We are humans. We have been given the gift of all 5 senses to enjoy food thoroughly. The smell of a slow roasted pork shoulder, the look of perfectly dressed sushi, the feel of a soft, warm cookie, the taste of fat and salt together, the sound of crunching anything. Every sense is activated when eating. And every sense can be soothed by food. It is no wonder we use food to comfort ourselves, make us feel safe, grounded or even loved.
On top of that, we are emotional creatures. Emotions are energy in motion. We are energy in motion. Constantly, sensing the world around us and making meaning of it. That takes energy. Breathing, digesting, thinking, and sleeping all take energy. If the energy leaves us, we are dead. To simplify this down, we are energy(e) in motion (e-motion). Therefore, everything we do is done during an emotion.
When we eat we are experiencing emotions. Sometimes we eat because of our emotions, sometimes we eat in spite of our emotions. No matter what, we are emotionally eating.
We are all emotional eaters. There is no way around it.
- How to know if your emotional eating has become destructive
- What the destructive eating cycle looks like
- How to disrupt the destructive eating cycle
- The 4 most courageous things you can do
- How to open your heart with foods, movements, thoughts and spiritual practices
- A story of how I recently got through rejection by using emotional eating and compassion
It is Perfectly Normal to Soothe Yourself with Food.
The problem arises when you continue to use food as a way of not dealing with your emotions. When you use food as a way to bypass your emotions or suppress them, you are keeping yourself suppressed and you are ignoring your desires. You are not accepting yourself. There is real danger in using food as a way to avoid the world, avoid yourself and avoid relationships.
Always using food to avoid dealing with emotions is not a sustainable coping mechanism. It is very destructive, painful and isolating. Essentially, it is a slow murder of your soul, your desires, your relationships and eventually, your body and mind.
If you think that is dark, think about this; Eating disorders are the deadliest mental disorders known to man . They kill more people than depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, by a long shot. Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, pica, rumination and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), like yo-yo dieting, and being extremely picky eaters are all behaviors that are important to correct.
So, how do you break free from this destructive cycle?
Seeing it helps. Know that you can stop yourself at any point and walk out of this cycle. Print this photo and keep it with you or write these things down and know that when you are feeling these things, it is an opportunity for growth and self-compassion.
2 things that are important about breaking this cycle are:
- Why do you want to break the cycle?
- What are you going to replace this cycle with?
What is your motivation to break the cycle? It can be anything. It doesn’t matter how vain or small it may seem. Whatever motivates to save your life, is perfect.
Choose higher end coping mechanisms to replace your old ones with.
Here are the 4 most courageous things that you can choose when breaking your of destructive eating cycle.
1.) Decide to Live and Ride the Waves of Your Life.
Why would you want to break the cycle in the first place?
This destructive cycle is no longer helping you to survive. It was helpful at one point, and served a purpose in the past. It helped you cope to with very strong feelings and emotions. Eating disorders don’t develop for no reason reason. They are a product of trauma and not having the tools, support, genetics, guidance, or environment to process the trauma that you have experienced.
So, come with me if you want to live…
This cycle is expediting your death. You have to choose to live your life. You have to grab your life by the horns and tell it who’s boss. You have to experience life and be open to all that life brings with it.
To start living and experiencing life, you must want to. No one else can want this for you. No matter how much I want my client to do the work and get the results, I can not do the work for them. No one else can do this for you. You have to take full responsibility for your life.
Choosing to live life on purpose takes courage, stamina and faith.
And I have great news for you. You have access to all three of those right now.
You have stamina! If you have had any disordered eating in the past or present, you have more stamina than most people. Eating disorders aren’t for the weak. Only an extremely resilient and strong people could continue an eating disorder.
It is time to take that strength and stamina and have it work for you. Not against you.
Once you decide to live, you are faced with the reality of life. You must recognize that life brings with it pain and suffering, and your decision to live life on purpose means that you are going to have to face and embrace your pain and suffering.
Nothing in this life is permanent. We get attached to people, ideas, and things, and then we lose these people, ideas, and things, and this is why we suffer.
If you want to end suffering, you can choose to be like the Buddha and not be attached to anything… He is a great example of how man released himself from suffering in one lifetime. I am grateful for his teachings and I have learned a lot about myself by doing some of his practices. However, that is not a human life, in my opinion, that is a purely spiritual life in a human body.
If sitting under a tree for 40 years sounds like the stuff that life is made of; you may find fulfillment in being a monk… Or, you may be so scorned by life, that you have resolved to not participate in it. Only you know the truth.
If you want to live your life on purpose, you accept the fact, that life has ups and downs, and you have faith that you can learn to ride the waves.
Make the choice for yourself; to live your life fully! If you are anything like me, you have already experienced what it is like to be dead inside. You know where that gets you and what it gives you. The worst that can happen, when you choose to live life on purpose, is that you give up, and you’re right here again, back where you started.
So, why not trying living for a change?
2.) Embrace Connection
Choosing to live life means that you will be choosing how you live your life. When you say “yes”, to life, you are saying no to numbing yourself out. When you spend less time avoiding your feelings, you actually have a lot more time on your hands… Now what are you going to do with all this time?
It is important to create connections. These connections will help you in times of suffering. These connections will also lead to suffering, and that’s ok. It is all part of riding the waves.
You are a spiritual being living a human existence. Humans are hardwired to want to connect.
Connection helps us to belong, and it gives us purpose and meaning. It is impossible to be spiritually healthy without connections with others (communal spirituality), a connection with yourself (personal spirituality), and a connection with nature or a higher power (environmental spirituality).
The type of connections you make are important. Surround yourself with people who are upbeat, happy, and like to do things that you like to do. Choose to connect with people that bring out the best in you.
3.) Choose Love and Happiness
Love and happiness come from within. Happiness and love are a state of being. They are are not dependant on or conditions of outside sources.
Example: You may say you love that person, or that your car makes you happy. The truth is… That person, opens you up to the place in you where you are love… That car, opens you up to the place in you where you are happy. Does that make sense. Love and happiness are states of being. These states are within you, at all times.
In any moment you can choose love or happiness.
Choosing love and happiness are the most courageous things you can do. Why? Because, life is going to continue, and in order to be in love and be happy, you have to keep your heart open. You have open yourself up, face the pain and still choose love or happiness.
Jesus, one of the most courageous men in history, always chose love and look where it got him (super influencer status).
4.) Embrace Love and Happiness
Although love can bring pain, love is the stuff that life is made of. It is relationships that give our life meaning. Embracing love means that you will own your worst fears and allow yourself to be vulnerable. You will love yourself, accept yourself, and take care of yourself.
Over time, your beliefs about yourself will change, your perception of the world will change, your habits will change, your behavior will change, your personality will change, and your friends and family will change.
Once you’ve opened yourself up, faced pain, chosen happiness, you can only be present.
You are now convinced that no matter what, you are pure and perfect and nothing can break you.
THIS is overwhelming bliss. And you will be forever changed.
How to Open Your Heart:
Being happy means that your heart is open. Closing your heart off means no more happiness.
Open Heart foods: the chakras of the body all correlate to a color of the rainbow. The food grown from earth also correlate to a color of the rainbow. Your heart chakra is green, so eat green foods to help open up your heart chakra and keep it open.
Open Heart Movements: Our mind and our bodies are connected and you can help to increase energy flow, movement or power in your body by moving your body intentionally. Open Heart movements are exactly what they sound like. Open your arms wide and make your chest as big and open as possible.
“Yin Yoga flows for an open heart chakra” , are great ways to relax into the space in your heart and physically open up that space. Yin yoga is designed to be slow and restorative. Perfect place to explore your bodily sensations, and emotions.
Open Heart Thoughts: “What would it look like if I chose love right now?”
“What lesson can I learn from this?”
“what would it look, and feel like if I loved and accepted myself in this moment, just the way I am?”
“If I loved myself, what would I do?”
“What can I be grateful for, in this moment?”
“I forgive you”
Open Heart Spiritual Practices: Daily spiritual practices help to keep your heart open.
Open your heart through gratitude and service. Love others, appreciate them, and serve them, and they will naturally love you.
As you do this work, own your worst fears, and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Make a conscious choice to remain open. When you slip up, simply let it go and open up again.
I recently was stood up on a date. I was really looking forward to it and this guy and I, had flirted back and forth for the 4 days leading up to our date, then date night comes around and I get a total brush off, no response to my text, no answering the phone. He later said “sorry, I just got back from San Diego, I had to take a bunch of people to the airport”… blah, blah, blah. I said something to the effect of, “thank you for telling me, I forgive you. Your behavior will not be tolerated. Goodbye, F*** Boy (I used his actual name), It was nice while it lasted”. To which he replied, “ohhhhh wow okay you as well”. I said “thank you”, and then took myself on a self da
I was bummed out. I was super looking forward to this date. I recently decided that I am going to embrace love and bring loving relationships into my life. Which means, going on dates and being vulnerable.
So, I went to the beach, I sat on the sand, I did a breathing exercise, I walked the pier, I took myself to eat dinner and then, I sat on a lifeguard stand and watched the water for a while longer.
When I got home I ate cookies. Christmas has just passed and our house is filled with sweets and treats. I ate until I was full, a little uncomfortably full and then I stopped.
The next night (last night), I had more treats, I painted for a little. I felt sad, lonely and an overwhelming desire to have deep connection with someone, and I ate some more treats and sweets. Again, I ate until I was slightly uncomfortably full and then I stopped.
I woke up today, wrote down my dreams and did my forgiveness meditation.
Here is some of what happened in the meditation: I was feeling guilt and shame for eating sweets and treats. I was worried that I would slip back into my old ways and develop an eating disorder again. I felt disappointment in myself for eating so many cookies, for eating until I was uncomfortable, I felt shame, guilt, scared, lonely and sad. I sat in those feelings for a while. Then, I asked myself what is the gift from eating the cookies, what is the gift from feeling uncomfortable? I waited until I felt compassion for myself. I am a human, I want love, I am not getting something that I want and I am soothing myself with cookies. I am human and I want love, I have compassion for my humanity. I am grateful that I am able to understand what my clients go through, because I have gone through it. I am improving every year, I have compassion for my humanity. After I felt the compassion for a while, I worked on forgiving myself through love. Feeling love for myself. Saying, “I forgive myself”. I did this until I felt forgiveness. I felt myself morph into a cookie that became the sun, a cookie shaped sunshine with my face on it. I am the cookie. I am love.
This may sound weird, and it is, and… it works. It is shining a light on the darkness inside you and taking its power away.
Years ago, I would have let the sadness and loneliness trigger me into self harm, so that I could have a slight breeze of relief. Then, I would have let the guilt and shame of eating “too many”, cookies trigger me into taking a detox, working out nerotically, or starving myself, until it was too much and I would have binged and purged, felt relief, followed by guilt and shame, and so on.
Compassion allows you to break that cycle. It allows you to accept yourself, accept your humanity, your desires, your dreams, your fears, your attachments and simply be. Be lonely, be sad, be angry, be happy. Be able to move forward. The biggest thing is that you become free.
I took myself on a date and I met 4 different very nice men, one of whom I will be going on a date with. I let my sadness and loneliness be felt. I didn’t say, “men suck, dating is too hard, I resolve to be alone, ‘F’ the world”! I didn’t close myself off to the world. I didn’t say “No”, to life, I didn’t sabotage myself or suppress my desires. And hey, I’m still here to talk about it. What do you know.
I am so glad you are here to share this with me. I promise you, things can get better and you can feel great in your body and trust yourself around food. I can show you a way to do that.
If you would like to go deeper with me…
Head over to my 1-on-1 page and schedule a discovery session with me. We will talk about your goals, your dreams, your desires and co-create an action plan for you. If we are a perfect fit, we will go from there.