Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It feels like hunger, but...

What are you hungry for right now?  

Food?  Or is it a deeper hunger, for something emotionally, intellectually, creatively, and/or spiritually fulfilling?
  • A sense of trust and safety – even when you’re not your best self
  • Feeling appreciated for your quirks instead of apologizing for them
  • A really strong physical connection with a partner
  • Deep and meaningful conversations 
As you know, I do NOT view bingeing or problem eating as an addiction (although it sure may "feel" like an addiction).   It's a coping strategy that helps you deal with painful, upsetting emotions and conflicts.  

It helps but it also hurts.

Why food?

A woman once asked me, “Why can’t I turn to meth when I’m upset?  At least I’d be skinny.”

Shocking, huh?  Here’s what I told her:

Our first experience of   bonding is of being held, gazing into the eyes of another, and being fed. Turning to comfort food expresses a wish to be comforted by another.

Understood in this way, our psyches equate food with relationship and people.

You're less likely to turn to food when you're in fulfilling relationships.  Not just romantically, but close and meaningful friendships. 

How do you create change?

If you do nothing, nothing will change.  You'll have to step outside your comfort zone (you can do it!!!).  Try one of these strategies:

Invite a neighbor, coworker or friend out to coffee
Find a class or lecture in your area and say hello to the person sitting next to you
Go to the library or bookstore and ask for book recommendations
Join a book club
Take a yoga class
Join a support group

When you experience the sweetness of love, affection and genuine acceptance, you won't use chocolate as a substitute (whether you turn to it or from it).

That leads to a natural and lasting relationship to food.  And that's how you make peace with food!!

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