Following on from Part 1 – where we looked at why dieting and controlling your food is fuelling binge eating and encouraging a detrimental relationship with yourself. Part 2 is about getting to the root of why you’re turning to food.
This is where it gets really powerful.
Drawing up a new ‘clean’ eating plan, starting on Monday and refreshing your gym membership yet again isn’t the solution.
A few sessions in with my health coach, I was discussing how when I don’t feel emotionally well – no amount of organic, raw green vegetables and juices can change that. That’s when she asked me a powerful questions that ultimately shifted my relationship with food.
“If food wasn’t the only solution right now, what would it be?”
“What is going on right now that you think or want food will fix?”
This takes brutal honesty.
“What is happening in your life, that your turning to food (or any other vices) to seek comfort?”
For me it was coming to grips that my life and daily schedule carried a lot of uncertainty/going with the flow/setting my own hours to work/ not having a boss to watch over me. All of this uncertainty and lack of schedule caused me to over analyse and restrict my food in order to feel as though I had some control over my life.
When I felt weak and undisciplined, restricting my food was the quickest way to feel good about myself. Because that was the only thing that I could control at the time. In fact, controlling my food and eating wholesome, fresh, home made meals all day gave a sense of purpose. This was great except that when I inevitably fell of the food rules that I set upon myself, I felt a wave of disappointment and frustration – adding to the anxiety and uncertainty that I was already experiencing.
What are you really after?
Is it to be loved, touched and adored? To be respected, admired and heard? Are you craving a sense of achievement or purpose? Are you longing to feel alive in your body? Are you yearning to feel connected with yourself?
Truth is most likely you don’t want the cookies, every day. Gorging on sugar everyday isn’t making you truly happy. Stuffing your face with food whilst zombie-ing out on the sofa after a long day at work isn’t what you want. You know deep within your heart what you truly want. You know what needs to change.
In my coaching practise, all it takes is one major shift for a client and all the other pieces of their life come together. Once they discover and connect with this major shift, all their other problems begin to disappear.
That’s the power of getting to the root cause of why you’re emotionally eating in the first place.
Once I released I was turning to food to feel more in control of life, I quickly changed my thoughts and implemented a few changes:
– Instead of fearing uncertainty and going with the flow, I began to embrace it. Every time I’d feel anxious, I gave myself a quick pep talk to step up and face the uncertainty. To live in the uncertainty instead of pushing those emotions away by distracting myself with food.
-I stopped associating restricting food with feeling productive, disciplined and virtuous. Come on girl, it’s just food! Having a superfood bowl of quinoa tabouleh, roasted cashew-kale, cherry tomatoes sprinkled with watercress and alfalfa sprouts isn’t the greatest achievement in the world. Similarly, getting a takeaway pizza and fries isn’t a crime! You’re not going to wake up with a pimple the next day for having pizza and ice-cream for dinner.
-I began to realise that you can go with the flow of life, surrender to what Allah has in store for you and still feel productive, purposeful and disciplined.
– I consciously carved out time on activities that make me feel purpose-driven, productive and disciplined that don’t relate to food.
-I realised that letting go doesn’t mean that I’ll be binging on nutella all day. Letting go means that I’ll listen to myself – mind, body and soul. Sometimes that might be eating a cookie or reading a cook or stimulating my mind. Food isn’t the only answer.
This part of healing your emotional eating journey requires your uttermost honesty. It’s so scary to admit that your career – that you’ve spent years working towards is no longer fulfilling you. It’s frightening to admit that your marriage/friendships are falling apart. But that is where change happens. It’s coming to grips that your NOT okay… you’re not happy with the way things are turning out. Once you get to the root cause, then you can work on making permanent, lasting transformations – for what’s missing in your life and work on creating a beautiful, happy, light-filled relationship with your body and food.