Emotional Eaters – Let Go of Your Fear and Guilt About Food

Cravings.

Emotional eaters are so frightened of them.  As if the very thought of food was going to lead to an everlasting binge.   So we live our lives looking for that perfect, safe little box we call the miracle diet.  You know, the one that’s going to last forever, bring us perfectly sized thighs, a narrow waist, and the eyes of every last man on the planet.

Except that perfect diet doesn’t exist.

Diets tell us “you’re not trustworthy”.

Diets tell us “you don’t deserve”.

Diets tell us “you’ll get used to being hungry”.

Here’s why this makes me so mad–Our bodies are little natural miracles!

All by themselves they regulate hundreds (or thousands) of biological processes, letting us know what to “DO” to be sure we don’t die.  They make sure we get just the right amount of water, they keep our temperature in a very narrow range, they regulate potassium, sodium, and hundreds of additional minerals and enzymes, tell us when to go potty, sleep, run, fight, and more.

So why in the world shouldn’t we trust them to tell us what to eat?

But that frightens you, right?  It frightened me too, at first.  (Very much)

But then I studied weight loss, dieting, and most especially emotional eating for years.  I thought I was going to find a grand secret (so did Glenn).  Then I finally realized the secret is that there IS no secret!

We don’t realize the wisdom of our bodies because we’re too way pre-occupied to pay attention.  We’re not really present when we eat. (Thanks to authors Geneen Roth, Carol Munter, and Linda Bacon for finally putting this together for me by the way, I intend to do my best to get each of these expert authors recorded and podcast as soon as possible)

Turns out being present (really present, as in not doing anything else, and thoroughly enjoying the pleasurable sensations) increases our absorption of nutrients and triggers our satiety mechanisms.   But because we feel so guilty about what we eat, and we’re so distracted by TV, family, the car, our work, the computer, etc…. we’re really NOT there when the food’s going down.

As a result, we never feel satisfied, and no amount is enough.

Of course, adding to this is the processing of food, and addition of chemicals which bypass our satiety mechanisms.  (Did you know high fructose corn syrup gives you calories, but doesn’t trigger your “full switch”?  Brilliant and profitable invention for Corporate America.  Not so good for its people!)

Seems as soon as the world figured out we don’t mind our “McMortgage” so much as long as we have our “McMuffin”, it’s been downhill from there.

What’s a girl (or boy) to do?

Simple.

Breathe.

Celebrate your cravings.

Try experiencing your food again, you just might be surprised at how little it takes to please you.

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7 Responses to “Emotional Eaters – Let Go of Your Fear and Guilt About Food”

  1. Christine says:

    Hi, I´m agree with you about the statement “our bodies know and comunicate us what they really need”. So to be aware of this very moment and feelings and thoughs also diseases is the way to get in touch with ourselves with a meaningful aproach

  2. Marilyn says:

    I know I can trust my body. It’s my stupid emotions that I cannot seem to settle down! Yesterday, I waited until I felt hunger to start this new way of eating. It was wonderful. Then, my extreme sensitivity triggered emotions that I couldn’t manage in that moment. It’s an opening for eating disordered thinking, and a kind of dissociation happens. I reach for the food, and set the damn cycle in motion again, with all of the negativity, self criticism and paralysis that comes with it. I have to work on the “pause.”

  3. Sharon says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    I know what you\’re talking about and i want you to know that I\’ve come to personally cherish my emotional sensitivity, although it\’s taken a lot of work with my own mentor to learn to appreciate it. I used to beat myself up about it.

    I have a reframe for you to consider if you\’re up to it. Some people drive around in any old car that can get you there at some time. Some have high performance vehicles that are finely tuned and need more care to stay in top notch performance condition, but when treated right they out run other cars by far. That\’s how it is with us who are emotionally sensitive. We\’re hard wired to feel what we feel more than others do. AND that gives us a lot more variety of response that we can call upon. It\’s a gift, although it can often feel like a curse. People who are as empathic and emotionally fine tuned as you probably are, have lots more choices and insights than many others. It makes it exceedingly important to be nice to ourselves and feed our souls when some of the less comfortable feelings are triggered.

    It\’s hard work but very worth it, I think.

  4. I am struggling to lose weight so I appreciate whatever help I can get…I listen once a day to your tape…thank u 4 being another source of help. I hope 2 report a drastic change in my weight in the future.

  5. admin says:

    Linda – it does my heart good to know you’re listening. And I’ll be just as happy to hear you’ve changed direction and feel confident you’ll be able to maintain your new perspective, as to hear you’ve made a drastic change in your weight. (We all have to start by loving ourselves where we are, right?) :-)

  6. Janet H says:

    A great strategy to use with all of your wisdom is EFT ( Emotional Freedom Technique) It will severe the emotional ties you have to food or an occasion where there was food. Therefore no more emotional hang ups with food and cravings!!

    Janet Hogeboom
    Stress Consultant & Relaxation Therapist
    EFT Practitioner, Cognitive Behaviour Therapist

    Peterborough Ontario Canada

  7. MARY ANNE LAVORE says:

    I’M JUST STARTING OUT AND IT DOES SCARE ME TO HONOR MY CRAVINGS. IT ALL SEEMS SO UTTERLY OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING I’VE HEARD IN THE PAST. BUT HEY, THAT HASN’T WORKED SO WHAT DO I KNOW? SO I’LL TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND GO FOR IT. I AM ENJOYING THE AUDIO PODCASTS VERY MUCH. I HOPE IT SINKS IN AND I CAN FINALLY GET THIS MONKEY OFF MY BACK! THANKS

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