Is it time to stop the food fight?
Do you feel like your relationship with food and your body takes up way too much of your emotional and mental energy?
If you have tried diets, going to the gym, personal trainers, fitness classes, bariatric surgery, the list can go on and on, and you still focus on food, are uncomfortable with your body, and endlessly criticize yourself, it is emotional torture.
It is time for a change.
Often you may find yourself waiting for something to get better and putting “it” off until tomorrow. When you wake in the morning you feel like you can keep it together, but something stressful happens and you begin the process of shaming yourself all over again.
It’s hard to stay motivated to change when you are in it all alone.
When emotional eating gets the best of you…
Sometimes the uncomfortable feelings are turned inward. You may feel like there is, “something wrong with you.” Maybe you use emotional eating to try and soothe yourself, lift your spirits, or just get some relief. Shutting out the world, the thoughts, and the feelings is a temporary solution.
It may help for a while, but the pain will return, often sweeping you up in a tidal wave of emotion, confusion, and despair.
The result is even more of a focus on food and more body hate and shame.
Why emotional eating?
We all try to manage our feelings in all sorts of ways—some are helpful, some miss the mark, and some are downright painful.
The way to move through emotional eating is to walk through the emotion, not around it with food.
In our therapy work we will address the underlying feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and disconnection in a ways that are helpful. We will work to develop new solutions and perhaps revisit old ones that worked in the past.
We will work to change the old patterns or habits that hold you back and create new habits that you feel good about and want to use.
Do I just need a better diet?
Sometimes you may feel like, “if I can just get a hold of the food and control it; things will get better.”
Sometimes this works, but only for a short time, diets and restricting are not a long term solution.
For every diet, there’s a binge to follow—it is just part of our natural survival instinct of famine and feast, even though we live in a world with abundant food.
Real control is in the ability to make choices and act on them.
To be conscious, moment by moment, making choices that matter.
How does therapy help?
Therapy for eating problems is consistently shown to be highly effective.
Through a step by step process, we will address the immediate problems or behaviors of bingeing, chronic dieting, over exercise, restricting, etc. We will also address the underlying issues which drive those behaviors in the first place. This combined approach works to both relieve the symptoms and resolve the underlying issues, bringing with it lifelong healing.
The goals of therapy for emotional eating…
*address chronic dieting
*stop the binge-restrict cycle
*create new non-food solutions for anxiety
*rediscover a healthy relationship with your body
*improve communication skills with both self and others
Benefits of calming anxiety instead of emotionally eating…
Learning to calm anxiety is like opening the door to a whole new world.
Feeling anxious is very draining. It takes a lot of energy. Jumping at the thoughts that swim around in your head, feeling like something bad is going to happen at any moment, fearing life.
When you feel anxious it is like you are out of control.
Choices seem few and far between.
Emotional eating “helps,” because most people choose foods that are calming. Calming comes from an emotional connection to a comfort food.
You may also choose foods which help to stimulate the production of neurotransmitters, the brain chemical reactions which lead to calming.
Sometimes it is both.
Learning how to calm anxiety and address feelings before they become overwhelming, means that you are no longer bound to use food to calm yourself anymore.
There are always non-food options to relieve anxiety, fear, nervousness, etc.
In therapy, we will develop your unique anxiety management plan. I like to think of this process as doing an experiment; we see what works, make adjustments, and keep working until you have mastery in calming anxiety.
My hope is that you develop lifelong skills that are useful in any intense situation.
Benefits of resolving depression instead of emotionally eating…
Depression; the word conjures up all sorts of images of sadness, loneliness, and disconnection.
You may feel overwhelmingly drained.
It is hard to get things done and you may be tired a lot.
Depression can be felt physically such as, poor sleep, aches and pains, in addition to a heightened focus on what is, “just not going well.”
Depression can also take away your ability to make choices.
Your plans to stop emotional eating fly out the window with the breeze. This is when body hate is at a peek. Self-criticism and hopelessness leads to even more emotional eating.
You may feel trapped, like there is nothing else you can do.
Maybe you go through periods of not eating and hunger comes roaring back.
Maybe you eat constantly, to at least feel some pleasure in life through the taste and flavors of the foods you enjoy.
Regardless of what happens with food there is a solution.
You can be free from emotional eating!
So, what does therapy have to offer? You can get your life on track.
Through hard work, you can become clear about what you want and need in life.
In our therapy we will focus on not only the immediate troubles of emotional eating, anxiety, and depression, we will also focus on lifelong skills that you can apply to any difficult situation.
You can learn how to change your relationships with food, your body, yourself and others. You can have positive, kind, loving and most of all fulfilling relationships with yourself, your body, and others.
You can be happy and healthy.