Hi, I’m Jenna – the founder of the Tenacious Grace Journey and author of 'Tenacious Grace: Redefine Your Relationship With Food and End Emotional Eating'. I’m so excited you are here and know that I’m in the trenches with you! I have struggled with emotional eating since I was 8 years old. It's something that has unfortunately defined me for far too long and I know it’s a commitment to a process of rewiring how I interact with food. I experienced something traumatic at 8 and repressed the memory for 13 years. I quickly learned that food was a quick way to feel in control for the moments I felt unsure or insecure emotionally. It was only a temporary fix each time, but it was enough to keep me going back to the “comfort foods” even when I wasn’t hungry.
What are you hungry for?
A good definition for emotional eating is consuming food as a response to feelings instead of physical hunger.
There are many reasons people emotionally eat. Some have grown up associating food with reward, punishment, fellowship, stress, etc. instead of associating it with fuel for their bodies. Others have gone through a trauma or have experienced life changing events that brought about their dependency on - or fear of - food. Even when some of those events were happy ones, such as the birth of a baby, getting married, changing to a better job, etc., something within the heart shifted and new emotions or fears surfaced. The concept of using food as a way of dealing with emotions may be foreign to some people, and that’s ok. This journey isn’t for them; they have their own journey to walk through with something else.
Through this journey, I was able to clearly identify my relationship with food and that I consistently turned to four different food sources. I even began to link them to specific feelings and experiences: pizza was my companion, Chick-fil-A was when I felt overwhelmed, Burger King was when I felt like a complete failure, and Taco Bell meant I was almost to Burger King and I was also feeling a lack of connection. Read my book Tenacious Grace to find out more of what I’ve learned!