SO MANY people have an unhealthy relationship with food.
They habitually use it for comfort, distraction and punishment instead of true nourishment, information and energy for the brain and body.
Your relationship with food is usually a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself.
When clients come to me for food issues, they are totally exhausted from fighting back emotions and living inside their heads.
No matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to get a handle on their eating.
They are filled with negative and hateful self-talk, believing that if only they could fix their relationship with food and stop it controlling their lives, they'd be happier, healthier and thinner.
Our eating challenges are often pointing to something deeper than we realise.
When I sit down with clients and listen to their story, it usually becomes apparent that food is not their problem, it's merely a symptom of a deeper issue.
What was originally a problem they saw with food is revealed to be a problem they have in other areas of their lives that they are using food to cope with.
Do You Eat Your Feelings?
Anxiety, loneliness, boredom and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life.
Each has its own emotional trigger and each has its own appeasement.
When you struggle to push through the discomfort of pent-up emotions, your unmet needs can often turn into unhealthy habits that temporarily soothe, comfort or satiate those feelings.
There are many different emotions that can overcome us and yet instead of allowing ourselves some breathing room to process and release them, we often try to smother, distract or ignore those feelings with our go-to foods.
Which type of foods you reach for could be an insightful indication of what your emotional triggers are.
- Ice cream, chocolate and yoghurt are classic comfort foods to soothe
- Crunchy chips and fizzy soft drinks suggest unexpressed frustration or anger
- Bread, pizza and pasta are great fillers for a lonely heart or an unfulfilled need.
Food won't fix any of these feelings.
It may comfort you in the short term, distract you from your pain or even numb you into a food hangover.
But food won't solve your problem because food is not your problem - it's more an unhelpful method of coping with the real issue.
When you feel overwhelmed, stressed or depressed, do you:
- Self-starve or restrict
- Compulsively over-eat binge and/or purge
- A little of everything
- Drink alcohol
- Indulge in retail therapy - shopping
- None of the above/other
Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract and resolve your issues without using food.
This could include journaling, setting boundaries, reducing stress, increasing self-esteem or even working with a body-image coach or emotional eating specialist to help you get to the root cause of your eating habits.
If food feels like it's controlling your life, get in touch for the help you need.
By Viki Thondley - MindBodyFood. Holistic counsellor, empowerment coach, meditation therapist and emotional eating expert specialising in mental reprogramming, mind-body wellness and food issues.
Visit www.mindbodyfood.net or phone 0410 608 022
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