How to Cope with Hurt Feelings


hurt feelings and binge eating

Do you ever eat when you have hurt feelings? Do you find yourself in the middle of a binge or emotionally eating? Do you ever come home or get off the phone with someone, and feeling sad and lonely, stressed or anxious, angry or overwhelmed, walk over to the refrigerator and unconsciously start eating until you feel badly about that instead of what you had originally felt bad about?

Dealing with hurt feelings through emotional eating is one of the ways that we learn to soothe ourselves. But there are other options. When you notice that you are hurt, know that this is a prime time for you to run to the kitchen. Remind yourself that you are at risk for bingeing and ask yourself if there are other things that you can do. Some ways to deal with hurt feelings or anger are:

1.)talking about them to someone else

2.)screaming into a pillow

3.)going for a long walk

4.)reminding yourself that you’ve done nothing wrong, or if that’s not the case, taking the steps that you need to apologize or correct the situation.

5.)take deep breath/meditate

6.)punch pillows

7.)give yourself a break, forgive yourself.

8.)write about it. get on a forum and discuss what happened with others.

Add something

Often, in attempts to quit binge eating, people will set up a rule structure for themselves such as “I can’t eat sugar anymore, I can’t ever eat white flour, I can’t eat gluten…” etc. However, more often that not, those foods that they restrict themselves are the foods they wind up bingeing on. Rather than attempting to control the binge by taking something away, try to add something. For instance, “I will eat a vegetable with every meal and a fruit for desert for each meal,” or “I will take a walk at night after dinner,” or “I will write in my journal or do a blog post  when I have the urge to binge,” or “I will call my sponsor/friend/family member/support person when I am feeling down.”  Change “I won’t”  statements into “I will statements.” The hope here is that you will begin to fill up your time (and your meals!) with the good stuff which will help you to generally feel better.

Do One Nice Thing for yourself– RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!

What nurturing non-food related thing can you do for yourself at this moment? You deserve to be cared for and if you don’t take it upon yourself to take care of yourself, you just might wind up using food to fulfill that need.

Here are some things that you can do right now.

1.)Rub nice smelling lotion into your feet and paint your toenails.

2.)Make yourself a cup of tea and drink it slowly while gazing out the window.

3.)Look in the mirror and tell yourself what’s great about yourself.

4.)Go get a hug from someone you love.

5.)Do your nails or go get them done.

6.)Take a nice long bubble bath.

7.)Take a walk outside.

8.)Put a facial mask on and sit around reading a fun novel.

9.)Sit in silence with your eyes closed, just breathing in and out slowly and imagine yourself flooded with healing light energy (otherwise known as meditation).



What else can you do?

Do it! Do one nice thing for yourself this very moment!

One Daily Intention

Here’s a quick recovery exercise for you. Rather than thinking about weeks or months or years ahead of you, each morning set just ONE DAILY INTENTION.

Wake up in the morning and before you do anything, before you get out of bed, before you brush your teeth, think about what your intention for that day is. Just choose one. Think about it, visualize it, see yourself achieving it and hold onto it for the day.

Ideas for daily intentions.

  • I will eat slowly and mindfully today. I will let myself eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied. Just for today.
  • I will go just for today without binge eating. Just for today.
  • I will go just for today without purging. Just for today.
  • I will not compare myself to anyone else today. Just for today.
  • I will not say mean things to myself today. Just for today.
  • I will drink 8 glasses of water today. Just for today.
  • I will refuse to engage in aggressive driving or road rage. Just for today.
  • I will floss my teeth before bed. Just for today.

Write it on a post it note and post it on your desk at work or your computer, or in your purse or wallet so that you can remember that one intention for the day.

Each day day that you set and stick to an intention will help increase your confidence, self esteem and help you on your road to recovery.

What are some of your daily intentions?

Friday – Q&A- I can’t stop fantasizing about food

This comes from a reader who would prefer to remain anonymous:


I wondered if you could give me some advice. Sometimes when I feel distressed or tired, I find myself having food fantasies. They are very intense and vivid where I imagine myself eating high-calorie food like cake and other sweet, fatty, high-carb foods. I imagine the taste and the pleasure it would give me. I’m not sure what to do when I have these fantasies because they make me want the food.
To give you some context, I used to be 17kg/37pounds overweight. I recently lost the weight over a period of a year through diet and exercise. However, I have fallen off the wagon and cannot get back on. When I was losing weight, I felt like a new person. I was disciplined, I was extremely fit, I was positive, I had energy and I felt in control.
It’s been six weeks since my fall off the wagon and I can’t get back into that mindset, and now all I can think about is food for comfort. I’ve started to re-gain the weight through comfort eating and no exercise. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what to eat or how to eat or how to get back to the place where I was exercising regularly, eating healthily and being happy.
Many thanks for your help.
Hello and thanks so much for your question.
I have a question for you, if you weren’t thinking about food, what do you think that you would be thinking about?
You very insightfully state that your mind turns to food when you are feeling distressed or tired. This tells me that food is very comforting to you. It’s something that you turn to for comfort and so when you are feeling distressed, you begin to think about food and eating to soothe yourself.
You might want to try using an alternative choice journal. When you find that you are feeling distressed, or your thoughts are drifting toward food, fill this out:
Feelings: Describe what you are feeling right now- happy? sad? anxious? angry? tired? lonely?:
What led to this feeling? Can you pinpoint the trigger?
Describe what kind and how much food your are fantasizing about:
How do you hope that this will make you feel? What outcome are you looking for?


Is there something else that you can do that might be able to give you a similar feeling as you are trying to achieve with food? 



For some ideas on self soothing or self care activities see here and for distractions, check here.

I would encourage you to concentrate on health  and well being rather than losing weight. Instead of trying really hard to refocus on losing weight again, think about giving yourself health by exercising in ways that you enjoy. Focus on being emotionally healthy by validating your own feelings and talking to safe people when you’re feeling distressed. Take care of yourself by being gentle and kind to yourself instead of beating yourself up for not being where you think you should be. The irony is, so many people get so angry at themselves when they binge, but the fact that they are bingeing indicates that they need compassion, yet they beat themselves up. If you are bingeing or fantasizing about food, you probably need to give yourself some more attention. Let yourself nap when you are tired and eat when you are hungry. Try to engage in intuitive eating rather than dieting or restrictive eating. Be kind and gentle with you.

A very similar one was asked a few months ago, you might want to check out that answer as well.

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy  at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

Send me your questions!

I will be starting a Q&A Friday. Send me any questions you might have about eating disorders, recovery, therapy, binge eating or compulsive eating, body image issues, bulimia, or anything else that falls into that category. I will do my best to answer. Email all questions to:

leora (at) leorafulvio (dot) com.