I wanted to talk to you more about why food doesn’t soothe you and actually makes your emotional eating worse. A lot of clients that come into my world are at this place where they recognize they use food to soothe themselves. They’re having a lot of anxiety or a lot of heightened emotions, and automatically go towards food.
This is a great place of awareness to be at because it means that you’re starting to see the pattern. When we’re feeling this anxiety or discomfort and have the food it temporarily calms us down. It soothes us. This is very temporary.
When we have an uncomfortable emotion then eat – what happens?
Our body produces feel good chemicals in response to eating so we feel good temporarily. We’re soothed and calm. But this is temporary and it’s not getting to the root of what’s going on. It’s not getting to the root of your emotions.
What we need to do…
So if you are feeling any anxiety or any discomfort and you decide in that moment to sit with those emotions and allow and accept them your nervous system will go back to calm.
Right now what you’re doing is you’re using food as a cover up to your emotions to temporarily take away the pain. You’re not eating because of true hunger. You don’t have a physical need for food. It’s more of a mental way of calming your body down. There’s this deeper pattern happening. We decide through our parents or society, that it was much better to not feel our emotions so we needed a way to cope with them.
Why do we soothe with food?
So, we use food to cover up any emotions and take away the discomfort. Part of the reason we do that is that we weren’t taught how to be with our emotions and that it was completely OK to have emotions. Maybe we were told that we’re weak, we aren’t strong enough when we felt any emotion. We absorb that from society or our parents. So we don’t want to show our emotions.
We’re not allowed to be angry.
We’re not allowed to be sad.
We’re not allowed to have frustration.
We’re embarrassing if we’re having big emotions, especially when we’re younger. And so we might actually have been given food to calm down or decided, “hey, food makes me feel good. I’m going to use that as as the way to handle any discomfort in my life”.
What are emotions + why you shouldn’t fear them…
I want to help you break this pattern a little bit by sharing with you that emotions are natural. We create emotions in our body. For example serotonin is happiness or cortisol, is stress.
We have different messages in society or in our family that some emotions are not meant to be expressed. But it doesn’t mean we’re not feeling it in our body or having them. Emotions are internal messages giving us information about our environment or how we’re feeling. Emotions are internal messages, information, or data.
If we don’t feel it and let it move out of our body, our nervous system doesn’t go back to calm.
What happens is that we feel an uncomfortable emotion and we automatically contract. That’s because we’re telling ourselves we shouldn’t be feeling this way, that it’s not a great idea to feel this way. We’re doing it unconsciously because we were either punished or shamed for feeling that way.
So we contract our body. So when we feel emotional discomfort in our body, we go towards the food. It makes us feel a bit better or more relaxed. The anxiety and whatever emotion we’re feeling – it’s not going away. This is because we’re tightening up and not allowing ourselves to fully feel it.
Feeling our emotions help us mature…
Emotions can sometimes take 90 seconds to feel .or 10 minutes. They don’t last forever. They’re giving us information and we’re meant to feel it. We have emotions for a reason. But in our society, we think we have to be logical and not have any feelings. If we do we’re too sensitive, too weak or not empowered. If we don’t feel our emotions, we’re less empowered.
Our emotions help develop our logical brain, which is our prefrontal cortex. It’s developing until our early 20’s. The way the prefrontal cortex matures and develops is by feeling and processing our emotions. When we hold in our emotions we’re preventing our development. We’re preventing ourselves from having more perspective about situations and the world. We’re actually preventing ourselves from being logical and seeing things more clearly in the world. So that’s a little bit about emotions and why it’s so important to feel them.
How do we process our emotions?
But as emotional eaters, we’ve been shamed for having emotions so we use food to cope with them. This is the pattern we have to change. We need to learn how to accept our emotions, how to feel them, that it’s OK to have them and learn how to process them.
To actually sit with the sensations and feelings in our body and let them move through us and allow whatever emotional response we have. Whether it’s a shaking, crying or feeling constriction we allow ourselves to feel it. This becomes difficult when we have a rigid mindset around our emotions. We might not want to consciously feel our emotions. There’s part of us holding us back.
This is where the deeper work needs to happen. Our emotions don’t make us weak.
Some ways to start getting into that subconscious is to start journaling. You can start journaling and start dismantling your beliefs around feeling your emotions. Another way I like to work with clients are the meditations I share with them in my program, The Emotional Eating Evolution Program.
The 1:1 meditations are somatic and I use parts work and inner child work to get to the root of the part blocking you from feeling. The part of you that’s holding you back from feeling or saying you can’t feel your emotion is a part of you that’s trying to protect you. This is usually very ingrained and we need to access this part to transform it.
We can mature it and give it new information and and and help it help it grow out of this pattern. It’s what I’ve done for myself and other clients.
Emotional eating is not something you have to live with forever.
It’s not your fault but you are holding yourself back…
If you recognize what it is, it’s a pattern. There are parts of you holding you back from feeling your emotions. Hopefully through this video, you’ve come to understand a bit more about emotions and that we need to allow them. They’re important for our development. And if we have this pattern, we might not be aware of these deeper parts of us and we need more support around that.
So this is what I do for clients. In my program, they can do it on their own and empower themselves. There are also 1:1 sessions with me. When we’re starting this journey, it’s important to have modelling and someone to hold that container for you to move through the emotion. To see, hear and validate your experience. To have empathy. That’s what I provide clients. This is how we move out of this pattern.
It’s not with another diet or exercise. Of course, nutrition and nourishing your body is important, and that’s part of the program as well as body acceptance. But this emotional wellness piece is a big piece in this pattern.
If what I’m saying is resonating with you and you do need more support, a step by step, plan and community, please reach out and book in a complimentary call + assessment for The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. This call is to give you more clarity, and if you’re ready to commit to yourself, then this call is definitely for you.
So thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions, please leave them below and please be sure to like and subscribe. And I look forward to sharing more with you and I hope you have a great day.
To true calm,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist + Emotional Eating Expert