Today I wanted to share with you why those surface solutions and things we’re trying to help us resolve our emotional eating are not getting to the deeper roots of this pattern.
It’s not looking at the 2 layers and levels of stress that we experience as emotional eaters. I wanted to share this with you because a lot of the times when we are trying to resolve our emotional eating, we are still in the management phase of it.
We’re constantly managing our emotional eating. We’re constantly will-powering. And we’re constantly trying to find a solution because it doesn’t fully go away. It doesn’t matter what we do and what we’re told to do It doesn’t seem to hit the nail on the head. Am I right?
For me, when I was emotionally eating, it was really frustrating. If I looked back on what I had been trying to help me, everything was still on the surface.
I know it doesn’t always seem like it’s on the surface because we are really TRYING! We’re trying to shift our behaviours and shift our patterns. But if we don’t hit this at the deep root, that pattern will still play out and we’ll still feel like we’re trying to cover it up.
It’s like that game where you whack a mole, you’re hitting 1 mole, then another thing pops up. Maybe we don’t binge for a few weeks then it comes back. We haven’t discovered or learned how to get to that deeper root.
We might be doing the things to help us mitigate stress because emotional eating is a coping mechanism. It’s triggered by stress, unresolved emotions, discomfort. So we think, AHA, this is about stress. Let me manage my stress, let me mitigate my stress.
We’re doing all the surface things
But we’re doing all the surface things.
So if you’re going for a walk, doing the yoga, or even going to talk therapy this is all on the surface. It’s management, it’s buying us some time. It’s not giving us that deep exhale in our body which comes from deep resolution of this pattern. And that’s what we’re looking for, right?
When we’re still on the surface – doing the yoga, the adaptogens, trying to eat well, we’re trying to help our body and ourselves to feel good. But if we don’t get to that deeper root, the pattern is just spinning under the surface, constantly going.
Then we feel out of control.
We need to look at the deeper roots as well.
We need to look at the deeper roots of this pattern. The deeper roots of this pattern are from childhood, from unresolved emotions and traumas that we’ve experienced that we weren’t able to move through and resolve.
They keep playing out. The way we learn to cope with them is to use food to manage our mood, to distract ourselves or to give us pleasure. We use food as a substitute for so many things that we were lacking at the time.
So you went through this particular event and no, this event was not you sitting around eating five bags of chips 😉
It was something different. There could have been an unresolved event or emotion. Something happened. Then you weren’t regulated by your parents, you weren’t given the care and attention and acceptance that you needed or the validation. Maybe you were even shamed.
All of these things are happening and it’s uncomfortable, it’s unbearable. As children we need to survive and food becomes this thing we can use to cope.
Food complicates this
Food also complicates this pattern because we are in a society that doesn’t know how to relate to food in a healthy way. Or to our bodies too. We hear a lot of dysfunctional concepts. We see people starving themselves or restricting and buying into diet mentality. We see our parents or women around us criticizing their bodies, criticizing us. This adds to the emotional eating pattern as well.
Then as we grow up, society doesn’t help by telling us we should be doing this diet and this thing to help our emotional eating. There’s a discernment here that I like to make. Emotional eating has to do with emotions. When we’re not nourishing our body, that has more to do with restriction and bingeing.
One is coming from physical hunger and restriction and one is coming from this coping mechanism and using food to soothe.
2 levels of stress
What I’m trying to say here is that there are two levels of stress happening. There’s these deeper traumas that are triggered running the emotional eating pattern and there’s also the surface symptoms. So we do need to be looking at these two levels.
Maybe we don’t have the best relationship to food or our body. We need to learn new ways of nourishing our body, putting in the foods that serve our body and that’s more on the surface, having the adaptogens, moving our body in a more gentler way. That’s the yoga going for a walk. But we need to and learning new ways of being that could be through talk therapy and awareness.
When it becomes management
But if we don’t hit it and get to that deeper root and clear it out, these things are just helping us manage our situation. They’re not helping us move forward and thrive like when we get to the deeper root and resolve it.
We can really see and tap into our true needs. Moving through whatever created this pattern is going to get us in touch with our true needs versus the surface solutions.
I love yoga, I love adaptogens, I love walks, I love all those things.
They help to regulate your nervous system and they do help with stress, but that’s the day to day stress we experience, not the deeper stress that’s creating this pattern that’s being triggered.
If we are not looking at the deeper roots, we’re just in management. So if I go for a walk or I ground, I know I’m adding to my body. I’ve already cleared out the roots. So this is just adding more to my health.
It’s not a substitute for resolving this coping mechanism. I’m not trying to band aid with yoga or a walk. Yoga and a walk becomes something that aids my growth and my health. So there’s a discernment between the two.
You can see there are these two levels of stress happening, one more on the surface and the other deeper.
If you have a healthy relationship to food, your body and your emotions then these amazing tools like yoga and movement, are helpful. But we need to be pulling out the roots.
Pull out the roots
We need to pull them out at the roots so that we clear it out then integrate what is happening at a body level. That’s where we hold trauma on a body level, so that when we clear it out and we resolve this, we can move forward in a powerful way.
There are things that help our nervous system to be regulated, like yoga and gentle movement and walks and adaptogens, things that can help our stress levels.
But if we’re not pulling out the deeper root, it’s sort of like putting ice cream on top of poop. It doesn’t really work. We need to be doing them both hand in hand. Inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, we are looking at this from both angles. So if there’s something you need to shift in your life that’s not a deep trauma, we shift it and it’s going to help you feel good and move forward.
But if there’s resistance and blocks and the deeper roots and unresolved emotions, we look at that to clear it out so that you can move forward. So we need to be looking at both of these levels in order to resolve this pattern. That’s why emotional eating is so multifaceted and multilayered. It’s not just one thing that’s going to help you, we need to look at you and your pattern.
So if what I’m saying is resonating for you, and you’d like to find out more about The Emotional Eating Evolution Program, you can check out more HERE.
The Emotional Eating Evolution Program is a step by step process. It’s a 12 week container where you’re guided through resolving your emotional eating through the areas of food, your body and your emotions so that you can finally feel confident in your body and around food. There’s coaching, support, accountability and in depth somatic meditations to move past any resistance or blocks. Find out more here.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist Specializing in Emotional Eating