthy meals is also something that will help us keep healthy, well, and happy.

What other ways can you think of to keep your (and others’) human rights?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

human rights day

%d bloggers like this: