When I work with women on healing their relationship with food, here’s how it goes:
They come to me after years of struggling with food. They’ve been on every diet, they’re likely binge eating – usually on sugar and carbs – , they feel stuck in a body they hate, and their confidence is way down.
We work through lots of different things, and after a couple of months, they aren’t turning to food anymore.
Their binges stop.
Their control of food stops.
Food begins to find it’s natural place in their life.
But then something kind of scary (and also exciting!) happens…
Now that they aren’t turning to food for excitement, for comfort, for love, or to avoid disappointment, or shame, they are faced with real life.
When you remove the crutch (food), real life is exposed. And you’re forced to feel things and experience whatever comes your way.
Happiness, sadness, loneliness, joy, uncertainty, discomfort in your body, inadequacy, boredom, heartbreak.
And this can be really tough.
Just a few years ago, I didn’t know how to handle these things without food. Food became so easy, and it was always there. So when I stopped turning to food, I was at a loss. I was faced with all this stuff that I didn’t know how to deal with.
For that reason, I’ve designed my coaching program to focus heavily on helping these women learn how to move through life feeling and dealing with lots of different things without turning to food.
We build up their “toolbox”.
I teach them new ways to take care of themselves – not just their bodies, but also their hearts, their emotions, and their needs.
And I tell them this one thing over and over again:
You can handle it. Whatever comes your way, you’ve got this.
Sometimes we’re so scared of heartbreak that we make ice cream our boyfriend instead. Or we’re so scared of feeling bored for a night, so we go to 7-Eleven to buy cookies to keep us company. Or we’re so afraid of dealing with the issues in our relationship, so we go on a diet to try to control some part of our lives and hope to feel better.
It’s so easy to use food.
But just remember….If you choose to feel it instead, you can handle it.
It’s not as bad as you think.
I want to challenge you… the next time you think about turning to food when you’re not hungry, ask yourself:
What is this food doing for me right now?
How am I feeling right now?
And then I want to dare you to feel it. Just this once.
Sit on your couch and twiddle your thumbs because you’re so bored. Watch how ideas start to come to you.
Cry your eyes out because you’re upset. Notice how alive it feels to actually cry.
Feel the overwhelm. You’ll know what to do about it if you just sit with it.
Embrace your feelings, and embrace real life. Don’t push it away.
You can handle it. I promise.
Here’s a quote I love that supports this concept:
“When you numb your pain, you also numb your joy.” – Brene Brown
Think about how much more fulfilling life could be if we knew we could feel it all and handle it?
In the comments below, share with me how this dare goes for you. When you felt your feelings instead of eating, just this once, how did it go? What happened? I’m here for ya!
Sending you love and courage,