I can still remember it: a little, yellow house, with white trim directly across the street from my elementary school. Once inside, a world of jawbreakers, candy necklaces, Lemonheads, and Pez candy for my Bugs Bunny dispenser beckoned me. This was the candy store of my dreams. For my peers, this was a place to congregate and explore the latest sugar trends with giddy delight. For me, it was a place of escape, sprinkled with a very deep-seated desire to be accepted and belong.
I can't recall a time in the past when food wasn't a focal point in my life. For me, food was my saving grace from a world in which I felt very much alone and very much unworthy of love. As a child, I had no idea how my limiting beliefs would set the stage for how I interacted with and viewed the world.
As I matured and learned how to navigate my place in the world, so too did the part of me that was responsible for my relationship with food and my body. The more sophisticated I got, the more sophisticated it got. The more I tried to push it away by binging and purging, the louder it got.
One day, I just didn’t want to live anymore. I flat out had no desire to be on this planet anymore. Why continue my sugar-induced coma of a life trapped in a body I hated, one that didn’t appear to love me either? In a world that seemed to hand me the very short end of the stick?
Enough was enough. I found the power of nutritional therapy and it changed my life. I felt light and free, and for the very first time I really loved the feeling of being in my own skin. I was happy, joyful, and so excited to be thriving instead of simply surviving. So much so that I left the fashion industry for good to start my own practice and pursue a career in holistic nutritional therapy.
A couple of years later, while juggling what it really means to be an entrepreneur, something changed. The compulsive overeating part of me decided to pay a visit, and she had no plans to leave. Apparently, she just wasn’t satisfied that I'd corrected my B-6 deficiency, gut imbalances, adrenal fatigue, and hypothyroidism. She certainly didn't care that all my neurotransmitters and their synaptic vesicles were highly pampered – a major player in all addictions. Apparently, she ignored my background in functional medicine, everything-free, organic whole foods diet, or the fact that on a clinical level, I was doing amazing work.
I'd done everything right. And that wasn’t even the most painful part.
The worst part was all the guilt and shame I carried because I felt like a fraud.
Yep, one minute I was this rock star coach, the next minute, I’m curled up in a ball on the floor fighting an intense urge to go to Whole Foods, buy five bags of raw coconut macaroons, plus a pint of coconut ice cream, and eat them all.
What was I missing? Even with all the personal growth work I’d done while ensuring my physical body was well cared for, there was still something I couldn’t put my finger on.
Then it hit me.
An optimum diet has no impact on limiting beliefs, and limiting beliefs affect every cell, organ, gland and behavior in our bodies. And boy did I endure a lot of emotional pain trying to figure this one out.
I’d spent all these years trying to be perfect that I’d completely glossed over the positive intention that this part had for me. I realized that the compulsive overeating was more than just “stuffing” away my emotions, or needing comfort from all the hopelessness and loneliness I felt.
I realized my compulsive overeating part was trying to keep me safe from doing something really drastic — like exiting this world for good – something I’d contemplated doing since I was a little girl. In truth, if I hadn’t had her, I probably wouldn’t be here today. In truth, it’s not about the food, but food plays such a major role in our physiological response to an ever-changing, toxic world.
I realized I’m an even better coach thanks to my experience, and now I'm able to merge functional nutrition with deeper change work.
How’s that for letting go of limiting beliefs?