Today I want to share with you more about triggers and how you can use them to stop your emotional eating. I wanted to talk about triggers because I think that they can be misunderstood.
Triggers are important and we need to be aware of them. But I think the way we’ve been using them, they don’t help us get to the root. Instead, what we do is we notice our triggers and we avoid them.
Emotional Eating itself is an avoidance mechanism, and avoiding triggers are just avoiding the pattern further. We need to go deeper, because when we can get to the root of this, we can resolve our emotional eating. We won’t have to deal with the emotional eating pattern, and we can look at what’s coming up in our life directly and make changes from there.
Something happens in our life, maybe a stressful event, we’re around certain people, whatever it is, and it triggers our emotional eating.
What might happen is we start changing our current life because of these triggers. We start changing the things that are creating the triggers, thinking we’re resolving our pattern. Or we notice the trigger and then we go for a walk, we distract, we willpower. We’re thing, “I’m not going to let that trigger get me!”.
So we willpower and do things, but that’s not helping our emotional eating. We might be able to extend the time between binges or willpower our way through that, but we’re not actually resolving this pattern.
We’re still in this coping mechanism, we’re just delaying the emotional eating episode.
We have to look at all of the things triggering us in our day to day life as a doorway, as a gateway to something deeper that’s going on. Those triggers are giving us information about what’s going on on a deeper level, and we need deeper tools to access them.
The trigger is not necessarily what’s going on in your day to day life. The trigger is guiding you to something that would have happened, most likely at an earlier age. What actually created this Emotional Eating pattern. This is usually in childhood due to an unresolved event with unresolved emotions that we weren’t able to move through. We didn’t have the parents or caregivers there to guide us through this process, to help regulate us. To see, hear, honour, validate or understand us.
So these unresolved emotions, get stuck in our body and also are triggered in our day to day life. If we go and try to change our day to day life without looking at the deeper root and resolving it there, we’re not going to have sustainable change with our emotional eating. We’re going to still have the pattern.
We need to use those triggers to go deeper.
What I see with a lot of my clients, is that they are not even aware of their triggers.
Something might have triggered us today, but we put off our emotional eating with willpower and a few days later it builds up and then we want to binge then.
We need to get to the root, process and integrate the trigger at that root level so we can move forward and create true aligned change. Because if we start making changes without going to the deeper root, they’re not going to give us the results we want.
So how do we do this? How do we get into our triggers?
It might seem obvious but for emotional eaters, this is a little bit different. What I find with clients is we have to work through certain phases to get to those triggers. There’s triggers in several areas -around food, our body, our emotions.
2 Categories of Triggers
But to simplify it, as emotional eaters, we can look at triggers in 2 categories. Triggers that happen because we aren’t nourishing ourselves physically and true emotional triggers.
We need to make sure we’re deeply nourishing ourselves with food. Because a lot of the times, emotional eaters have a lot of diet mentality, they restrict food, and that triggers binging, because the body doesn’t have enough nutrients and calories.
So the brain is then turned on for obsession over food and binging and just wanting to get calories in. And so we need to look at that first so that we can then discern a trigger around we’re not eating enough, versus a true emotional trigger to go deeper.
When we have that true emotional trigger, we take that into a deeper process. So inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program with clients, I can see their triggers and their patterns, and we use that as a doorway. We use somatic meditations with psychotherapy tools and other tools to go deeper, because the trigger, the root of it, is in the body.
These unresolved events and emotions live in the body. So we need to get to that core root issue and start doing some work at resolving it. When we’re able to resolve it and meet those needs on the emotional level, other needs can emerge from there and other steps. We might need boundaries. We might need to change something in our day to day life, or because we’ve met those deeper needs, we might not need to change anything.
Do the deeper work first…
We want to do the deeper work first before we start changing our physical situation. And so triggers are going to be really important, but not in the way we’ve been taught. It’s not like, yes, I recognize my trigger now I’m going to find a new situation for me, or my job is triggering me.
It might not be your job, you’re just associating something with your job. You need to do the deeper work to make a true choice for yourself. Because if you don’t do that, what happens is you start changing things without doing the deeper work, you’re going to repeat the same pattern in a new situation. And continue emotionally eating.
This is what happens when triggers are not resolved at the root. We keep repeating patterns until we learn the lesson and resolve it.
Inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, we are getting to the root. Clients get to the root and have that deep resolution.
This leads to feeling at ease and peace in life and that shifts us so that we start feeling that confidence in ourselves, in our body and around food on a somatic level.
If what I’m saying to you today resonates and you want to dive deeper into your emotional eating pattern, you want to resolve your triggers, you want to stop just plugging the holes and you want deep resolution, then I’d love to invite you to find out more about The Emotional Eating Evolution Program HERE.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating