Emotions need to be felt the way that food needs to be chewed; emotions need to be digested within your psyche the way food is digested in your stomach. The compulsive eater often gorges on food as a way to avoid feeling feelings, but then treats food the same way he or she treated the emotion--moving too quickly, failing to chew, and failing to properly digest it.
Once your feelings are felt, they can be acknowledged, looked at, learned from, and surrendered to God. But instead of acknowledging and feeling your feelings, you've learned to discount them before they can even rise up fully formed. You suppress what you're too afraid to feel, having little or no trust in the wisdom of your emotions. You don't know your emotions have any wisdom--how could you, given that no one honored them when you were a child? But they do; they are part of the genius of the human psyche.
Emotions, even painful ones, are here to tell you something. They are messages to be tended to. Yet how can you tend to something you don't know is there? Emotions must be acknowledged and felt; or else they cannot be learned from, grown from, or processed.
Life might have taught you that emotions are dangerous. Perhaps as a child, you were told things such as, "Don't you cry or I'll give you something to cry about"--an emotionally tyrannical message that certainly would have taught you to suppress your feelings at all costs. Perhaps your emotions were ignored, minimized, or even laughed at by parents who had other things and other children to think about. What matters is that, for whatever reason, you learned at a very young age to neither honor nor even really feel your own feelings.
Energy cannot be uncreated. And emotions are powerful forms of energy. If you're too frightened to feel a feeling. its energy still has to go somewhere. Actually, an emotion is not dangerous until it's disowned for that's when it commonly gets projected onto others and/or compressed into your own flesh. That only produces more feelings--shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and failure--resulting in an endless barrage of twisted reasons telling you why you might as well just give up and eat more. The only feelings you really need to fear are those you ignore. The pain you're trying to avoid is nothing compared to the pain you've already lived through.
There is no reason to run to food--or to anything else, for that matter--to escape your feelings.