Hi, today I want to talk about the root of almost all weight problems. This may be the most important page I have on my blog regarding weight loss.
IF YOU'RE NOT FEEDING A TRUE PHYSICAL HUNGER, WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING? You've all witnessed people, in the media and in your personal life, who've lost a lot of weight only to gain it back again. This is because they never got to the bottom of their harmful eating practices, and revert back to their old habits. They need to uncover what emotions are fueling their eating.
When I started this blog, I told you that you can be at your ideal weight without ever being hungry again, and that is true. But in reality, especially for people with weight issues, physical hunger doesn't usually drive their eating. Emotional issues of all kinds do. If at any time you are eating when you're not really physically hungry it is usually emotional eating.
The Roles That Food Plays
Now occasionally we all do that and it isn't terribly harmful if it is done on a few rare instances. Our bodies are amazing and they can compensate for occasional lapses. Almost everyone has been to a party where their favorite food is on display and everyone else is eating it. We eat it not because we are hungry, but just because it is there, we like the taste, and want to be a part of the group. But for most people with a weight issue, eating when not really hungry is a substitute for something else they really want.
We even label some foods as comfort foods. For some people food has become their companion, comforter, friend, lover, entertainer, or therapist. People often say, "I eat when I'm upset", "when I'm lonely", "when I'm sad", "when I'm angry", or "when I'm bored". Movies and television even make references that when your boyfriend breaks up with you, just get yourself a pint of ice cream and a spoon, and you'll feel better. It has become so ingrained in our society, that it has now become a learned response.
It makes sense; let me give you another example. Say your favorite aunt, when you were growing up, would make you a chocolate cake every time you came to visit, and she would let you eat as much as you wanted of it, and maybe even encouraged a second or third piece. She just wanted to make you happy, which she did, and no harm was intended. Maybe you would tell her your hopes and dreams, and troubles and she would show you love and support and you would feel loved, validated and comforted. Just like Pavlov's dogs, in the future when you had a problem and your aunt wasn't around, you may have turned to chocolate cake for comfort and condolence because your mind has linked the two together. Advertisers know about this connection and use it all the time in their ads.
Let me give you another less happy example. Imagine a young girl who is molested or sexually violated in some way. It would of course be such a terrible experience she would want to do anything she could to prevent this from happening again. She may feel powerless in many ways, but one thing she would have power over is her eating. And she would begin to eat and eat to bloat her body to where she feels she might be less desirable and perhaps lower her chances of this ever happening to her again. This usually isn't done consciously, but this is all on an unconscious level. As a matter of fact, a higher percentage of overweight woman have a history of sexual abuse.
I've just given you a couple of examples that I made up to show you how these connections can occur, but these are only a few of the ways it can happen. If you are struggling with this problem you know that when a stressor occurs you often turn to a particular kind of food. Your choice could be sweets like desserts, or maybe salty like chips, perhaps fatty and sweet like ice cream, or perhaps it is all food. And when you indulge it becomes difficult to stop at a single serving. Add to the fact that the food sold nowadays is loaded with chemicals and substances to encourage appetite and urges for that food, and you can see why we have this problem today.
Help Is On The Way
Don't despair though, because there are ways to deal with this, and once you have identified what emotions you are feeding there are ways to correct it. Unfortunately, this is where there is the most resistance. Many people are in denial and will often state they just love food, but it usually isn't a love of food. Sometimes they don't have enough self love and have been discouraged or hurt in life. Often during these emotional eating times they don't even taste the food and don't realize how they could have eaten so much, sometimes it is referred to as mindless eating.
Trust me, when you really start eating a clean and healthy diet and shed all the emotional baggage (no pun intended) that is when you will really begin to taste and enjoy food as never before. In my opinion, what you need to do is examine why you are creating this emotional eating. Try to figure it out. That really is half the battle, you've often heard it said admitting something is half the battle, and that is true. Therapy can help, I don't believe in taking medication, but talk therapy can be very helpful. Unfortunately that takes a lot of time, but it is a good way to discover things about yourself. If therapy isn't for you, you can try and figure it out by being honest with yourself. If you've looked inside and can't seem to grasp why it is you don't have control, there are techniques that can help you bring them to light. These same techniques can help you remove the triggers and responses, too, once you uncover them.
In tomorrow's blog I'll talk about a very important yet simple technique you will be able to use on yourself, and it is totally free and you don't have to sign up for anything. You will still have to change your ways and eat a healthy nourishing diet, but once you have cleaned up your diet you will come to love your food as well as your new lifestyle.
Good Health and Wealth,