It’s the number one belief that drives us to food for comfort or stress relief.
You know what precedes that – you’ve worked really hard, you’ve been “really good,” or someone or some project has put you through the wringer, and now it’s time for you.
Indeed! AND what’s under that?
You’ve worked hard before, acing a project, delivering results, being the rock or superwoman/man for your family. You’ve felt that inner satisfaction of a job well done, and at the time, that was more than enough. There was no need for food to soothe you. Food wasn’t even on your radar because you were jamming
So what’s the difference now?
Follow this idea with me: You were under a good deal of stress – isn’t that always a given? However, when food is the answer, the stress is intersecting with self-care neglect.
Does that resonate?
Emotional Eating and Self-Care
Self-care creates the baseline of how we feel. We can feel bad when someone disappoints us in how they look after us, but when we don’t look after ourselves, there’s more going on, isn’t there?
We’re feeling down, our self-esteem has dropped a bit low, and we’re just not in a good place. That tends to make everything look a little grey.
When we look after our needs, nurture our hearts, and find consistent ways to build ourselves up – even if we don’t quite feel like it, it makes us feel better. It’s a way we show respect for ourselves, which is self-reinforcing.
In her later years, when my grandmother was in a hospital, she always wanted her make-up and hairbrush. A little powder, a touch of lipstick, and brushing her hair always made her feel better – one normal act of self-care made a difference.
Even if we have someone trying to look after and support us, their efforts cannot fill the space left by our own neglect. We quickly devolve to feel unacknowledged and overworked, and since we cannot get enough from others, we go for something easy – the Twinkie, the pizza, or insert your go-to food here. “I deserve it,” we say.
Really? You’re going to let that be enough?
Here’s what I want to say—You feel overlooked and unsupported, and now you’re hiding in the pantry to eat, which reinforces feeling overlooked and undervalued, but now you’re doing it to yourself. See how that works?
You DESERVE better than a Twinkie or stale doughnut.
Watch the process next time. That feeling is a good signal that your reserves are low, so let’s do a refill, shall we? Notice how much more value you feel when you look after your own needs – and then how much easier it is to look after others.