Food. For some people food and eating is a non-issue. It’s something they don’t even think about. For ‘normal’ eaters (this is a light hearted label for people who simply don’t 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 it any more time or energy than what it takes to actually eat it. It’s 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 don’t define themselves by what or how they eat. Judgement, punishment and self-hatred doesn’t cross their minds. Ultimately, they like and, most importantly, accept themselves. They like their bodies and therefore don’t have a food issue. It’s a fact that when people like themselves and their bodies, they don’t have an issue with food.
Emotional eaters on the other hand are quite the opposite of the normal eater. The emotional eater doesn’t 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 a cultural and societal 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’re 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’re struggling with emotional eating then here are a few tips to help you switch 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. Hopping on a wagon, being really “good”, ultimately and inevitably means you’re going to come off the wagon and be really “bad”, except this time you’ll “bad” faster and harder than the last. The “I will start again tomorrow” line of thought 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. You have to remember that the safety net wasn’t 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 falling off the wagon. Isn’t that much easier?
Allowance is the key. Telling yourself you aren’t allowed a certain food will only make you want it more. You know this. Allowing, like 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’re 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’re 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.” Once you have some real answers you can start to look at the real stuff going on. Because, it’s never about the Nutella…
Leave me your feedback on the website and tell me what you think after putting some of these points into practice. I promise you will be amazed!
http://www.jacquelinehurst.com/ and http://www.thelifeclass.com/