SOLVING YOUR WEIGHT PROBLEMS IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Last weekend I attended a Wellness workshop and one of the themes coming from all the speakers was the importance of owning and practising self-care. This left me feeling validated because the focus of my weight management work is exactly that – teaching people about self-care.

So what’s it all about? Last year one of my business coaches suggested that in one or two sentences I find a way of explaining to a 10 year old what my work is about. I pondered this for some time and five months later I came up with these words:

“I help people understand why they eat when they are not hungry, especially after dinner."

Many of us eat after dinner for comfort and when we find ourselves deep in non-hungry eating, it shines light on an aspect of our lives that perhaps has a sense of emptiness. Often we are not aware of the feelings that we are using food to cover up and it is hard to make sense of this non-hungry eating.

When we feel lonely and empty of love, food gives us a pseudo filling up in that moment, however the emotional roller coaster that follows is no fun at all. We are left with a sick, heavy and full feeling in our stomach, which is regrettably with us when we go to bed. Therefore our sleep is restless and yet no doubt the worst impact is the guilt and confusion the following morning.

We can be determined that the next night is going to be different, but sure enough the pattern of non-hungry eating starts all over again…

Learning skills to understand and be gentle with yourself is part of the road to recovery. One of these skills is being able to find a distraction to interrupt the mindlessness of non-hungry   eating. For example, getting up from your chair and having a shower can be more nurturing, especially before bed. Journaling can also be a useful skill to help you uncover the deeper reasons for your non-hungry eating.

These are just a couple of suggestions to support you in the process of gradual change.

Remember to be kind to yourself as you heal these patterns.

Struggling To Reach or Maintain Your Desired Weight?

NEWS FLASH!

EMOTIONAL EATING WORKS SHORT TERM TO HELP US FEEL BETTER

BUT MESSES WITH OUR HEALTH IN THE LONG TERM.

SO WHAT IS EMOTIONAL EATING AND WHY DO WE DO IT?

When you know and understand the answer to this question, you can begin to change your patterns of behaviour around food.

Emotional eating is when we use food to cover up our feelings. It is a way of keeping us disconnected from ourselves when we do not have awareness, language or mature expressions of what we are feeling. In those times food provides a soothing and calming effect and we feel more in control.

Our need for food is not so much about physical hunger but more about staying cut off from our feelings. Emotional eating keeps us from knowing and repairing these feelings and definitely works to help us feel better in the short term. However, the messy and varied feelings that arise later on cause more emotional upheaval, and the pattern to use food for comfort continues.

Our eating becomes mindless.

Emotional eating causes us to feel like we are hopeless, like we are a failure. We can talk harshly to ourselves and believe it is only a matter of poor self-control.

BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE.

When we find ourselves out of control with our eating it is because something inside of us gets triggered that causes our feeling state to rise up. Some one can say something that we have a strong reaction to. This reaction does not give us any time to think or respond in a meaningful way.

In those moments there is no PAUSE BUTTON in our minds.

We have discomfort somewhere in our body that says, ‘I don’t feel good.’ But, this may not be a conscious thought.

You see our bodies give us the first indication that something is not quite right. We can tighten ourselves in a micro second and this tightening can send off signals that say ……………. Be quiet ………… Don’t make a noise ……………. Become invisible. …………….. Or something similar.

Food serves as a very important protective function in those times, and I do not judge this behaviour. However, I do know from personal and professional experience that when we use food this way, over many years, it has a huge affect on our happiness and health.

And this is the cycle of emotional eating.

Our challenge is to develop skills and awareness to recognise, process and understand our feelings rather than turn to food only. This is the road to recovery.