For many years I was afraid to tell my story. I didn’t want anyone to know “my big secret." Even now, I have a hard time telling people that I am a recovering food addict and compulsive overeater. Recently I've come to understand that in order to fully heal myself I must step into the fear and expose my truth.
When I left high school at age 18, I was morbidly obese, ashamed, and frightened that no one would love me because of how I looked. My “weight issue” had been with me for as long as I can remember. At an early age, I developed a love-hate relationship with the scale and determined my self-worth by the number that it reflected back to me.
I never felt good enough and lived a fearful life.
This past year I have been on a quest of self-discovery and healing. Throughout my journey, I have learned that true health is achieved when we create complete harmony with the mind, body, and spirit.
Instead of feeling like there is something wrong with me because I was overweight or FAT, I began to understand that I needed to step let go of the past, and love and accept myself just as I am.
So how did I finally break free from emotional eating and lose over 130 pounds? Here are six tips you can follow, too.
1. Be aware.
The first step in breaking free from any negative pattern is to simply be aware that it exists. When we learn to cultivate awareness around what we do and how we do it, we are connecting with our inner guide, higher power, and spirit. When we bring conscious awareness to all the little things, everything will fall into place.
2. Focus on feelings.
After you become aware of your thoughts and actions, focus on how you feel. Stay with the feelings. Don’t run from them or turn to food (or any other unhealthy habit) for comfort. Know that these feelings will pass no matter how crappy they make you feel.
3. Be positive.
Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. Ask yourself, "How do I WANT to feel?" If you want to feel good then think good thoughts. When you put positive thoughts into the universe and follow through with positive actions you will see positive results. Begin each day with a loving positive thought about yourself and your life! “I accept myself and create peace in my mind and heart.”
4. Tune in.
Tune in with your body, listen to what it tells you! Once you learn how to tune in with what your body wants, not your mind, you will be better able to understand how to cultivate nourishment for yourself and slowly break free from emotional eating. A very powerful and essential tool I teach my clients, is to tune in to themselves through meditation.
5. Let go.
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself”- Deepak Chopra
When we hold on to our past we are unable to experience the here and now. Your higher self (the person you truly are) only lives in the present moment. If we stay stuck in our past or only focus on our future we are not honoring our true selves. As we learn to let go of what no longer serves us, we open up to new possibilities and begin to receive what we need.
6. Nourish yourself.
Make a list of all the things that nourish you and start to do them. This can be the food you eat, the relationships you have, or the work that you do. The more you add nourishment into your life from sources other then food, the more likely you are not to turn to food for comfort.
Each moment, we have a new opportunity to change what we think, believe, and feel about ourselves. Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, acknowledge it, observe it, then challenge it. Begin your day with a positive affirmation: “I love life, and life loves me." Repeat as needed throughout the day. Our bodies are the only eternal relationship we have. If we can’t trust, love, and be honest with ourselves then how can we love, trust, or be honest with another?