Today I want to share with you the steps needed to resolve your emotional eating.
The solutions that are out there are on the surface. What we see are solutions for the tip of the “emotional eating” iceberg. It’s superficial. It’s not going to get to the deeper roots of the pattern.
The symptoms of emotional eating look like;
- obsessive thoughts about food
- going to food to soothe ourselves from distress, discomfort, uncomfortable emotions,
- feeling out of control with food.
This is usually accompanied by yoyo dieting, trying the magic bullets, or thinking something’s wrong with us. This is usually a long standing pattern.
When did this start?
Think back to the start of your pattern. Your relationship to food, your body and your emotions has always been sort of wonky. Am I right?
There’s a reason for this, and you’re not the only one. Woman I talk to with Emotional Eating have these unhealthy relationships with food, their body and their emotions. They all come together.
When I was on my own emotional eating journey, I had the same issues but I didn’t know where they were coming from. When I reflect at my own journey it started when I was very young, around grade four. Back then I started to think that something was wrong with my body, and so I needed to change it to be accepted, to be loved.
I also thought, I needed to control food but I used food to soothe myself.
As time progressed I began restricting food more and more. Restriction can create binges, which is one layer to emotional eating. Eventually in high school, I was relying on food to soothe myself when a lot of discomfort or stress would come up. For example eating boxes of cookies to soothe myself. Then I would swing to restriction.
That’s a pattern with a lot of emotional eaters. They restrict and binge trying to control the food, but just can’t.
Whenever we restrict, we’re not addressing the deeper layers of the pattern. We might also do this with exercise, swinging from one extreme to the other. We can’t find that balance because something deeper is running the pattern.
Emotions also come into play in emotional eating. The lack of acceptance and shame we feel can trigger this pattern.
Thats what’s running the show. Deep down we are “trying” to get the acceptance, validation, connection and our needs met.
When we are very young and have parents/caregivers that can’t help us navigate through distress we start using food to soothe ourselves. It becomes a coping mechanism. If our parents or caregivers were able to guide us through that process we wouldn’t need to cope.
But for most of us, we didn’t have parents or caregivers like that. They didn’t have those tools. This is what leads to addictive patterns like emotional eating. We are not getting our deeper needs met. They’re not showing us how to move through discomfort and distress and meet our needs.
This all plays into creating this Emotional Eating pattern.
Our relationship to food, our body and our emotions become unhealthy.
So, we need to start unpacking these 3 layers to resolve this pattern. In The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, it addresses all the layers of the pattern.
We need a process and a system so that we can get a handle, step by step, and start understanding what’s going on for us.
Step 1: True Nourishment
So the first layer of unwrapping this pattern is around food. In The Emotional Eating Evolution Program we’re looking at client’s relationship to food. We give them a structure to start connecting back to food. This is based on biology, on digestion, physiology. It’s about creating a healthy relationship to food.
We’re starting to learn what is true hunger vs. emotional hunger. Knowing how to nourish yourself so you’re not binging out of restriction. Seeing where is your emotional eating pattern is popping up and using deeper tools to resolve it.
You’re learning this new way of nourishing yourself and moving away diet mentality. Diet mentality can make you feel something is wrong with you. This then feeds into the emotional eating pattern by triggering shame.
Step 2: Body Acceptance
Then we move into body acceptance. Not feeling “acceptable” can trigger emotional eating because of the shame we feel.
So we turn then to food to soothe ourselves. This impacts our body and creates a vicious loop.
You have to learn how to start accepting your body; it’s needs, rhythms, rituals, etc.
This starts to shift the nervous system to a more calm state so that it can find its healthy. Because when we shame ourselves we put our nervous system into a stress mode. This turns on inflammation, weight gain, feeling, digestive issues and more. These physical symptios can then contribute to more body shame.
So we’re in this vicious loop again.
Step 3: Emotional Wellness
Emotional wellness is the third layer. Here we’re working with the emotions and the deeper traumas that created this pattern. When our deeper emotional needs are not met we then turn to food to soothe.
We need to find the root and start re-patterning a new way of being with these unresolved emotions. We have to resolve the stuck emotions and unresolved events. They are stuck somatically in the body. Whatever we don’t process and integrate remains in our body. Our body holds these emotions somatically. We need to get to the root, process, integrate and then move forward meeting our true needs.
Doing this we will no longer use to food to soothe ourselves. We’re meeting our deeper emotional needs and creating a new way forward.
The 3 layers
These three layers are important and interconnected. This is an integrated approach to resolving your emotional eating pattern.
Thinking that the quick fix, this injection, this magic surgery is going to solve the issue is the old way. Emotional Eating is multifaceted and so are you.
The program is a 12 week container with a step by step process, support, guidance, coaching, one to one support to help you resolve the pattern. You are supported in moving through the resistance and blocks to create a new way forward. A way that you feel ease peace and confidence in your body and around food.
To sustainable change,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating