The 5 REAL Reasons you ( OR YOUR CLIENT'S) Can't Stop Emotional Eating..and its NOT What you THINK…
Many people believe that emotional eating is about a lack of control and an inability to regulate oneself.
I don’t buy it.
If that were the case, we could simply be taught to “control the beast” and all would be well. Emotional eating falls on a spectrum that can lead to eating disorders but often lies outside of the boundaries of the DSM5, the diagnostic manual therefore while people suffer incredibly, they don’t believe its ‘serious” enough to deal with. Any emotional eater knows that it can hinder a functional, happy life and lead to isolation, depression and low self esteem. The torture of diets, food plans, weigh- ins, and constant obsession of food cannot be “controlled” but it can be transformed.
So why is it so hard to stop Emotional Eating?
1. Body Shame- Most people will say that they will begin to love their bodies AFTER they lose the weight, after they follow the “diet”, or after they start seeing some progress. The truth is: body shame is a CAUSE of emotional eating. It is very difficult to be in a positive space of change and transformation when you are stuck in the negativity and self doubt created by body shame. You must begin to change your thinking and therefore your emotional body before your physical body can shift! This is why diets never work- nor do they last..people are putting the cart before the horse on this one! Our programs are focused on changing the DISTORTED thinking that has people STUCK in emotional eating. This is a very in depth proven system that has deep patterns acknowledged and BROKEN. In this way, emotional eating is eradicated..for good! For more on that, check our programs for coaches and clients here: http://emergingjewel.com
2.Unconscious Mindset- When you are conscious, you have choice! Some behaviors of an unconscious eater may be an inability to stop eating when they are full, a desire to eat what is in front of them, even if they don’t want it, or coming out a binge not knowing what just happened. Slowing down and avoiding self judgement can help here…but there are proven steps to bring a problematic eater out of UNCONSCIOUS eating to CONSCIOUS eating, and they are about ACTION! To get conscious and break this cycle, most people need to develop a regular pattern of eating and tools to stay present and focused on a daily basis. This is not so easy when overeating or dieting has become a way of life. Learning how to plan WITHOUT dieting is KEY here, as well as uncovering the thoughts and feelings that come up at each eating episode. In this way, patterns can be identified and cognitive restructuring can be sued to shift and transform these stuck behaviours.
3.Food is THE source of Happiness- When eating becomes the most desired self care tool, emotional eating has set in. In order to let go of the desire to compulsively eat, there must be a desire to take care of oneself phsycially, emotionally, and mentally. If there are blockages in this area then usually thinking must be adjusted using a cognitive behavioral approach and then implementing action in this area becomes like second nature. There are no foods that are inherently bad, but bad choices have people eat toxic food in excess. When you are conscious, you are able to decide what is a healthy choice and what is not. Moderation becomes possible here. Finding other sources of pleasure and nourishment is beneficial, but looking at deeper reason of self destruction is also imperative.
4.Codependent Food Trap- Many women who suffer from disordered eating patterns also struggle with saying NO.I was one of them… and it has been a process of letting go of what I thought I NEEDED to do and really acting only from my heart and truth.Was it wrong if I didn't visit family over holidays? Aren't I SUPPOSE to I sit with an old friend who wants to be in her drama and is not looking for solution ? Am I a "bad" person for turning down a call for someone who wanted me to come over when I was exhausted from a long day and needed to rest ?
Living life based on what you "should do" is always going to result in some kind of negative self sabotage …When you are living your life to please someone else- when you are not saying NO, when you are spending all of your time taking care of everyone else…the food WILL get LOUD ! At some point in time the body and mind begin to say NO in their own way… a food binge, depression, and active anxiety episodes start to become the norm.Sometimes we don't even realize how many " should's " we have running our lives !
I " should" lose my winter weight. I " should" be able to stick with this cleanse. I "should" have closer relationships with family…
Living in the SHOULD"S was a big part of what kept me STUCK in disordered eating. Never feeling like I was "doing" enough, or "being" enough. I SHOULD spend less, I SHOULD work harder, I SHOULD have children by now, I SHOULD make healthier food choices….it was never ending. I had a set of beliefs…some old files in my mind around what I believed "worthy' looked like…what "accomplished" was.
It wasn't until I became conscious of how the SHOULD'S in my life were actually destroying my ability to THINK BETTER that everything began to change-
Steps to letting GO of the SHOULD!
- Write down " should" statement ( your trigger thought). EX: I should exercise every day. What is your reaction to this statement ? In other words, what feelings, thoughts, and behaviours does this statement ignite ? ( EX:"This makes me feel stressed, anxious, guilty, bad about myself, pressured, it makes me want to eat badly when I don't follow though." )
- How can you change this statement so that it is NOT a "should "statement, and so that you are treating yourself with the highest respect, and putting yourself FIRST.(Ex: I will plan to exercising three times this week because that is healthy and makes me feel good.
- If I choose differently to honour myself and my body in that moment then that is great also. My first priority will be checking in with how I am feeling and what I need.)
5.Mental Detox- Get rid of the detox mentality when it comes to food! It will only create more black and white thinking and extremes if you are a problematic eater. Sticking to a regular plan of eating is essential. Instead, detox your thoughts! What thoughts do you have influencing your self esteem throughout the day? Write down your thoughts for 3 days every time you eat. Notice what is there- you will be surprised!
From here you can use the cognitive behavioural approach to shift and change those! For more info, check out our discounted programs here! : http://emergingjewel.com
If you work with emotional eaters, and most coaches do…or you suffer yourself, the most important tip to remember is…its NOT about the food! When you use the specific tools in the proven system, thoughts change and behaviours with food are transformed…for good!
Please share if you know someone this might serve and don't hesitate to contact me with any questions at all at : firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to reading your comments below!