It’s no huge ass secret that we eat when we’re not hungry and it’s usually based on some emotions we’re trying to fix or stuff down or not feel or whatever. Most of us can be eating a bag of chips while our mind is literally screaming: “YOU’RE NOT EVEN HUNGRY – WHAT ARE YOU DOING – YOU’RE GOING TO REGRET THIS!”
It’s easy to admit that we emotionally eat but not so easy to stop it.
This week’s video had a good point in that we are taught at a very, very early age that our feelings aren’t valid or real or that we shouldn’t be feeling what we feel…and that most anything we feel can be fixed with food.
For example – let’s say a 7 year old girl has a tiff with her 7 year old best friend and she comes to her mom and says, “Ugh Mom – I hate Mary! She took my crayons! I’m never talking to her again!”
What would most Moms say to that? I know that for me, I’d say, “Honey, don’t say that. You don’t hate Mary! She’s your best friend!”
In doing so I told her she wasn’t really allowed to feel what she felt, that it was wrong and not true. I unvalidated everything she just said instead of just listening and saying, “Oh that sucks about the crayons!”
And then a lot of us would go even further and say, “Here. Have a cookie and go play with someone else for now.”
For women – way back in the day – they were often taught never to feel anger or be mad. Real women don’t act that way. Read ladies are polite and dainty and don’t yell or scream or get pissed off and want to shank people. Put the shank away – just hold it in – or eat it gone, right?
For men – in olden days and I still believe now – they were taught never to show fear or be scared. They were taught to buck up, be brave and strong for the dainty women, never show fear or be scared of anything. Keep the terror inside – or eat it gone, right?
Has anyone ever given you permission to just feel exactly what you feel – right or wrong?
How many people say, “you shouldn’t feel that way – you’ll hurt someone – that’s inappropriate – you’re over-reacting – there’s nothing to be mad about – you’ll be fine – you’re worrying for nothing”?
We all listen to people have feelings and then we try to FIX them and make them go away because feelings are damn uncomfortable and it’s hard to see people we love hurting.
So yah – we all know we emotionally eat and we’ve all been told that before we reach for the Oreos that we should ask ourselves if we are really hungry?
Instead of asking that – this woman in the program says that of all the emotions in the entire world – when we eat and we aren’t hungry – there are only FOUR emotions we are feeling. Anything we feel when we reach for our 300th Skittle can be tagged as one of the FOUR emotions or a combination of them. You don’t have to try to decipher what you are feeling from an entire dictionary of words that describe what you are feeling.
It’s not that complicated. It’s simple.
You are feeling:
Mad – angy, frustrated
Sad – depressed, down
Glad – excited, euphoric
Scared – anxious, tense
So reach for a pop tart after you just ate breakfast and ask, “Crap – am I mad, sad, glad or scared?”
Answer yourself and then sit. Five minutes.
With and in the feeling you just decided you were. If you have to – tell yourself out loud – I give myself permission to feel this feeling.
The key is that YOU CANNOT DISOWN A FEELING UNTIL YOU HAVE FIRST OWNED IT.
Once you sit with it and own it – you can more easily let it go.
After five minutes – do you still want the food?
Hopefully not. Will you want it again in 10 minutes because you’re still mad or sad? Probably.
Repeat the steps. Ask yourself the question? Answer it. Sit with it. Own it. Then disown it.
Do it over and over until you can let it go for good.
If you eat out of emotional hunger, you’re going to be hungry again in 10 minutes. It was never real hunger so you can never really satisfy it with food. You have to find another way – to satisfy the emotional need emotionally.
And if you’re feeling mad, sad, glad or scared – how is your list of SEVEN vital needs looking? If you could rate your needs on a scale of 1 to 10 – would some be 5s or 2s or 9s or 10s? If you have 3s on 5 out of your 7 needs – chances are you’re reaching for food because you’re emotional /vital needs aren’t met and filled up so you are searching desperately to feel better …and your brain says food will get you to a 10.
Your brain is wrong. Eat the food. Check your 7 vital needs and see if they went up on your meter of being fulfilled. They didn’t. You didn’t work to fulfill a vital need by bingeing – you just ate food. Period. You ate unnecessary calories.
Your vital needs meter never moved an inch. In fact, it may have gone down because regret is now on your radar.
Here’s a drawing to help explain!
Anyway – that’s what this week was about in a nutshell.
Probably not necessarily new stuff BUT old stuff said in a different way.
I thought it was interesting.
What do you think?