Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Emotional Eating, Learning to Concur Over the Kitchen

If there's anything I've learned about people in the recent few years, it's that we all battle our own demons. Some people fight with them more publicly than others. Some demons are more sneaky than others. Thus, they are easier to judge. Some people who look like they have it all together might be the same ones who go crawl into bed at night and cry themselves to sleep. I saw on the news that Bill Cosby is not who we thought he was, and I am so saddened by the loss of what I thought was so pure. We all have struggles. I just decided if I put mine out there for everybody then maybe I can concur them for good. And in the mean time I can help others too.

My demons live in the kitchen. The demon I fight is with food and emotional eating.  I've waged war with my self worth regarding food more times than I can even count, ever since I was a teen. Sometimes I feel like I'm suffocating from my own "weakness" and I just want to come up for breath again. And when I get stuck in the game of eating for comfort, it's a daily, hourly, even minute by minute misery. There are times in my life where I have felt like I'm winning the game, and food doesn't have this control over me. And then there are the other dark times when I feel out of control. Those are the times when life gets really hard. I feel lost and out of control and it feels like it effects every part of my waking life. It even follows me into my dreams. Even as I write this, my emotions are strong and I feel strongly that I need to address them head on if I want to win this game.

First (baby) Steps...

The first step to avoiding this is to look at the situation with loving, accepting eyes. The kind of eyes your best friend or your Mom has for you. The eyes that see no wrong doing. Hate, anger and fear will not do us any good at this point because they are exactly what has led us here. It's love and kindness that can get you out. When I adore my body, and when I honor myself and my emotions, then I don't have problems with overeating. Here's what I've learned so far.

"I FEEL OUT OF CONTROL WITH MY EATING" I told my hubby one day, crying.
He simplified the problem by asking where in my life I felt out of control. I don't even know if he knew I had this "problem" with food, but he seemed to know the solution without a second thought. 

Your life and your relationship with food are projections of your lifestyle/habits/thoughts. Your thoughts will always manifest physically.

The answer hit me hard, like an obvious bonk to the head. Where did I feel out of control? I felt out of control in my life everywhere. It felt like my kids were growing up too fast and I wasn't giving them a good enough childhood. It felt like my relationship was ending, and I was moving towards divorce. I felt like I was diving deep into fitness but wasn't ready to make the next big jump into the big leagues. And what did I do with all this pent up stress? I overate. It soothed me initially and then it gave me a gigantic slap in the face. And over time it gave me a body I don't feel pride in. And if you have ever been overweight, one of the worst parts is not feeling comfortable in your own skin. This is what hurts the most. The insecurity of not feeling pride in yourself.

What should we be doing instead of eating our stress? Taking action.

Stress is caused by not taking action on a stressor. Thus, I needed to stop worrying that I wasn't giving my kids enough attention and just schedule out 30 minutes a day of straight play time. I needed to talk to my hubby about our relationship and seek a counselor or a lawyer instead of just stewing in the unknown. I needed to start doing the things that bring me joy and schedule them out to make them real. So when something stresses you out: You have to change your mind about it (and accept that you can't change other people's minds) or you have to physically do something to change your situation.

To reiterate: 
STRESS leads to 2 options: 
1) Change the situation
2) Change the way you look at the situation

As for the physical overeating piece, I listened to an awesome Podcast ( I think it was I Simply Am Podcast) where the guy gave a protocol of questions to ask yourself before you begin eating.

1. Recognize any emotion you are feeling. 
What is the one word that describes it?
Example: loneliness, boredom, rejection, shame, fear

2. Where are you feeling it?
 Example: In my whole body, in my belly, in my heart

2. Say hello to the feeling. Give it a name, don't hide from it
call it out! It needs to be heard
Hello lonely. Hello shame, hello fear

3. Decide to eat anyways

This allows you to still eat and after you have acknowledged the emotion, But I advise to eat slowly,  enjoy every bite, don't do it in shame. The next time around you feel that way and want to overeat, you can look at the situation from an experienced eye. You have already eaten "lonely" and now you want to try something else. Because eating our emotions never quite cuts it.
My fridge has this hanging up on it

One of the best quotes that I heard on this podcast was "You have to FEEL to Heal" So this allows you to feel the emotion instead of trying to avoid it.

I would love to help you if you struggle with this. I have many ideas up my sleeve to help you, if you want it. Just email me. One of my personal favorite things to do is a 12-14 hour fast, where you consume water and tea only and you can do this during your nightly sleep. It prevents you from stuffing your emotions with food and allows you to face your personal issues head on, fearlessly.

Cheers to facing your demons, Much Love to all!