Nice to meet you
Hi, I'm Sherry. I'm a certified functional health and nutrition coach. I'm also a mom, wife to a farmer, former corporate executive, gardener, yogi, runner, beekeeper and for 10 years I was an emotional eater. If you're here, I'm guessing that you too may be struggling with food and emotional eating.
Emotional eating showed up in my life around the same time I separated from my husband of 10 years. Prior to that, I had a perfectly normal relationship with food. I ate a pretty typical diet that included fruit and vegetables, meat, grains, and dairy. I also ate cookies, pizza, chicken fingers, ice cream and chocolate, all without guilt or shame. And then food went from just being food to suddenly being this thing that carried so much more weight - both literally and figuratively.
Even after I got over the divorce and carried on with my life, the emotional eating continued. It was like a bad habit that I just couldn't shake. I wondered, what's wrong with me?
Why did I seem to think about food all the time?
Why did it feel like eating junk food was the only thing that brought comfort or relieved stress?
Why couldn't I just eat one or two cookies? Why did I feel compelled to eat the whole row, or the whole box?
Why did I eat when I wasn't even hungry, or continue to eat when I was already full?
Why did I constantly crave foods high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, fat or salt?
I was stuck in a vicious cycle of emotional eating. I would succumb to cravings for sugary, high carb foods, end up eating too much, and be left feeling bloated, puffy, foggy, and tired. However, as bad as the physical symptoms were, they were nothing compared to the overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, judgement and self-criticism. I'd vow to never do it again. I would tell myself that I couldn't have or shouldn't eat certain foods. This of course only fueled the fire of craving and feelings of deprivation causing the cycle to begin anew.
Finding Food Freedom
While I've always had an interest in nutrition and health, it was emotional eating that caused me to dive deeper to understand why and how this had happened and what I could do to fix it. I knew this wasn't normal, because prior to that point, I didn't have this problem. If I used to have a healthy relationship with food, then I figured that I should be able to get that back.
Through the study of nutrition and other aspects of wellness including mindfulness, stress management, and emotional/mental health, along with some critical learning about how our brains work and how habits develop, I ended the cycle of emotional eating and found my way back to a normal and healthy relationship with food.
It's now my desire and passion to help others do the same which is why I opted for a mid-life career change and became a health coach. I left a successful and accomplished 25 year career in the corporate world as an IT professional and executive, so that I can help other women find their way back to food freedom.
Living with Food Freedom
This is what food freedom looks like for me and what I experience on a daily basis:
Ability to navigate stress and highly charged emotional situations without turning to food
Ability to eat sweets, treats and other comfort foods without overindulging or feeling guilty
Eat a wide variety of nutrient dense, whole foods that adequately nourish my body and leave me feeling good
Appreciate my body for what it can do and enjoy movement and exercise for the physical, mental and social benefits, not as a form of compensation for poor eating
Ability to maintain a healthy weight without dieting or restriction
Peace of mind and an absence of judgement and self-criticism around food and my body