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Sometimes we suppress our emotional needs in the body instead of releasing our emotions in a constructive way. There are countless reasons why we choose to turn to food.

Below you will find a love word vs. a fear word. If you eat because of a fear, you will see the love you are not embracing. This will help you focus on a more deliberate emotion to welcome into your life.

Curiosity vs. Boredom -

Curiosity will expand your consciousness and broaden your viewpoint. It will pry, meddle and take an interest in things that you may have overlooked in your life. When you become bored with yourself, get curious about yourself and think about the things you are procrastinating on. Ask yourself what would happen if you finished a project. How would that serve you to accomplish your goals? Get nosey and curious about being you.

This sudden curiosity will also peek your interest in discovering various healthful types of foods. Call it -- project self-discovery.

Togetherness vs. Loneliness -

I have met more people who are lonelier in relationships that I have in people who live alone. The act of togetherness can be expressed through mingling with friends, growing together with family or a loved one, coming together as a team, connecting with a co-worker on a deeper level, joining a group or organization. The only reason we feel lonely at any given time is because we unconsciously and sometimes consciously choose to stand in a lonely place.

Call a friend, send a card to someone on beautiful stationary, write letters instead of sending e-mail or visit an elderly person and learn a some wisdom in life management.

Instead of choosing a lonely atmosphere, invite someone to go somewhere you've always wanted to go. Ask someone to go to a concert, the theater or museum. Or try your legs at ice skating for the first time or hitting some golf balls at the driving range with a friend.

Get out of the house and choose togetherness!

Fulfilling vs. Emptiness -

I asked a patient one time why she ate so much. She burst into tears and said, "because I feel so empty." She was filling a void . . . a space in her body that hadn't experienced love and happiness in quite some time. We cannot hold other people responsible for our happiness. This is highly unfair to us and it is completely unfair to them.

Fulfillment comes from within us, not from somewhere outside of ourselves. This means that it must come from something that moves your heart other than something that "satisfies" you temporarily. Food gives temporary satisfaction and does not tap into the true joy of the heart.

Start spending time with things that bring you fulfillment. For myself, peaceful fulfillment may come through going to a bookstore, cooking a new recipe instead of going out to eat, or being alone with my thoughts to write. My louder fulfillment may come through debating politics and religion with my dad, sitting in a coffee shop with my mom, hanging out with my brothers and sisters or having deep conversations with a friend and connecting on a mental or spiritual level.

Make a list of the things that bring you peaceful and loud fulfillment and then go for it.

Calm vs. Anger -

Get honest and ask yourself, "What makes me so angry?" Write these things down. For someone like myself, I have a Type-A personality. For example - I like things clean, neat and organized. And being on time gives me a charge. My biggest challenge was not to hold others to the same standards that I hold for myself. I had to step out of my ego and embrace a world outside of myself. I had to admit a lot about my personality in order to receive unlimited possibility. I had limited myself and wasn't open to receiving, thereby limiting God to bless me. Sure God could bless me anyway because He is God, but I had to be open to recognizing the blessing.

I chose to release any suppressed anger by going from one individual to the other and talking out the differences. If forgiveness was involved, then I had to forgive or ask for forgiveness. I talked to people that I may have hurt, or who I felt hurt me. I had to admit when I was wrong. I did this to clear my past so I could move forward with a clean slate.

I got to know my mom and dad by asking them questions about their experiences, feelings and beliefs. This helped me understand them. I took the time to really get to know my brothers, sisters, and friends. I cleared everything with my former husband. And I talked to my daughter and said, "Let me have it. Tell me everything you ever wanted to say to me while you were growing up." The clearing was awesome. I was on a roll and every day I was surrounded by more and more peace.

Clearing your anger will bring a wave of calm like none other and you can still be yourself. It's very cool!

Contentment vs. Anxiety -

I had a big lesson in anxiety. I found out that freaking out over something certainly does not fix a problem. We've all heard, "What you focus on expands." Snapping out of the "freak out" mode can get more difficult if we keep giving it negative attention. Einstein said, "You cannot fix a problem with the same energy that created it." Problems are typically created through a lack of understanding or lack of proper respect or attention. If we choose to feed a problem with anxiety, we can most certainly count on the problem not getting solved any time soon.

Try to find the lesson in the big picture. If the situation is trying to teach you about stability, humility or love - then embrace the lesson and learn from it. Step into contentment, knowing that you have recognized a valuable lesson that you can use further in your life. This may be a lesson that you can teach others or your children.

Be content with the fact that you are a spiritual being in a physical body traveling your spiritual progression path like the rest of us. Be content that you got the value of the lesson and now you can move forward. Be content that you recognized what caused the chaos and now you can correct it.

Anxiety will last as long as you say it will.

Happiness vs. Sadness -

Even though most "over-eating moments" are typically surrounded by sadness, sometimes we overeat because it is a festive season or because we are social butterflies at the next happy hour. Social gatherings can invite spontaneous over-indulgence without realizing what hit you. Eating a gigantic salad before going out will put the breaks on appetizers and monster platters.

Then there are times when we embrace food for more unpleasant situations, which can still cause us to over-indulge. Feelings of sadness can be overwhelming, but again, identifying the cause of the sadness by stating it "out loud" or writing it down will bring it closer to home rather than suppressing it deeper into the body.

Get honest with your emotions and give it a name. Say what it is and this will bring clarity to the moment. You may have an emotional meltdown once your blurt out your true feelings, but this will be a good thing. Throw yourself on the bed in the fetal position and let the emotions roar. Or take a solemn bath and let the tears flow down the drain. In other words, give yourself a chance to release the emotion, rather than simply suppressing it with food. Identify the emotion.

You always have the "free will" to change your situation at any given moment. Take the time now to release the sadness and embrace your happiness.

Praise vs. Blame -

It's always easier to blame something or someone for us having gained weight. This is how we shift responsibility. We may blame God, our parents, unfilled relationships, childbirth and marriage for our weight gain, but the truth is we are adult enough to feed ourselves. These excuses will fool no one, not even you. The blame game won't work, but honesty will.

We reward others for a job well done by praising them with a meal or a cocktail. These celebratory eating binges are more special when they actually differ from our regular daily pattern. In other words, celebratory eating binges should be few and far between.

When celebrating something special, get creative and celebrate with an activity or gift that is not surrounded by food. If you'd like to reward someone with praise, then maybe a gift certificate to someplace other than a restaurant would be more appropriate rather than taking them to dinner. And vice versa. If someone would like to reward you for having done something special, then be honest and ask for a book you've been wanting or something that would better serve your needs.

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.