Today I wanted to share more about why it’s so hard to feel those emotions that are under our emotional eating. This was something that I struggled with. I didn’t know there were even emotions under my emotional eating. Emotional eating is a coping mechanism. We use food to cope or soothe ourselves from any discomfort, or uncomfortable emotions.
But the thing is, food is a Band-Aid. So food temporarily gives us relief. It doesn’t actually resolve the emotion, process it or allows us to move it through our body.
For many years, I struggled with emotional eating. I didn’t know how to feel my emotions. I would be aware that I wasn’t feeling great, but I didn’t know how to be with myself or that it was OK to feel the way I was feeling.
So, I want to share with you more about why it’s so hard to feel those emotions. If we look at society, we’re not in tune with what emotions are. We don’t talk about them. We don’t understand them. We don’t know how they are in our bodies or what they’re doing or telling us. We think we need to get rid of them. We might become aware of our triggers but then it kind of stops there.
That’s what I noticed when I was in conventional therapy – I was really aware of my triggers. But I didn’t know how to transform or resolve the emotion.
I’m going to share with you what is keeping us from processing our emotions and feeling them.
The area I see that creates this limitation for us of feeling our emotions is our limiting beliefs. It’s the beliefs that we create, grow up with, from society and our parents. It’s how we’re taught to be with our emotions (or not). We’re not taught to be with our emotions. We’re taught to distract from them. So everything in our society, almost everything, is a distraction from how we really feel.
If we go to food, it becomes the thing we distract with. We want to feel good. We use food to cover up how we’re feeling and that limits us. Food makes us feel good temporarily.
Some limiting beliefs around emotion might be:
I should be stronger.
I should not feel this way.
What’s wrong with me.
Why am I so weak.
These are some examples of limiting beliefs. Yours are going to be slightly different than that.
When we have these limiting beliefs around our emotions, when emotions come up, we can’t feel them. We won’t allow ourselves to feel them because we feel inadequate, feeling them. We don’t feel great feeling them. We feel there’s something wrong with this.
We’re sensitive, we’re weak, we’re too emotional. All the limits we’ve been taught, we think it in that moment. So we don’t feel the emotion and we go to our coping mechanism, which is the food. When we’re doing that we create more and more trauma. Trauma is not just the big things that happen in our world. Trauma is any unresolved, unprocessed emotion. So if something small happens and we don’t feel it, that creates a trauma.
It creates something unresolved in us. The limiting belief can create trauma. We hold in the emotion in our body because if we were able to feel the emotion, we wouldn’t hold it in our body. That’s what trauma really is – holding in the unprocessed emotions. Every time we go towards food, we’re feeding into that trauma because we’re not feeling the emotion.
What can we do?
What we naturally would want to do is feel through the emotion. We would process through the emotion. We would allow our bodies to let the energy flow through because emotions are biochemical reactions in our body. If we don’t feel the emotion, they get trapped in our body. We need to be able to move through the emotion and then resolve it.
Once we resolve it, our body goes back to calm and we no longer need a coping mechanism – food. We no longer need food to make us feel better because we’ve resolved it. The food is just making us feel good temporarily. But that charge is still under the surface.
Triggers + Feeling
What I teach to clients is that when we become aware of our triggers with emotional eating, this is a gateway. This is the first step.
We become aware of the triggers and then we need to move into feeling that emotion. If we have not been able to feel for most of our life or have been made to feel wrong about doing that, we have a lot of guilt around feeling our emotions. We have a lot of shame. So we need a process to move through them. That’s why I love the somatic meditations that I teach to clients which connects you to the emotions in your body.
You open up more and more of those limits that you have around feeling your emotions and your emotional eating. We start with the trigger. Then through the meditation process we connect back to the body. We are reworking those limiting beliefs so that they’re more allowing and allow us to feel our emotions. We can feel our emotions, see what we needed, and what was unresolved in us that created our emotional eating.
As we work through the meditations, there are memories that come up (usually from childhood). There’s inner child work. There might be two parts of us, the part that says, you need to do it this way. The other part that’s feeling beaten down. We need to connect these parts and resolve any conflict and then integrate them.
It’s pretty interesting what can happen internally. When we start doing this work, we can start seeing what’s unresolved in us that we need to connect and go deeper into. This is what I do with clients through The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. I could share with you the steps, but it doesn’t make sense unless you are experiencing it and embodying it. It’s important to have guidance and feel safe to feel.
Of course, emotions are one part of emotional eating. There are two other areas; truly nourishing your body + body acceptance. This combination helps to move pas emotional eating and to ditch dieting.
If what I’m saying is resonating with you and you are looking for more support and accountability and a step by step process then I invite you to apply to The Emotional Eating Evolution Program. I would love to chat with you to see if you’re a good fit for the program and if we can help you with your goals.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist + Emotional Eating Expert