DO YOU EAT IN SECRET?
Are you a closet eater? Do you sometimes eat in secret? Do you eat less in front of others and then just pig out when you’re alone? And it’s usually unhealthy junk food. I don’t think anyone would hoard their fruit and veg in private! It’s definitely something we should probably try to recognise, work out the whys behind it and then work to change it. Here’s how to know if you’re a closet eater and what to do about it if you are!
Eating huge amounts in public or private isn’t healthy eating but if you’re avoiding eating in front of others, it puts a completely different spin on things. You know it’s wrong, so you do it where no one can see you and judge you. You don’t have to worry about prying eyes staring at you or you worrying about what they think. After it’s all said and done though (eaten) you don’t feel good. In fact you feel crap like the ‘food’ you’ve just eaten.
3 MAIN REASONS YOU MAY BE A CLOSET EATER
- You know you need to lose weight and you know everyone else knows too. The problem is you just can’t get committed to exercise and healthy eating today. Or you’ve tried without success. So you do stuff like buy Maccas , eat it in the car park and put the rubbish in the bin before driving home. Or if you’re like me and you’ve eaten it at home, it goes in the outside bin but you make sure it’s under the last bag of rubbish that went in there. The last thing you want is for the next person who takes out the rubbish to see that brown paper bag with the golden arches! For me, if I decide to eat junk food in private, it’s because I know how unhealthy it is. I’m always preaching about healthy food and I feel hypocritical if I then eat something in front of others.
- You treat food like a stress release and you can’t stop at one bowl of ice-cream. So you have one bowl in front of everyone and then eat the rest of the tub when everyone’s gone to bed, for example. Other people smoke or have a glass of wine. You’re more inclined to eat as much junk food as you like when there is no one around to watch you.
- You treat food like a reward . The anticipation of when you’re alone and can eat what you want gets you through the day. It’s something to look forward to in the middle of a busy day at work or day at home running after the kids. It’s really a quick and cheap way of entertaining yourself and unwinding.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A CLOSET EATER
KEEP A FOOD DIARY
Ways to get around this sort of secret eating is to try to figure out what goes through your head when you make that decision to not eat in front of others. You really need to stop and think about this and I can see how many might find this too uncomfortable to do.
Keeping a private food diary for your own benefit and recording everything you eat and the feelings behind it might help you figure out a few things about yourself. You may very well see a pattern forming. For example you reward yourself with tim tams after a long hard day with the kids. May be you can think of something else to do, like ring a friend. Read my post here on things you can do instead of eating, whether it’s in private or public!
GO TO THE DOCTOR
You may be on the verge of an eating disorder and should definitely see your doctor. He or she can organise some counselling as soon as possible. Sometimes being a closet eater isn’t a huge problem. Especially if you just want time to yourself to enjoy eating without someone wanting some. Like when you have little kids! But on the more serious side of things you could be developing depression or a mood disorder that’s leading to a serious eating disorder. Its best not to ignore this and seek help for the sake of your health.
We have to accept many things in life and rightly or wrongly judgment is one of them. Judging is human nature. It’s a characteristic we have evolved to have for our survival. We are supposed to be able to quickly sum up what we see and decide if it’s a threat, a potential mate or food to eat. The thing is we probably judge ourselves a lot too. Use your feelings of guilt and shame to guide you. You know you will feel better and be healthier by not being a closet eater and eating crap. Follow your feelings to a healthier you and reach out for help if you need it. You can do it!
This whole issue can be very complex and I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I strongly urge anyone who is a closet eater to understand why they do it and if it is causing you to have feelings of shame and guilt to do something about it.
DID YOU FIND THIS HELPFUL? SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS BELOW!
OR LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!
photo credit image 1 ; judacoregio via Visual Hunt CC BY
photo credit image 2 & 3; visualhunt.com