A client sent me her box of the pills that were supposed to make her fat melt away. The only thing they did was give her a headache.
Another has been playing with the idea of taking thoughts captive and bending them to what will help reach her goal. She said her mind feels less noisy, her heart lighter. It’s freeing.
And then what?
Manage Emotional Charge Around Food
Food can carry an emotional charge. Feel it when someone else gets the biggest or last piece? Where does that come from?
Is it exclusion? FOMO can be a powerful emotional charge. On the playground or when we realized we’re not part of “the group” as a teen, it felt like the end of the world. Is it any wonder we have a doleful internal reaction now when we feel deprived and excluded? Yet, it’s not really exclusion, is it? I get that we FEEL this way, but is it true? Are we banished or ostracized if we don’t eat what others eat? In today’s climate of allergy sensitivity, you’re more likely to be sent away if you so much as looked at a peanut earlier in the day.
When it comes to food, our thinking has become a bit muddled. It is essential for life and health, but we’ve made it more than that. Know what I mean? We’ve made it an emotional essential, somehow an affirmation of worth or our value.
I remember my grandmother always giving the best and biggest portion of food (or anything else for that matter) to my grandfather. As a rancher, he did hours of physical work. Not that my nan wasn’t right beside him doing just as much work, you understand, but in her mind, making sure he was well fed was a priority even when their lean years meant she might not have enough. She sacrificed for his benefit not because she didn’t also deserve it but because she prioritized his strength, which kept him healthy to 90.
With the emotional charge around food, we often feel we’re sacrificing, but the payoff is elusive. If we’re not getting the payoff, then it gets blurry with our value. Check this for yourself. Do you ever feel like you don’t “deserve” it in some way? Or you can’t succeed anyway so why try?
Does food become the way to be part of the group that you might not otherwise be able to join?
See how that works?
Recognize the origin so you can manage the emotional charge around it. Know that this isn’t a time when you are being excluded from the group. This is when you are choosing what you want or need to be reach a goal you’re invested in.
Make it painless: What is the emotional charge in this moment? How can you choose for your goal?