Ladies, what is with this week?
I must have heard half a dozen women within the past few days tell me that they are struggling with emotional eating.
Is it possible that the stars are aligned in a way that is making all females on earth crave bread and chocolate? Are we all PMSing at the same time? (Sorry, guys, but this does tend to be an issue primarily for my female friends).
Even I found myself in a snack slump yesterday, mindlessly munching on terrible things.
So, which came first, the bad food or the bad mood? Either way, here is how to end this cycle before the holidays hit and we’re all really in trouble:
1. Forget about every moment up until now. What you ate last night or this morning is irrelevant. What matters is what you do now. Stop punishing yourself for whatever you’ve been punishing yourself for and move on. Let it go. Now is a new moment.
2. If you’ve ever read Geneen Roth‘s books or heard her speak, you know that she always says that “how we eat tells all,” and that “our bodies are getting something emotionally” from the snacking or eating, or we wouldn’t be doing it. I couldn’t agree with her more. Our bodies are very smart, and they tell us when we need things. So what are you getting from your eating? Comfort? Stress relief? Happiness? Once we understand what you’re getting from this, then we can fulfill that need in another way.
3. Help your body understand that life is not an emergency. If you’re angry, stressed, tired, sad, or all of the above (all common emotional eating triggers), your body has likely been in a constant fight or flight mode, and therefor is clinging on to every calorie you give it, storing up for when the emergency gets worse. (Click here to read more about John Douillard’s Ayurvedic remedies to calm our bodies down). Breath is one way to do this. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, breath is the most powerful way we have to communicate with our body and send a message that it is time to calm down. Click here for a deep breathing technique from Dr. Weil. Practice some self care. Take a moment and do something that lets your body know that it is time to relax.
4. Find a way to get what you were getting from the snacking in another activity. If your primary foods are out of whack (your career, relationships, spirituality, exercise), then your eating will be too. Is happiness what’s missing? Call a friend that makes you happy. Are you bored? Pursue a hobby you miss doing. Are you stressed? Get a manicure or take a bubble bath.
5. Do a cleanse. By “cleanse,” I don’t mean one of those expensive kits you can find everywhere now that promises your body will be detoxified if you drink weird tea and don’t eat for five days. By “cleanse,” I mean that you should try to incorporate both a spiritual and culinary practice that helps your body move on. To cleanse yourself emotionally, do some writing exercises and then tear them up or burn them. Pray. Go for a run and stomp out negative energy. To cleanse yourself physically, drink as much water with lemon (both hot and cold) as possible and go on a whole foods cleanse. What is a whole foods cleanse? Eat only things that walked, swam or grew that were prepared by kind people that you know. It’s that simple. Make sure it is all extraordinarily delicious and the highest-quality food you can find. You are a very special person, and you deserve it. Given half a chance, your body will heal itself.
If you’re reading this and need some more support, email me and I’d be happy to give you a complimentary “back on track” session ($85 value).
Sending you lots of hugs!
PS – I had an opportunity to learn directly from Geneen Roth, Dr. Weil and John Douillard – they were all teachers at my school (I know, AMAZING!!) Ask me about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition if you’re interested in learning more.