Many of my clients overeat, binge or struggle with their weight. They say they don’t have control over their eating. And more so, they can’t stop eating a goody when they start. Typically, the goody is a sugary treat or a starchy food. Feeling powerless with food causes significant suffering and stress. But, there are distinct and productive steps to shift this upsetting dynamic.
FOOD DOES NOT HAVE POWER
First, my clients recognize that food doesn't actually have any power over them. A cake, or any desired goody, doesn’t talk, push or threaten them. The challenge is that they’ve created an distorted association with that goody which needs to be resolved.
THEY HAVE THE POWER
With a variety of tools and practices, I guide my clients to change this association. In time, they move from feeling powerless to powerful. They recognize that they can dictate their choices about what, when, how, why and how much they eat. In this, they change how they relate to the goody (or food, in general).
AVOIDING IS THE CULPRIT
This happens when they come to terms with the underlying situation that initiated the overeating. Recognizing the triggers in their life gives them clues and clarity about the emotions that are causing them to binge. Generally, they’re facing some form of insecurity, vulnerability or stress yet instead of dealing with it, they’ve tried to avoid it. Essentially, the overeating is a big ol' distraction from dealing.
BREAKING THE CYCLE
I teach my clients that there are ways to cope with their stresses and upsets that don’t result in overeating, binging or self sabotage.
1. They tame their self critical and shameful thoughts regarding their hurtful relationship to food and eating. Recognizing these harsh feelings are not beneficial, helps them progress.
2. They honestly write out what is upsetting them. This is an all out dump of their negative and painful thoughts regarding the stress they feel.
3. We devise a comprehensive plan to respond to their underlying stress. They start to deal and stop avoiding.
4. They make it a practice to not use food to avoid their stresses. This effort isn’t simple or easy. They choose to take new steps that help them face their feelings vs. actions that saboutage them. They choose bravery.
If you need support approaching this concern, please schedule a free consultation.