28 Jan Five Words That Will Make Your Food Problem Go Away
Do you feel like food is taking over your life? Thoughts about food, eating food, what to have for your next meal, when is your next meal, when are we going to brunch next so I can indulge, how long can that packet of cookies last in the cupboard before I devour them?
It’s never-ending and it’s hard to concentrate on much else because you’re always thinking about it and so consequently, you tell yourself that you have a ‘food problem’.
Everything becomes about food and how you can control yourself around it, whilst at exactly the same time, wanting to eat everything in sight.
And now you believe there is something really wrong with you.
Most of my clients suffer quietly with this. There is a constant internal battle going on and the energy expended leaves little left for pursuing life’s true pleasures.
They find themselves on the merry-go-round of self-hate and despair. The upsetting thought plagues them that they will never enjoy life fully until this is resolved. Endless diets, self-help books, exercise regimes all with a good dose of self-flagellation ensue.
What most people want is not to have this food problem. To instead be in control of their relationship with food and not be at its mercy.
I want to offer you a new way to think about your food problem.
Next time you think this about yourself, switch your thought to ‘I have a feelings problem’.
You’ve probably heard the phase ‘eating your feelings’. Yes, you get it intellectually but it doesn’t help much in the moment.
The thing is that we’re never taught to process our feelings and often not even allowed to express or fully identify with the more negative emotions that exist in the range of human feelings.
When things get tough, we don’t know what to do. Eating seems like a good solution. It gives us a moment of pleasure and we redirect our attention.
On top of that, there is a wonderfully developed part of our brain that has kept us alive and surviving throughout the ages – the only problem is that it’s based on survival and that means avoiding anything painful or dangerous.
Feeling hard feelings is not what our brain wants us to do. So a food diversion is perfect.
I tell you this because it’s usually not a ‘food problem’ that my clients have. It’s a feelings problem.
Why is it important to distinguish between the two?
By telling yourself you have a feelings problem it lessens the impact of this hard story you’ve been telling about yourself for so long.
It moves the focus away from food and brings it back to you.
When we believe that food – an external source out there in the world is the problem, we believe we’re at its mercy and we’re doing a terrible job of managing ourselves around it.
Once we shift the focus onto ourselves, it becomes much more believable that it’s possible we have a chance to overcome what is going on within us.
When we believe the power is in our hands to change our lives, it’s easier to take action and follow through.
Working on how we engage with life from the inside out, rather than the outside in, we start to see it is possible to move past what we thought were food issues and get to a
place where we can handle our emotions. We no longer look to outside sources for a fix.
So next time the thought pops up that you have a ‘food problem’, switch it to ‘I have a feelings problem’ and see what difference that makes for you.
Ultimately though, it’s not even a ‘problem’, it’s simply the result of conditioning and the way your brain works. But it’s not helpful because it’s not moving you towards the life you want to live.
I encourage you to give it a try.
And if you’re interested in going deeper and starting the work of learning how to process your feelings, come and join me where we deep dive into the journey and start to live our lives exactly how we want to.