Dealing with emotional eating
Emotions and attitude affect how we eat and dealing with emotional eating is an ongoing issue. Some of us may feel anxious or worry and lose our appetites. For others, these emotions may have the opposite effect. We may also use food to calm the anxiety, which can result in an increase in weight. Recently a subscriber contacted me with the following question “can a recovering anorexic / bulimic ever hope to be able to following your healthy eating rules?”
The area of emotional eating touches most,if not all, of us at some point in our lives at different levels. Anorexia and bulimia are specific disorders that require individual professional attention and support. With the right guidance there is always hope. However, whether or not the individual follows the guidelines (not “rules”) offered ultimately depends on whether the particular individual is open to receive this information. Relevant information, articles, workshops, and consultations are "tools" to achieving vitality. The client can be shown what to do and given follow-up support. But they also need to be ready to take responsibility for their well-being.
The author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle made the following pertinent comments about our approach to eating in one of his online classes on “A New Earth” with Oprah Winfrey.
ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR, “A NEW EARTH”): To make a meditation out of it and eat them consciously without having a secondary entity in your head that says you shouldn't be eating them. Eat them fully and consciously and at the same time feel how your body feels while you eat them and after you've eaten them. Then you bring some presence into it and you may realize in some cases that the body doesn't actually want to eat them. It was the mind that wanted to eat […].
The discussion continued to provide advice for those of us who consider certain foods as bad.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): What [Eckhart is] saying is stop resisting. Actually after reading this book [A New Earth], I've been trying this lately. Exactly what you said. And this is what you'll find, if you stop resisting it, because the French fries are not bad. It's the thought in your head that has told you that the French fries are bad. And if you do what he is recommending, if you sit and you consciously make it a meditation, what you will find is you won't eat, you know, two bags of French fries unconsciously, that you will enjoy every single French fry, and […] you stop when it's no longer pleasurable, you know. It's no longer pleasurable after three or four or five. By the time you've eaten a whole bag of them, you don't even taste it anymore. So he's saying make it a meditation, be with it, feel it, sense it, allow your whole body to be with it, feel it, sense it. And when you're done with the pleasure of it, let it go. […]
‘Cause you don't become overweight or even drunk or intoxicated as long as you are acting consciously. It's when you become unconscious that you eat too much, unconscious that you drink too much. Unconscious is when you become obsessively indulgent.
My challenge to you: Decide to be aware and to eat consciously (tip: chewing slowly helps).
Copyright © 2008 Janet Gomez. All rights reserved.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the "Nutri-Jyoti News," a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels. Sign up for her FREE e-course "5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life" at http://www.nutrijyoti.com.