The way to stop emotional eating forever is to put yourself in a position where you can no longer go back to the old.
In other words, it requires a leap of faith.
The old (or current) you is stuck in one place and it’s obviously not that easy to break free from or else you would have done it by now.
It’s like having to constantly fight against gravity, inertia and apathy every minute of everyday. It’s not one you’re going to win, which is why people who eat emotionally tend to keep it up throughout their lives.
They WANT to stop overeating and they try hard to resist the urges that take them over. Sometimes they are successful for brief periods of time but sooner or later they cave in and binge.
It’s not an issue of weakness. It’s one of not understanding the problem and of not being able to apply the right strategy to over come it. So trying to battle your eating addiction using willpower would be like trying to fight a gorilla using a toothbrush.
You’d lose, then get frustrated at your lack of strength or ability and beat yourself up because you feel you suck. Then, after a time you’d feel despair and hopelessness because without knowing what to do or what you’re dealing with you are essentially trapped, and that’s a horrible feeling.
Getting Unstuck Part 1
There are a few things you need to begin the process of getting unstuck and the first is to accept that the problem is much bigger than you think and that you’ll need to devote some time and energy to it.
It’s not a food problem where simply finding the correct diet will set you free.
It’s an emotional problem that has wound it’s way into your eating, and emotional problems are not known for their quick fixes. This has to be accepted so that you can see the bigger picture and be ready to deal with it in a different way.
One of which does involve modifying your food somewhat, but not by going on a diet or by feeling hungry or restricting calories etc. In other words no pain is necessary. This is an important component of the process as pain and dieting don’t mix very well.
The point of modifying your food intake is to manage the problem that is out of control. To first stop it from getting worse, then to improve your health and drop some weight and finally to give you the confidence that you can exert some power over this problem that has you in chains.
That maybe you can break free. This dissipates the despair and puts you into a better position emotionally to tackle the next part to getting unstuck.
Getting Unstuck Part 2
Once the diet is stable (yet still fun and enjoyable) the next step is to tackle the emotional aspect.
This is where the real work is and it’s going to take time. That’s why we needed to implement the diet change in part one above so that we can see some results quickly. If not we’d likely lose interest before we even began, as would most people.
Having 2 separate tracks to work on simultaneously allows us to keep on track long term, so long as we are getting results in some manner in the short.
Changing your emotional state is like learning a new language. No use trying to learn it all in one day. Our brains do well when we learn a little at a time and then sleep on it. It’s how kids develop academically at school. One day they wake up and are able to read, but it took the whole year of 15 minute, homework reading sessions 3x week to get there.
In the same way, if you commit yourself to a few small efforts each week consistently, you’ll also wake up after a year or two or seven and find that you are not the same person you used to be.
It’s not because you spent 7 hours a day meditating or reading psychology books – although those things can be helpful. It’s because you put yourself through an exercise or a procedure each week for a year and focused well when you did.
An example of the things that you need to do to help you undergo a positive change, meaning these efforts I spoke of are things like:
– Weekly therapy
– Daily journalling (5 minutes each night)
– Group therapy weekly
– Reading psychology books/blogs 20 minutes 3x week
– Meditation: not for stillness but for insight
There are more ways to change your psychology than the suggestions above but those are the main ones. Also, you don’t need to do every one of them just pick a few, making sure that at least one of them involves you interacting with other people.
So an hour for therapy once per week, 5 minutes journalling and say 20 minutes of reading here and there. That’s your homework. The rest of the week you do what you normally would.
Then, after a year or a few years, like that first grader learning to read, you’ll look back and see that you are a new person and that you can’t go back. The change is now permanent and you are forever different, and so is your eating.
All it took was a leap of faith in the process, and to let that process take you along without struggle.
***The EatingLove Guide goes into more detail on both parts of getting unstuck. It’s free and on the main page of this website so check it out for more in depth information.
THE EATING LOVE GUIDE (FREE)
The Eating Love Guide has helped many people regain control of their eating patterns, resulting not only in weight loss but also better health and improved self-esteem. To read it online, click here.