Eating out of Emotion?
If you are a business traveler who is also an emotional eater, your problem is compounded by the risk of loneliness, boredom, and guilt.
For us parents, guilt becomes a big issue—whether self-imposed or not. We know all too well the need to pay the bills, but having to spend so much time away from children and home can lead to emotional eating and self-sabotage. Boredom plays a role in emotional eating in general,
but particularly with delayed flights.
Loneliness is a common issue and a prevalent factor that weighs in heavily into our behaviors as die-hard business travelers. An empty room begs for company and creates a conducive environment for self-gratification. Before you know it, the snack bar in the room has your name written all over it. Likewise, the now frequent feature at hotels, the pantry, usually has more options than a vending machine or minibar but still usually caters to those with weak willpower and is stocked with the
chips and candies we all crave. Comfort foods become a road warrior’s favorite meal.
I personally find it ironic that as travelers we stay at so many hotels in so many different cities, but the one thing all the rooms seem to have the most of? Mirrors! Somebody must have decided you
won’t be as lonely if you can see your mirror image on the other side of the room, or in the bathrooms, in front of the computer desk . . . even in the closets. Everywhere you look in your hotel room you can see yourself. You might be comfortable looking, but you might be like many others who don’t want to see what’s looking back. What a torture! It’s almost like every corner forces you to look at yourself, with or without clothes. Sadly, the heavier you are, the more likely you are to not want to look but, either way, it is a constant reminder that you are putting on pounds you probably don’t want. If you are an emotional eater, you might take solace in comfort food—another
Of course, there is an enormous amount of stress related to being a regular business traveler. The stress of your deadlines, pressure to perform, and even pressure from your family to be “present” for them even though you are far away. Then there is the stress we already mentioned—the hoops and whistles that you need to deal with in making it to your plane, while getting a PowerPoint presentation finished. No wonder there’s some emotional eating taking place.