There’s Nothing Wrong with Finding Comfort in Food
Finding comfort in food is completely normal. I mean, it’s literally one of the first things we do when we’re born. Food can be so many wonderful things, including comforting.
When I think about comfort foods, I think about chilly days spent consuming warm soups, twice-baked potatoes, and mugs of hot chocolate with mountains of marshmallows on top. I think about eating salted caramel Ghirardelli when I’m stressing over a deadline. I think about diving into a bowl of queso or some mac and cheese when I just want the world to leave me alone for a little while.
Using food as a form of comfort is normal. It’s not inherently bad or wrong. Finding comfort in food only becomes a problem when it’s DESTRUCTIVE.
If food is your only coping mechanism and the only thing you can count on, it sours the relationship. Food is not a replacement for self-care, a therapist, learning to set boundaries, handling difficult emotions, etc. It can’t be the only (or even the main) tool in your toolbox.
If your reliance on food for comfort turns into uncontrollable binging alongside feelings of guilt and shame, that’s a concern. That is a kind of emotional eating that can spiral and take over your life, and even devolve into an eating disorder.
But you can have a healthy relationship with food AND find comfort in food. This is the reality I live alongside so many other people who practice intuitive eating.
So tell me, what are your comfort foods and when do you rely on them?