Let’s be honest.
My relationship with food has not always been healthy. I’m a live to eat kinda gal and instead of eating only when hungry, there have been many times when I have used food as a reward, a punishment, a distraction, for comfort or even when feeling stressed and anxious.
What starts as a few slices of apple, moves to a few pieces of cheese and the next thing you know you’re elbow deep in a litre of ice cream. You go to bed exhausted and sick, feeling out of control, and like you are sabotaging yourself. Days pass and you are still judging yourself, picking a part every little thing you dislike about your body.
I have totally been there. I know how lonely that space feels.
This is why I have worked very hard on healing my relationship with food and over the past few years I have made a huge shift in this area. As with everything in life, I have learned to embrace my imperfections.
There are still times when I fall back into old habits but thankfully when I do make a mistake I can now respond with kindness. I am able to move on within a matter of minutes, instead of allowing those feelings to drag on for days.
If you can relate to what I’ve been sharing then this post is for you. Below is the process I use to move on, when I catch myself eating my emotions.
Please note that I am not a therapist or an expert but I do know what works for me. This learning has come though the help of some incredible mentors and through committing myself to personal development and breaking out of the stories I once lived inside.
The first step is to take a moment to recognise what is going on and bring awareness to my actions. This can happen in multiple ways but often it involves me speaking out loud. It might look like this:
“I am feeling stressed and I’ve been using food to numb the stress, but I now recognise that what my body really needs is time out.”
Yes, I felt really dumb the first couple of times I stood in my kitchen talking to myself. But it works.
Secondly I acknowledge the impact that it’s having either on myself or the people around me. I don’t always say this out loud but I acknowledge it in my mind. It might sound like this:
“ I acknowledge that eating this way makes me feel sad and tired and the impact that has on Frankie is that he has a mum who doesn’t want to play”.
At this point it can be really easy to feel guilty, and that guilt can actually be the catalyst that spirals you into more emotional eating and even more guilt. So this step should be done with compassion and without judgment. Just say what is so.
The last step is to forgive. If you are usually very critical of yourself I understand that this can be a challenging step. I find that one way to make it easier is to stop talking about your past actions. The past only exists when we talk about it- so don’t. What’s done is done, instead look ahead and focus on moving forward.
Once you’ve gone through those three steps I recommend you then do something that nourishes you. Give your body other ways to experience feeling good aside from eating.
This was a suggestion that came from one of my mentors Rachael Campbell, and I love it. I have a list of 10 things that without fail, will ALWAYS make me feel totally loved up. This lists sits behind my computer so I can draw from it when I am feeling strung out.
- Walking. Beside the ocean is best for me
- Have a hot bath or shower
- Stand barefoot in the sand
- Lie down on the floor and listen to music that makes me feel something
- Have a massage
- Get my hair cut, or washed and blow dried
- Light my ecoya candle and play music that I love
- Give myself a facial with my Sense beautiful science skin care range
- Get out of the house and have a green smoothie or something nourishing from a local café.
We are all different so what works for me may not necessarily work for you. I recommend you make your own list of 10 things that nourish you, and post it somewhere where you can see it often. If you feel inspired I would love for you to share some of your ideas below in the comments section, to help all of us.
Eat, Drink and be Mindful.