The longer I work with clients, the more I realize that most of us with food issues are simply suffering in some way and are looking for love/comfort. We can have a very loving relationship with another person, but if we don’t love ourselves, something is missing and we use food to fill the void. For others it could be alcohol, drugs, gambling or smoking.
However, food seems to be the most common, as it’s quick and easy, doesn’t harm anyone, and can be easily hidden. Unfortunately though, we only feel good for a fraction of a second with the initial taste, then guilt kicks in, we feel uncomfortable and start punishing ourselves, which simply leads to more eating or binge eating. Unfortunately, eating alone keeps the excitement inside us. Instead of facing our problems, we overeat, which only creates more problems.
The only time our body really wants food is when it is physically hungry. So when we eat for emotional reasons, it doesn’t work, because our body doesn’t want food, it wants comfort in some other way. So we keep eating waiting for that magical solution that never comes.
By learning to eat “naturally,” we are reconnecting with our body’s natural instincts for hunger and satisfaction. This will then fill the physical need and allow us to find positive and empowering things that will fill the emotional need. The wonderful thing about natural eating is that it is based on awareness. Once you are aware of your food habits/triggers, you can make a different choice.
The key is to honor your emotions, to notice that you are sad or lonely or stressed. Sometimes a good cry is the answer, as it allows you to get the emotion out of your body. Other ways to do this are laughing, singing, yelling, or doing something physical like running, riding a bike, or practicing martial arts. Then you will be able to think clearly and find that one positive thing that will comfort you and move on.
I encourage you to start thinking about the times you overeat or binge and see if you can see a pattern. You will find that it is based on certain activities and events that have led to negative habits. Because once you are aware of what you are doing, you can find a way to avoid those triggers and make different positive decisions.