Emotional Eating Cycle: Let’s Break That Thing

video version

If you want to get a group of friends (or FB Group) going, throw in the weight loss card.

Everyone has an idea about the latest diet or pill that will make the weight fall right off you.  They may share what worked for them, but to you, it sounds revolting or tortuous.  That supplement may get great results initially, even if your scalp tingles a bit.  Or this plan works, but you’re hungry ALL. THE. TIME.

Most will work UNTIL we get upset or stressed, then we want to stuff down our feelings and follow it with our old standby comforter, food.  We justify (pick your poison) chocolate/salty snacks/bread/that cheap white cake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles as the most efficient way to relieve that stress in this moment. We don’t have time to sort it out. Just give me the cake!

When we emerge from our stupor, we torture ourselves by heaping on shame and guilt and a beat down. That creates a need for more soothing, and the cycle continues.

How do we break that?

Back up to the that upset or stress.  That is where we have to do something different with it.  Perhaps that is just allowing the feeling to be present.  Feel it.  Decide if there is anything you can do to address the issue.  If so, do that, and if there’s nothing you can do, then feel it and let it go.  Feelings will pass through our awareness within about 90 seconds if we don’t capture them. 

Think of it like a river – feelings flow.  We can watch them, stick our toes in, or even swim in them.  As long as we don’t create a dam or reservoir to hold them, they keep going.

What happens with water that flows into an area but does not continue?  Water gets pretty putrid, and so do our hearts when we keep holding onto unpleasant feelings.  Let it flow—

Oftentimes that’s enough, but sometimes we still need something to soothe us.  If you’ve had enough of the guilt, shame, beat down section, back up to your choice of soother.  Food is just easy and accessible. 

When you’re in a good mindset, make a list of good options for soothing.  It doesn’t have to be the standard call a friend or get a manicure.  It might be spending time with your dog or cat, going for a quick walk.  Make a playlist of songs you find encouraging, soothing, or energizing.  My playlist is called “Heart.”  Even one song from that playlist, specifically songs one and six, speaks directly to my heart – filling me with words I need to hear: encouraging, comforting, soul-healing words that either remind me of my resources and support or who I am when I’m at my best. 

Write down what things comfort you or can break you out of a funk.  That will be a comfort that lasts, builds your confidence and self-esteem – and leads to freedom.  

If this resonates with you and you are ready for a REAL change, I would love to talk with you.  One good conversation can make all the difference.

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