What if I said your issues with eating has nothing to do with food itself?
Many client’s that I see come to see me to seek help for their eating as a way to lose weight. They start by saying that they want to have more self control around food and their eating – and in their mind that’s their answer for putting an end to their emotional/binge eating.
First of all – it’s not just a craving. It’s so much more. You are turning to food to cope with some internal discomfort that you are experiencing. Whist we all need coping strategies to deal with life’s ups and downs, we need to separate feelings from food and introduce alternative coping strategies that no longer involve food.
In order for you to start to address the core issues – you need to explore what’s happening right before you have a strong urge to eat. You have all the answers inside of you. Pause and be curious about what comes up for you.
There are 3 questions to ask yourself right before you have a strong urge (or are about to) binge.
- What are you saying to yourself? What’s your self talk? Is it around you having the chocolate because you deserve it? Do you feel anxious because you’re overwhelmed with work and the chocolate will make you feel better? The more specific the sentence, the more you can pinpoint your triggers and patterns.
- What are you feeling? Are you feeling anxious, sadness, anger etc? Label your feelings.
- Where is that feeling located in your body? We store all of our emotions in our body, so if you are unable to locate the feeling, it’s quite possible that you are very disconnected from your feelings. Reconnecting with your body and your feelings is a great place for you to start.
Try this app for your phone – it’s called Moodtrack and I use it with my clients. Next time you have an urge to binge or engage in emotional eating – pull up the app. You record what you are feeling and add some notes. It will look something like this: I feel sad because I feel undervalued and taken for granted at work. You rate the intensity and also log what food you feel like. Then you can start to track this over the week and see what themes you can identify. Does feeling sad take you to chocolate? Does feeling angry take you to Maccas?
Self awareness is a key step in figuring out what’s going on for you at a subconscious level. You have all the answers within!