I want to share with you why we shouldn’t be coping with our emotional eating, even if those coping mechanisms are “healthy”.
I wanted to talk about coping and healthy coping and really understanding that we need to resolve our emotional eating. It’s possible to resolve it, we don’t need to keep on coping. The reason I want to emphasize this is that emotional eating itself is a coping mechanism. So when we are on this journey of emotionally eating, we just want to be free of the pain, we want relief. So we tend to do things to just give us that temporary relief from our emotional eating.
But what we need to realize is that emotional eating itself is a coping mechanism.
So what’s a coping mechanism?
A coping mechanism is something we develop when we are in a situation that has stressors that we can’t control, that we don’t feel we have power over. We can’t just get up and leave a situation and we feel disempowered. This is why we created the emotional eating pattern.
The seeds start when we’re really young because as children, we depend on our parents or caregivers to help us meet our needs. To help us regulate our emotions, move through any discomfort or distress and help us find solutions. If our parents or caregivers weren’t able to do that, that discomfort, that stress, those uncomfortable emotions, those unresolved emotions, they stay in us and they feel uncomfortable.
We have to figure out a way to not feel uncomfortable. That’s why we eventually start coping. We start moving towards food to soothe and numb out that discomfort.
It’s not a true resolution.
Resolution vs. Coping
I’m here for resolution, not more coping. We’re told to do X, Y and Z and that we need a “healthier coping mechanism”. It’s actually just putting us back into the same place. It’s just making us switch one habit to another.
So instead of emotionally eating, we might go for a walk or we might vent to a friend or we might take a shower. We are still distracting because emotional eating itself is a distraction. It’s a distraction from the discomfort, it’s a distraction from us feeling out of control, it’s a distraction from us feeling like we don’t have autonomy or power in a situation. And as children, unfortunately, we are in the hands of our parents and caregivers. We couldn’t just get up and leave a situation.
But now you’re an adult. If you’re watching this you have that power. Why would you continue coping when you have the power to resolve a situation?
This doesn’t mean that life doesn’t happen. Life is happening. We are feeling things that are uncomfortable.
But when you resolve this pattern with the tools in The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, you have the capacity and regulation to move through it in an empowered way. You’re no longer coping or distracting, you’re actually looking things in the eyes.
Emotional eating is multilayered. I always share that this starts in childhood and snowballs. We start learning these unhealthy ways of being with food and our body because we’re searching for that acceptance and validation.
We think if we look a certain way this will help us stop feeling out of control with food.
Our emotional eating and being out of control with food leads us to having physical symptoms which compounds this pattern.
We have health issues, digestive issues, weight issues, we just feel out of control and are constantly obsessing about food. We’re constantly thinking about food, constantly thinking about our body, we’re constantly trying to feel okay.
We’re trying to be enough.
We don’t want to pile on more coping mechanisms because they become bandaids on the mountain which is the root issue. You can resolve this pattern, you can move through this.
You can resolve this!
I want to make it abundantly clear that you can resolve your emotional eating. We can resolve whatever is coming up, whatever triggers are coming up around your emotional eating because triggers are the first opening. Awareness that something is not right.A trigger is usually telling us there’s something deeper going on and we can follow that to the root. In the program we use somatic meditations with psychotherapy tools to do this.
This journey of resolving your emotional eating is partly a journey of coming back to a healthy relationship with your emotions, with food and your body. We need to be looking at all of these areas.
Some of the solutions out there are giving you tactics and tools to be okay. Maybe intuitive eating advice or tune into yourself or advice around body acceptance or body positivity.
What I’ve found with a majority of those tools is that they’re on the surface. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a place. They give some relief but they’re not tapping into that deeper core part of us getting into these core issues.
That’s how we create true resolution from the root. We have to get to these core issues and we have to look at the triggers that are guiding us to this deeper part of us.
When we have this perpetual pattern and the simple solutions don’t work like the ones I mentioned then we have to go deeper.
This is what I’ve found with clients and for myself on this emotional eating journey.
The 3 Areas We Need to Move Through to Resolve Emotional Eating
These three main areas are what we need to really move through to resolve this pattern. Each of these three areas, food, body and your emotions, have certain triggers that come up and they all actually weave into each other and play into this pattern.
So if we look at these three areas, how we’re going to get to resolution in these areas is to start shifting from the old way of being with them to the new way. The old way is in a survival mode. It is restrictive around food. We want to shift to an abundant way.
What we can do around food is to optimize digestion, which optimizes mood. This cuts out one of those triggers around emotional eating. And it’s also recreating this healthier relationship to food because when we obsess and we restrict, that triggers stress and this pattern. We’re coming back to a healthier relationship around food, really getting into the root of what works for your body.
The second area around body acceptance is connecting back to your body and your body’s rhythms. Understanding that your body is unique in how it functions. You’ve been judging yourself by the template out there. Start accepting your body now so that you can create that transformation and start detaching your self worth from your body. You’ve been trying to create this body to have that self worth and that acceptance.
When we attach our body to our self worth and our acceptance to it, it actually creates more stress and triggers shame. Shame usually triggers emotional eating.
We’re looking at those triggers especially around the emotional eating pattern. Going deeper through somatic meditations, getting to the root of when this pattern was created and resolving that trauma in the body. We are resolving it at this deep level, processing and integrating it, meeting our true needs so we can move forward powerfully.
This is about resolution. This is not about coping. This is not about a new, healthy coping mechanism. It’s about seeing the truth of what has been going on.
So we’re really connecting back deeply to the body. And as we do this, we’re going to have more clarity and insight and alignment about our next steps forward. We’re no longer going to be coping with life, surviving with life. We’re going to be shifting to thriving because now we’re connected to our body.
Shifting the nervous system
We’re shifting from a dysregulated nervous system to a calmer nervous system which turns on our prefrontal cortex. It gives us a lot of clarity and insight. It’s going to help us see what’s going to be the next right steps for us. We don’t want to move through life coping and slapping on a band aid solutions. We want deep resolution because when we move through these areas, we’re going to be better able to handle the stressors of life.
We’re going to be able to nourish our bodies so we’re resilient. We’re going to be able to tune into our bodies and we’re going to be able to discern things for ourselves. This is what creates that empowerment.
Your body is going to start feeling more at ease. You’re going to feel more free. You’re not obsessing about food in your body, you’re seeing the true root and from that feel true confidence.
So this is what we do inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, there is a step by step methodology to guide you through these three areas. There is tons of support, there’s coaching, there are the deep somatic meditations to get into the root so that you’re shifting this pattern. It’s a truly transformational program.
If you’re ready to resolve your emotional eating from the root, then I’d love to invite you to also book in an Emotional Eating Clarity Call. On the call we find out more about you, what your goals are, what you’ve tried and how we can support you in the program.
To true resolution,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating