Are you using chocolate or cheese or ice cream as a way to relax?
I see this behaviour so often with women that I work with:
They’re busy, they get to the end of the day, they might put the kids to bed, they turn the TV on…
and it’s like, “Ahh…”
And then the food follows.
If that sounds like you, you are certainly not alone.
The issue with this that I find is that so many women are using food to give themselves permission to relax because they don’t know how to relax without the food.
In their mind they have made a connection, a strong emotional connection between relaxation, ‘me’ time and eating.
The issue that we have here is that we think we’re relaxing and we’re telling ourselves that we’re relaxing, but in fact we’re actually numbing out at this time so it’s a real distinction in terms of these two types of behaviours.
We’re using food to numb out at the end of the day and this is where we are trying to shift our awareness outside of ourselves.
We just want to numb out.
We don’t want to connect.
We’re trying to disconnect from the day, disconnect from our feelings, disconnect from our body.
The issue with this is that it leads to more and more emotional eating because we’re using food as a distraction strategy.
If we are really wanting to relax, we must do the opposite.
We must connect and reconnect back with our feelings, back with our body.
Rather than have our awareness outside of ourselves, we need bring the awareness back inside of our body.
A great way to do this for many women is finding a strategy … I call them engagement strategies, where your focus is in your body rather than in your head.
When we’re numbing out and using food our awareness is in our head.
Coming back to our body looks like activities such as a beautiful yin yoga class, or meditation.
It could be reading a book that is highly engaging, for example.
It’s one of those activities where you’re in the moment and awareness is in your body, and it just brings you pleasure.
I know so many of us are busy and we need that relaxation time, so what I would recommend you do is to just start to be aware.
Ask yourself, “Am I relaxing right now or am I really numbing out?”
What we are really craving is relaxation and we’re trying to get that need met through the food–which will never happen, by the way.
It’s often why we shove the food down and eat it so quickly, because the emotion is coming from a different place.
It’s not about relaxing, it’s about numbing out.
Find an activity to do instead that’s more of an engagement strategy that brings your awareness back to your body.
You’ll start to notice a difference between the numbing out versus the relaxation.
I hope this has resonated with you.
Want to rewire your brain around food in just 15 minutes a day for 7 days? Join my 7 Day Emotional Eating Challenge! Click here to join:
Bye for now!