I wanted to share why you have obsessive thoughts about food as an emotional eater.
I hear this regularly from clients and I experienced this myself. Constant obsessive thoughts about food, restricting, counting calories, controlling and manipulating food.
This pattern around food went on for many years personally. When it finally resolved I was left with all this mental space and I thought “what do I do with all this space?” lol
That mental noise can be really loud, takes up a lot of time and effort. It’s like this non stop record in your head.
I want to share why there is this obsession with food.
Emotional eating + obsessive thought about food
Emotional eating is a coping mechanism, it is an addictive pattern. Any addictive pattern has an obsessiveness to it, here we obsess about food. Addictive patterns are constantly calling to us and distracting us from the real issue at hand.
So addiction is a way to keep us in a loop of obsessing and not directly getting to the root of the issue because we feel it is too painful to deal with.
Our mind is very powerful and it has this job to protect us from pain. We see this mirrored in society – anything negative is frowned upon or rejected.
But emotions are on a spectrum from joy to grief, shame. We are meant to feel it all as a human being.
The emotions on the lower end of the scale don’t feel good and so we are taught (from parents or society) to stay away from these emotions. To avoid, distract or get rid of them.
As an emotional eater we develop this pattern of going towards food to feel good. In the moments of discomfort we didn’t have a way to comfort ourselves and so we started looking for comfort. Food happened to be the thing to take away the pain, the distress or discomfort.
Using food might have been modelled to us. We may have seen our parents use food or we were given treats to feel better.
The more stress and turmoil we experience the more we go towards food to cope and solidify the pattern. The more we hear the call towards food.
Piling on more
So as we become more out of control around food because we use it to cope we then want to control food. So this is where we usually end up trying all the things to help us control the food.
The diets, restriction and control of food.
So this becomes another set of beliefs in our mind. This becomes an obsession as well. Physiologically we are restricting ourselves which puts us in survival mode and we create more thoughts about food.
So this obsession is coming from 2 different places; from being triggered by our emotional eating pattern and from diet mentality. This creates a tug of war internally.
How to get past your obsessive thoughts about food
So, how do we get past these obsessive thoughts?
We need to work strategically and go layer by layer. This is why when I work with clients inside of The Emotional Eating Evolution Program we work in phases.
There are 2 phases that address the diet mentality and emotions under the emotional eating pattern.
True Nourishment Phase
In phase 1 we focus on switching from a diet mentality to a nourishing way of being, catching our emotional eating triggers, being discerning with true and emotional hunger, removing restrictions and deeply nourishing our body.
Switching from a diet mentality to a more abundant + nourishing way of being.
This shifts some of those obsessive thoughts and shifts us to being more calm around food
Emotional Wellness Phase
In the Emotional Wellness phase we look at the emotions under the emotional eating pattern. We focus on the emotional eating coping mechanism and resolve the triggers and traumas creating the obsessive thoughts and this pattern.
We are resolving the pattern in the body, integrating and moving forward in a way that meets our true needs so we no longer rely on food to soothe.
As we rebalance the areas around nourishment and emotions we soften our obsession around food. We are now meeting the needs of our body and ourself and so the thoughts dissolve and food will take it’s rightful place in our life.
We can have food and enjoy it but not rely on it to make us feel good all the time. We have the amazing nourishing meal and we let it go. I’ve had clients describe it as having that relationship to food the French have. Take pleasure in the meal, feel satisfied and then let it go.
When we have obsessive thoughts around food and go towards diets we are compounding the obsession. We need to get to the roots around true nourishment and emotional wellness.
If you are ready to resolve your emotional eating from the root so you feel free, at ease and confident in your body and around food I’d love to invite you to check out The Emotional Eating Evolution Program HERE and book in an Emotional Eating Assessment call to see how the program can support you.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist + Emotional Eating Expert