“What is your heart hungry for?” I ask my clients who have been trying to lose weight for many years, sometimes even decades. This is a crucial question if we want to establish a healthy and relaxed relationship with food and our bodies. When food has taken on the role of comforter, soother, protector or lover, diets will never be successful. It is crucial to understand the emotional reasons and the core needs that drive a person to the refrigerator late at night. Eating instead of feeling is a powerful ritual and deserves understanding and compassion. Behavior always makes sense, so in many cases the young child learned: “When I eat, I am okay. When I eat, I feel safe.” This behavior can carry on for many years and sometimes even a lifetime.
When someone eats because he or she feels lonely it merits self-compassion. In my work my clients and I co-create new healthy life-affirming rituals. Diets don’t work long-term. Period. They are often perceived as punitive and further disconnect a person from their true needs. “What is your hurt hungry for?” will lead the way to greater insight and new ways of loving yourself.
When we get encouraged to gently explore which passions, hopes and desires have been put on the back burner it makes it easier to invite them back in, so to speak.
If your heart desires more creativity, play and joy, then that’s the route to follow. Our intuition already knows, the inner wisdom already resides within us. Follow your heart… it knows the way. It has the answers we are looking for.
Sometimes an emotional childhood wound needs to be examined and healed, lovingly and patiently. Becoming your own best friend and learning how to “mother” and nurture yourself will lead the way out of emotional eating.
“I need a treat.” really means “I need a break. I need time out.” Give yourself the oxygen first. You can’t give from an empty cup. Be good to you heart. Listen to it. Treat yourself as if you were soothing and comforting a small precious child.
Good self-care is not just chocolate cake and soft baths, it’s creating a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. It means saying “no” more often and saying “yes” to yourself: your needs, your truth, to stand your ground and to be YOU, unapologetically.
Food is a wonderful thing, it can and should be nourishing and pleasurable. When it takes on the role of “mood regulator”, explore other ways of giving to yourself with gentle curiosity and loving kindness.
You CAN be at peace with food and your body. Build regular periods of restoration, relaxation and meditation into your day. Practice a “mindful pause”… just for a few minutes and allow yourself to connect with you inner world and shift from your head space into your heart space. You are worth it!