Kween Confessions: Night Eating

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Welcome to a new series: Kween Confessions, where we touch on topics that no one wants to talk about. Send in your confession and we'll post it anonymously. We believe it's cathartic to put your story into words, and helpful for others to read and realize they are not alone. 

OK, I have something to talk about. I've been plagued with night eating for about a year now. For awhile it was only a couple times a week, then it (the urge) would stop for several weeks and I would be seriously relieved. But it's back and now I’m experiencing it almost nightly. So this is what I’m learning: there is an incredible amount of shame and secrecy attached to night eating, hence me standing in my kitchen trying to quietly open wrappers and almond butter jars so my sons or significant other won’t hear me and say “what are you doing? Its 3:00 in the morning." I’m not really “physically” hungry. I sat and checked in with myself, because I’ve started on the journey of Intuitive Eating and my body isn’t really used to not being on a structured, or restrictive diet. I’m trying really hard to listen to my hunger cues and what I really want to eat. So there are several possibilities why this is happening to me and I’m hoping this will help someone else who is too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about night eating. My eating rhythms are off and my Circadian Rhythms are also. I lost my job so I’m eating, sleeping, waking up at different times. My stress level is through the roof, so is my anxiety. Food and dieting is what I’m used to for coping mechanisms and those things are gone. I don’t think my sleep is restful, which is making me wake up, and stress is why I’m choosing to eat. Also the way in which I’m eating when I awaken is like I’m committing a crime, and thats not fair to treat myself, It’s not kind, helpful or supportive of what I’m going through. So I’ve made a concentrated effort to be okay with eating at night. Making this choice has actually created a sense of calm that surprised me. I also have decided that I deserve to sit and eat in a normal manner whether its 5:00 pm or 2:00 am. I’m going to have things that I can snack on that are easy and don’t make a bunch of noise so I don’t have to go into the bathroom like a child to secretly unwrap my food. Also I grew up with a mom who (although thought what she was doing was for my own good) put me on diets and would buy treats for my thin brother and tell me I couldn’t “afford” to eat them so I did a lot of secret eating as a child. So I will be kind to myself, I will allow myself to eat whether its hunger or comfort whether its in the middle of the night or whenever. It’s my body, I’m in charge now and I choose love and kindness.