I use to get sucked into all kinds of beauty products, promising to make miracles happen with my skin, reduce cellulite etc etc.
I didn’t hesitate for a second to spend hundreds of pounds on a skincare regime that my friend recommended.
She said one sentence about how amazing such and such product was, and I immediately nipped into town and spent hundreds of pounds on only a few products that promised better beauty. I didn’t think twice, nor did I bat an eye.
I remember buying my Mum some face cream once and it was like 90 pounds for the smallest pot you’ve ever seen!
I thought this is just what women had to do!
And I know I’m not the only person that takes immediate action on things that bring the promise of better beauty.
This is why diets are sooo seductive. They promise that if you just eat X, Y, and Z, then you will lose 14 pounds in 14 days!
We immediately hop on diet after diet because they promise a thinner body
if you just stick to the eating plan.
Despite our best intentions, these diets never work because they completely bypass your psychology and tolerance to discomfort.
While external validation is a powerful motivator, it simply doesn’t work long-term.
So, what if we flipped it around?
What if we didn’t hesitate for a second to drop into our body and practice feeling our feelings the moment we felt like eating a lot of food?
I don’t use the word binge on purpose, because the word brings with it, a heavy feeling of shame, embarrassment and regret. And that’s actually not the case…
Binging is a healthy response to physical or mental deprivation or future deprivation… eg, I’m going to start my diet tomorrow.
You hear me raving about this all the time — about how both of those are a powerful tool to reduce binge or emotional eating — that is to practice feeling our feelings and to stop demoralising binge and emotional eating.
So talking specifically about feeling our feelings, why don’t we immediately stop what we’re doing and try it?
The most common reason is that it’s uncomfortable, and it doesn’t
bring any external validation.
It actually brings pain and suffering.
Sooo yeah, this is is a hard sell.
The brain’s seek-pleasure-avoid-pain mechanism is working against us,
but I’ll never stop trying to share this message:
When we train in being uncomfortable, we get better at being uncomfortable.
Since some forms of emotional eating are an attempt to numb discomfort, emotional tolerance is the skill that will help you stop automatically reaching for that bag of cookies when you’re feeling overwhelmed — not dieting, not trying to control your food and not desperately wishing you didn’t eat emotionally.
And remember one of the most important things is to promise yourself you can have the food AFTER you’ve set a timer for sitting down and feeling your feelings.
Because by opening yourself up to the pain you want to numb with food, the desire to numb actually lessens. It doesn’t go away completely, but it lessens. And in that space, it takes the magnetic pull away from food.
However, there is no external validation, so the motivation doesn’t come
naturally. At least, not at first.
All you get is a non-Instagrammable moment of edginess.
And it sucks. (It’s supposed to suck.)
But learning how to feel your pain instead of turning straight to food is the long term path to reduce your emotional eating.
It’s not sexy.
But it works.
So, the best way to find equilibrium and stop being a slave to emotional eating is to play reverse psychology on your brain:
Seek pain, avoid pleasure.
At least, do this in those moments where you really want to reach for a bag
of cookies when you’re not hungry.
Then when you’ve felt your feelings, you can decide whether or not you want to eat.
Also, don’t seek the pain of restriction / dieting. That gets you nowhere.
Instead, seek your authentic pain. The pain that comes from opening yourself up to your feelings, like rejection, embarrassment, loneliness…
Feel that pain, not the pain of restricting the foods you really want.
(Side note: eat the foods you really want!)
You can’t rely on the promise of better beauty to succeed with this
approach to stop emotional eating.
Instead, you need grit.
You need to make space for your authentic pain.
And oh baby, it’s going to suck. But on the other side of that authentic pain
is a life free from food obsession and being under the spell of emotional eating.
And that part is going to be amazing.
Freakin’ stupendously amazing!
If you’d like to learn the exact process that I took to stop binge eating and significantly reduce my emotional eating (aka eating out of emotion, not physical hunger) then have a look at my NEW master class ‘End The Diet-Binge Cycle Master Class’.
This program WILL change your life!