Food. For some people food and eating is a non-issue. It is something they don’t even think about. For ‘normal’ eaters (this is a light hearted label for people who simply do not have an issue with food) food is just food. They eat to live to sustain energy and combat hunger. Normal eaters don’t obsess over food or give any more time or energy than when they are actually eating. It is just a part of life that sustains them. Some of them like food, they really do like a good apple pie or fish n’chips but it isn’t obsessive or anything more than a well rounded, enjoyment.
Normal eaters do not define themselves by what or how they eat. Judgement, punishment and self hatred does not cross their mind. Ultimately, they like and most importantly, accept themselves. They like their bodies and they therefore do not have a food issue. It is a fact that when people like themselves and their bodies, they do not have an issue with food.
Emotional eaters on the other hand are quite the opposite of the normal eater. The emotional eater does not like their body. Not one bit. They define themselves and ultimately, their self-worth, by the shape and size of their body. This is mainly cultural and society pressure although the emotional eater isn’t always aware of this. Using the term ‘emotional eater’ is when one uses food for reasons other than hunger, often to ‘cope’ with life and their feelings.
A lot of the time emotional eaters are unconscious as to what they are doing, until of course, they have finished the whole bag of chips and don’t even know why. They berate themselves, beat themselves up and choose to hate themselves even more. If you are struggling with emotional eating then here are a few tips to go from emotional to ‘normal’ eating:-
Get off the ‘diet’. Diets detach you from yourself. They take you away from yourself and make your whole eating life tricky, complicated and tiresome. Eating normally means you learn to listen to your body which is actually, the only thing you DO need to listen to. No diet sheet, pill or potion will help you re-connect with you. To start the journey of connection and understanding to your hunger and fullness you have to get off a diet. It is the first step in reconnection and understanding yourself
Change your ‘I will start again tomorrow’ thinking. Going on a wagon, being really ‘good’ ultimately and inevitably means you are going to come off the ‘wagon’ and be really ‘bad’ but ‘badder, faster and harder’ than the last time. The ‘I will start again tomorrow’ is detrimental and painful. The only answer to this is to simply get off the wagon once and for all. Removing the wagon means you have to learn how to eat. It means the supposed safety net gets removed, but you have to remember that safety net was not safe at all, it was keeping you stuck. It sounds a little scary but it’s the only way to total freedom. No.More.Wagon. and if there is no more wagon there is no more coming off…..so much easier….
Allowance is the key. Telling yourself you are not ‘allowed’ a certain food will only make you want it more. You know this. Allowing, like really, really allowing any food means you take the power away from the food and back to yourself. Yes, you may well eat croissants for 4 mornings a week for the whole week but, and this is a definite, by week two or three, croissants just don’t look that sexy any more. You get your power back. Yes, this happens.
Remove your judgements. Judging yourself is mean. It also makes everything worse. When you judge yourself for your behaviour you are missing your lessons. Taking away the judgement means you LEARN so much more. Exploring why you did what you did and asking yourself kind questions speeds up the process of understanding yourself and therefore changing behaviour. Judging yourself means you remain stuck and closed. Quit the judgement and be kind.
Talk to Yourself. I know this sounds weird but I use this with my clients A LOT. The next time you are standing at the fridge with the door open using a teaspoon to get to that last bit of Nutella at the bottom of the jar ask yourself this question ‘ If I didn’t care about this Nutella right now, what else would be going on for me?’ The answers will amaze you……..I hate my job, my boyfriend doesn’t understand me, I’m scared about this upcoming exam etc., etc., Once you have some real answers you can start to look at the real stuff going on. Because, it is never about the Nutella……
Leave me your feedbacks on the website and tell me what you think after putting some of these points into practice. I promise you will be amazed.