Posts tagged antidiet
Relationship with Food Series Part 5: Emotional Eating, Self Soothing and Meeting the Change Triangle

We’re back with part 5 of our relationship with food series, and today I’ll be sharing some amazing resources that will be so helpful on your journey to a better place with food, especially when it comes to emotional eating. We’ll be talking about how normal it is to see food as part of our coping tools (eating for reasons other than hunger is a part of normal eating and emotions play a part in this), and what can help when it has become the only coping tool. I’ll share a resource that has been enormously helpful in understanding emotions and anxiety, and we’ll talk about how there isn’t just one side of us running the show when it comes to our eating, and how we can begin to nourish the different sides of us, with and without food.

It’s not uncommon that from a very early age, those of us who have had a hard time dealing with difficult emotions, have also found our way to using food as a coping mechanism. For many of us food was associated with early rewards, or it was used to help us deal with tough emotions such as sadness, grief, anxiety or worry. For some of us the restriction of food was used as punishment, or perhaps fun foods were only permitted when we had been “good”. For some of us (myself included), food became a great way to momentarily escape situations we were not prepared to face or weren’t old enough to face. For many of us it was the way family members showed love and affection, for others it was a door to a calm space, away from difficult circumstances. For some food was where you turned to when you’d had a bad day, or perhaps it was the way your culture expressed its sense of community and enjoyment. Whatever our origin, most of us have learned from pretty early on that food is a point of connection, of celebration, of reward, and it can be a way to cope with difficult situations or emotions.

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Relationship with Food Series Part 3: Seeing our Food and Body Image Struggles Collide

Last week in our relationship with food series we talked about the importance of safely, and from a distance, going on a little exploration journey. I asked you to look back at some of your stories and personal history with food to learn from it and view it with as much kindness as you could muster. For me, the first step in improving my relationship with food was taking an honest look at where I was with food, acknowledging that I was struggling and where that struggle was actually coming from. The very next step was taking inventory. I had to look back at my history with food and all the damage that going on endless diets had done, understanding that so many of my struggles with overeating and emotional eating came from this self-imposed restriction and focus on control and perfectionism. Soon after going on this little self discovery journey, it was time for me to see a different side of the equation, and it’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Body image was what was usually behind many of my habits with food and exercise and yet it was so incredibly difficult for me to see. So much of my focus was on healing what I considered to be my only problem: I would sit down to eat and paid no attention to my body’s cues, I would overeat until the point in which I was severely uncomfortable, and I would emotionally eat using food as my only coping tool to deal with difficult emotions. Just as I hadn’t seen the negative role restriction had played in my relationship with food, I would only see food as the culprit, food as the problem, food as my nemesis, food as something I needed to gain control over.

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