I wanted to share more about how the way we’ve been doing things is pushing us further away from the body we want and more into emotional eating.
I was inspired by a podcast that was talking about body and self acceptance. While I was listening to this interview it reminded me of my own struggles with my body image, food and emotional eating.
I wanted to look a certain way and be a certain way to have the love, acceptance and validation I craved.
This became messy for me and it’s the same for the women I work with. We’re using food to soothe ourselves from the discomfort of not being accepted. Then we’re trying to control food and our body to look a certain way to have the validation and acceptance. Which triggers more emotional eating and the shame around that.
That’s why emotional eating is so multilayered. I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the things we’ve been doing to “try” to attain “the body” and why it shifts us away from what we desire.
So when I work with women the voice in their head is obsessed with food, constantly micromanaging food and the body, and being triggered into emotionally eating. Shame spiral activated.
This just screams stress. It is a stressful state to be in all of those critical restrictive thoughts. This puts the body into fight or flight mode, which is a stress state.
2 States in the Nervous System
We have two main ways of being in our nervous system, fight or flight OR rest and digest.
In fight or flight, it is a state of stress and dis-ease. In rest and digest, we’re in a state of calm, peace and health.
In rest & digest everything’s turned on for health. When in the stressful state, that’s where we give rise to inflammatory conditions, disease, weight gain, digestive issues and the list goes on.
In a state of health we’re going to have better digestion, not have inflammation, release weight, have better immunity, more energy, and we’re going to feel more ease, peace and calm.
As emotional eaters we are in a chronic stress state because of our obsessive thoughts about food, our body, and life are always on our mind. Putting ourselves into this stressful state with these thoughts, and trying to achieve a body that looks a certain way to get that acceptance, is backwards.
Because as I shared, our nervous system is not in the right mode to attain the results we’re looking for. These thoughts are coming from a part of us that is super critical, that is not integrated, “trying” to get us the results it wants, but it’s misinformed.
We can see that misinformation in the way our nervous system is operating. We can see the physical manifestation of that in our body.
We’re having digestive issues, weight gain, inflammatory conditions, not feeling good in our body, we’re not having peace and ease, all of that’s being turned on by the way this critical “voice”.
This is the voice that we’ve inherited from society, our parents and from our coping mechanisms. This voice, is trying its best, but it hasn’t grown up, it hasn’t found a new way of being.
Shifting this pattern
What we need to do with this voice is to integrate it, to get to the root level of where it was created, so we can start shifting these patterns. What I find with emotional eaters is there are three main areas where these beliefs are stemming from. These areas are the way we relate to food, our body and our emotions.
Emotional eating is a coping mechanism. It’s what we use in order we use food in order to numb out or soothe ourselves from any discomfort or stress that comes up. This pattern typically has its roots in childhood along with a lot of these beliefs. We need to start shifting these beliefs and these patterns because we created them to survive not thrive.
When we’re in survival mode, we’re in fight or flight mode, we need to shift to a way where we’re thriving.
But to go even deeper than that. This journey is not about just attaining what’s on the outside because it has to start from inside by shifting the way we relate to ourselves. The whole point of micromanaging food and looking a certain way, if we’re really honest with ourselves, is to have some kind of acceptance, validation, self worth, of value.
While those are basic human needs, we’re not going to find it in attaining a certain body. We’re not going to find it by someone giving us a compliment about our body looking a certain way. That has to come from the inside.
It’s only when we do the deeper work we’re able to give that to ourselves. That’s when we create that TRUE calm and peace in our body.
Paradoxically, when we shift our nervous system, we’re going to physically get to our health goals. I’m not promising you overnight weight loss, because this is a journey.
Even in my own journey, at first, I noticed my digestion was better, I felt better around food, I felt more at ease in my body, more empowered, and had more self esteem. Eventually my body started releasing weight it didn’t need, because now my nervous system had shifted.
For emotional eaters, the three main areas we need to shift are around food, our body and our emotions. When we shift these areas, we’re shifting our nervous system and feel that ease and peace in our body.
When we are in diet mentality and we’re restricting our bodies, we’re restricting the food, we’re micromanaging, we’re constantly checking our calories and all of these things around food and we don’t feel at ease around it. That’s creating stress in our body. When we connect to our body and food, we will find that we can nourish ourselves in a way that feels good. That we don’t have to micromanage.
Yes, we want to care for our body. Yes, we want to optimize our nutrition, but when it’s in an obsessive way, it’s creating more stress.
We want to shift from punishing our body and criticizing our body and feeling we have to attain a certain body to have self worth. We want to discern that worth is not connected to our body. When we gain acceptance for our body, when we start feeling at ease in our body, we start honoring its rhythms and rituals.
As we shift our nervous system to that ease state. Paradoxically, our body will start shifting to It’s healthy.
The craving of “if I have this body, I have that acceptance” will no longer be there. Because we’re already giving it to ourselves.
That cup is already being filled internally and around our emotions. We start giving to ourselves that deeper acceptance, love, validation and care. We resolve those root issues that created this pattern and we start truly meeting our needs.
We start repairing that dysfunction that we’ve been living with from this deep core level and we’re not searching for it on the outside. As we shift this, we tangibly feel our nervous system relax and we feel that ease and peace.
We cannot attain a body we love by hating ourselves, by criticizing ourselves, by punishing ourselves.
You start feeling that ease in your body. You have better digestion. I see this with clients over a 12 week period. Better digestion, more ease in the body, more peace around food, more confidence.
When you feel at ease in your body, you’re going to care more for yourself and be more compassionate. That’s priceless. That’s priceless to your children, to your partners, to the people you interact with because you’re coming from an embodied, aligned place.
Inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, this is what we do. We move through these areas, food, body and your emotions to connect you back to you. To shift your nervous system from fight or flight mode to rest and digest. You start feeling that inner peace, that inner calm, and that shifts the way your body also operates as well. The program is a step by step process, with accountability, support, coaching and in depth somatic meditations to get to the root of some of these blocks. You can find out more HERE.
To ease and peace around food + in your body,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating