Thursday, May 5, 2016

Crack The Code To Emotional Eating

How do you crack the code of emotional eating?  By changing the way you respond to your emotions!

Last weekend I had the honor of speaking at an uplifting, fabulous event in Santa Monica, celebrating self-acceptance and honoring Mental Health Awareness Month.  For those of you who couldn't be there, I wanted to bring the event to you!

Click my photo or click HERE to watch the video!   

For those of you who'd rather read the speech, here's what I said:

"I want to tell you this thing that happened...  I’m in the park and there are these two toddlers – a little girl and a little boy – and they’re playing in the sand, digging, sifting, eating sand, having a great time. 

All of a sudden the boy gets up and runs off.  He just takes off - with the shovel.  

The little girl bursts into tears.  She’s upset – her friend took off and she’s sad.  And here comes mom, running up, “Don’t cry!  Don’t cry!  It’s okay!”

Of course she keeps crying, because... well, we've all been there, right?  You're hanging out with someone, thinking everything is going great, you're getting along, and then suddenly they're gone.  So she's upset.

And mom’s digging in her diaper bag, saying, “Stop crying, it’s okay,” and then she says, “Here, have a cookie.” (yikes)

What did that little girl learn?  She learned that feelings cause other people to be anxious and upset and she should not cry.  But if she absolutely can’t stop herself, a cookie will do the trick. 

Hello, disordered eating in the future. 

So what does this have to do with self-acceptance and mental health?  Well, when we talk about mental health, we’re often talking about emotional health.  Only we’ve got a problem in this country, because we make emotions into a bad, scary thing.

You’re considered weak if you feel your emotions and strong if you don’t.  How does that even make sense?  Doesn’t it take a lot of strength to deal with painful, difficult emotions?

Here’s the thing:  cookies don’t take away feelings.   You can’t stuff feelings down, you can’t starve them away, purge them, drink them away, gamble them away, work them away, let them go, or use positive thinking to get rid of them.  

There’s only ONE WAY to get rid of feelings.  

That little girl in the sandbox?   If her mother had just said, “Yeah, honey, that hurts.  It’s hard when people leave you and take your stuff.”  If she’d said that, then the girl would have had a good cry and felt better.

That’s how you get rid of feelings.  As counterintuitive as it may seem, the only way to get rid of feelings is to actually FEEL them.

We need to accept that feelings are reactions to situations and not character flaws.   If you get mad, you’re not an angry person; you’re a person who’s angry.

We need to accept our emotions and give them our attention, not our condemnation.

We must accept tears.

Accept our fears.

Accept everything we feel, today and every day, because ultimately emotions are NOT a sign that you are weak. They are a sign that you are human. 

By accepting your feeling, you accept your humanity.  And that’s a healthy outlook!"

What are you going to do today to accept yourself?   Share by replying to this post!

Once again, here's the link to the speech: Watch it here. 
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