When we eat when we are not hungry, choose foods that don't make us feel good and are devoid of nutrients, then there is often something deeper going on. I like to think of it as a "soul-call."
Have we just received an upsetting email? Are we feeling overwhelmed, in need of a rest, a hug, a chat with a friend? Are we angry but unable to accept the feeling? Emotional eating, when explored safely and lovingly, can be a porthole to freedom.
For years, I struggled with cycles of emotional eating and restricted eating. With a masters degree in nutritional medicine, I knew the facts about food, but I felt powerless to stop using food as a comfort.
The problem was that I had a lack of self worth, I was an over-giver and had no idea I was allowed to take care of my needs as well as being there for others. It wasn’t until I was laid flat with an auto-immune illness, and crushed by the end of a relationship that I finally got it.
From there, I spent four years in a nurturing cocoon: learning, reading, studying for a counselling qualification, getting therapy, strengthening my meditation practice, and learning how to love on myself!
I want to share everything I've learned in case it's helpful to you.
If I could wave a magic wand which meant that you could eat whatever you wanted and not put on weight, would that be paradise?
If you are eating to prevent yourself from having to deal with job dissatisfaction, relationship issues, grief over the loss of a loved one, family problems, feeling the the ups and downs of life--being thin and losing weight will not solve those problems.
Those issues will still be there, nagging, pulling, needing to be looked at, accepted, worked with and healed.
The obsession with food covers a multitude of issues, but the beauty is that it can also be the porthole to healing.
If we are willing to courageously look at what we are trying to smother with food, then we can shine light on the darkness. One ray at a time.
Start by checking in with yourself today. Pause. Breathe.
How do you feel? What do you need? If you really loved yourself, how would you talk to yourself? What would you say no to? What would you say yes to? How would you walk? What would you do for relaxation? What new hobby or activity would you try? How would you treat yourself? Can you take steps toward this self-love today?
Once we love and honor ourselves, the pain and cover of emotional eating begins to fall away. For extra support take a look at my website, Nurture with Love.