When I feel depressed, why do I eat?
Because you probably want to feel better, immediately. Eating food is the cheapest, fastest, easiest, most available mood-altering process we have. Consuming food is also linked to our parents nurturing and loving us when we were babies. For many overweight people, eating is the only remedy we know.
Going a little deeper, I’ve learned in my own life and recovery from obesity that most of us feel very empty deep down inside, and we want to feel full. We hunger for something more in our lives. We crave love, meaning, and purpose.
We’ve also been taught by our culture that having difficult feelings like depression, anxiety, sorrow, and fear are wrong. Somehow we’re supposed to be happy and positive all the time. This is just not real! Life has an infinite variety of conditions; people have a range of emotions, it’s OK to feel down at times. Feeling blue once in a while doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong with you! (If you always feel depressed, that’s another matter and it would help to seek some professional assistance from a therapist, counselor, or pastoral caregiver.)
I teach people to experience all of their emotions. Be a full person. I encourage you to "explore the depths" of your soul. Most importantly, learn to fill your deep personal hunger and emotional cravings with God, instead of extra food. Expand your beliefs and faith into all corners of yourself. Let yourself be a little depressed, uncover your buried needs, be the way that God created you and let yourself fully exist. Let yourself feel happy and sad, contented or miserable. Then, you will discover a profoundly deep, full and meaningful you--and true happiness will emerge--and you won’t need to rely on food so much to feel good.