You want to eat, but you know you shouldn’t. You're not hungry, but you can't step away from the refrigerator. You pull out a yogurt and promise yourself you'll just eat half, but five minutes later it’s gone—and, even worse, you still want more. Grrr.
In truth, you are hungry for something. It's just not food. We eat without true physiological hunger for one really big reason—yep, just one—you're hungry for distraction or emotional satiation and you think it can be found in food.
For example, take my client, Sandy. Sandy often feels anxious, and one of her primary coping mechanisms is to reach for a bag of chips or popcorn—a food that will allow her to keep reaching for more. She knows she’s an emotional eater and that she’s triggered by frustration, boredom, loneliness, and other unpleasant feelings.
Yes, we know she’s eating to numb those feelings, but what’s really going on? What is she searching for? Why are these feelings so uncomfortable to her that she feels like she has to numb them? And, most importantly, how can we change the status quo?
What if, instead of just playing out this pattern over and over again, we could destroy it? Well, we can.