Today I want to share with you how body shame plays a role in the emotional eating pattern.
I wanted to talk about this because when we emotionally eat, there are so many things happening and body shame is part of this vicious cycle. I totally get it. I felt the same way when I was going through my own emotional eating journey. AND it’s also something I hear from women often who have emotional eating.
When we emotionally eat, it’s shows up on our body, then we feel more shame. Then we emotionally eat because we feel this shame. It’s a cycle and it keeps on happening.
It’s feels like we’re punishing ourselves.
But what we’re actually doing by emotionally eating is trying to soothe ourselves, trying to do something about the shame. In the last week, I’ve had two separate women tell me that they’ve felt awful in their body in the state that it was in after not taking care of themselves and emotionally eating. Then in order to feel better, their mind said, “I’m going to go eat and that’s going to make me feel better because that’s the only thing I have to lean on. That’s the only thing I know to do to feel better because I don’t know what to do”.
A key piece to resolving emotional eating
Emotional Eating is multilayered AND our body is one key area we need to look at to help us resolve this pattern. It’s not everything, but it’s a piece of the puzzle.
Part of it is because when we emotionally eat, at a certain point we start noticing how it impacts our physical body. We might have issues the next day with our digestion, stomach aches when we’re binging at night and we’re eating foods that don’t agree with us.
We’re overeating, we’re not digesting well. When you’re emotionally eating, it shifts your body from rest and digest mode -> fight or flight mode. This means that you are in a stress state.
As you’re going towards the food, your body is already in this stress state. Emotional Eating compounds this stress state. When you’re in the binge headspace and being critical, you’re already in a stress state.
In this stress state cortisol is being released and our immune system is down regulating, you’re prone to digestive issues, increased inflammation which leads to chronic issues, disease, weight gain, etc.
So even before you put that first piece of food in our mouth to binge, mentally and in our biochemistry, you’re already in this mode where our body is not in a healthy state.
Where you want to be is in rest and digest. Here the nervous system is turned on for health, for improved digestion, improved immunity, releasing weight we no longer need, down regulating inflammation etc.
Emotional eating is impacting us before we even take a bite!
The pattern has already been playing before the food even touches your lips, before the food even goes into your body. The negative thought loop about your body, about how you feel, that’s already been happening.
Part of us thinks it’s the foods we’re eating. And yes, the binging foods and the excessive eating of those foods are a piece of it.
You need to also look at what foods you’re putting into our body and the choices you’re making. But the other piece of it is what’s going on under the surface is WHAT is making you go to food.
What is that deeper pattern making you go to food to soothe?
In this case, it’s a trigger around your body and feeling uncomfortable in your body, feeling shame about your body, feeling out of control. So you feel out of control with food, but the reality is we’re out of control with something so much deeper.
You’re out of control with the thoughts and the emotions under this pattern. Yes, the coping with food is a consequence of that, but you are out of control with those emotions.
It’s a trigger to go deeper into what is not working for you, what is creating this negativity in you. Why do you feel this shame? Why do you feel uncomfortable in your body? What was told to you to make you feel like you’re not good enough?
This is why we have to dive deeper.
Getting to acceptance
If your body looks a certain way and it doesn’t match some ideal you have in our head, that triggers stress and shame and actually creates more of that in our life. You have to look at what’s going on and you want to develop a healthy structure around your body. So you want to start having body acceptance, which doesn’t mean you like or love your body.
You’re in a neutral space. So you’re no longer criticizing yourself. You can start appreciating your body with where it’s at. It doesn’t mean it stays there. This is the foundation to transformation.
You start accepting and understanding the rhythms of our body and the needs of our body, where you’re currently at.
This shifts the body as you have more body acceptance.
This was my journey too. For example I wanted to move more. That’s a natural state of our body. But when we’re in this stressful state, we don’t want to do that.
Once we start cultivating acceptance we can start digging deeper. “What is this body shame about? What is this criticism about?”
We can dive deeper into what that is all about to the core and where this trauma lives in our body.
In The Emotional Eating Evolution Program we use somatic tools because these unresolved emotions, these unresolved events, they live in our body and we need to meet them there. We need to understand what they’re about, what limiting beliefs were created about our body and to start working with that. Then we can get our true needs met can shift into a more empowering way of being and moving forward.
We think if we stop the food, then our body is going to shrink or go back to what’s acceptable. When we restrict food and we punish ourselves, it actually creates more stress in our body and that’s going to make us accumulate more inflammation and weight.
So we have to look at this holistically. We have to look at not just food and our relationship to food, but our relationship to our body and our acceptance of our body. And of course the emotions under that are driving this, the limiting beliefs driving this. We need to look at all of these and that’s how we’re going to release this cycle of feeling shame and being triggered into emotional eating.
We’re in this loop where we feel shame about our body. We’re triggered into emotional eating, which leads to more body shame. Then we’re in this vicious cycle. We need to stop the cycle. We need to break this apart and start step by step addressing this issue and resolving it.
So it doesn’t matter how much you work out or restrict food, it’s not getting to that deeper pattern of what’s really going on for you. It’s not connecting you back to food. Because when you are restricting food, food becomes an enemy. And when you’re punishing your body, your body becomes an enemy.
Inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, we are looking at all of these areas so that you can break that shame cycle with your body and get to acceptance, then appreciation and hopefully love of your body.
If this is resonating for you, you can find out more about The Emotional Eating Evolution Program HERE.
This is a 12 week container with a step by step process to get you to ease and peace in your body and around food. There is weekly coaching, accountability, support, in depth somatic meditations to get to the root.
The goal of the program is to create a structure so that you can have this healthy relationship to food, your body and your emotions while also removing the blockages that are holding you back so that you can finally resolve your emotional eating from the root and feel confident and at ease around on food and in your body.
So if that’s resonating for you, you can find out more HERE.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating