Where emotional eating begins…
Food chemically has the ability to give us that moment of utter bliss. Where all of our problems melt away and for one moment everything is ok in the world. This neural pathway is set from the moment we exit the womb and Mom soothes us with her warm nourishing milk. It only takes a short while before baby is drifting away into a peaceful sleep.
It’s totally normal to derive comfort from food.
It’s meant for our nourishment and pleasure.
However for some of us it becomes a vice from which we feel it’s impossible to escape. Eating becomes less about nourishment and more about numbing and avoidance. It happens in the blink of an eye. Suddenly we’re overcome with an uncomfortable emotion and almost as if on autopilot we find ourselves standing at the pantry cupboard snacking on just about anything and everything. Many times to the point of feeling so full and uncomfortable that we end up laying on the couch in pain playing a loop of critical self-talk in our head. On repeat.
If you can relate, take solace in knowing that you’re not alone. In fact with today’s stressors, pressure, and environment, getting caught in the trap of emotional eating is far too easy. It doesn’t help that much of the food readily available to us is chemically laden and sugar filled resulting in it being highly addictive.
How to curb your emotional eating…
The good news is that stopping the vicious cycle of emotional eating is completely doable. You are 100% capable of creating a healthy relationship with food and your body. The first step is presence. It may sound overly simple, but the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and this will get you started in the right direction.
Every time you feel the urge to use food to numb an emotion sit or lay yourself down. Quiet your mind and focus on your breath. Allow yourself to fully relax. Write down the uncomfortable emotion and the feelings or fears you have around it. Fully let yourself express that emotion. Next say to yourself “I am ok. I am supported. Everything is working out for my highest good and I am safe.” Keep repeating this until you feel a sense of calm.
Yes it sounds a little hoaky. However the idea is to calm yourself down and allow yourself to realize it’s safe to experience these negative emotions so you no longer feel the need to numb yourself as a form of protection.
Just remember you’re not alone. You’re fully capable of breaking this cycle and living the vibrant and full life you’re meant to. It all starts with a step.
Katie Buemann is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and creator of Soul First Nutrition. She believes that in order to create lasting positive change you first have to look at your inner world. Her commitment is to help people on their journey to living the life they’ve always dreamed of and to unapologetically step into their authentic power.