We eat to avoid discomfort. And then we feel discomfort having eaten more than our tummies are comfortable with. There’s physical discomfort and psychological discomfort. So then we eat more to try to drown out the psychological discomfort, which adds to both the physical and psychological discomfort.
And then there’s the problem you started with, the one you were avoiding by eating which didn’t get resolved that way 🤔. That is still on your plate, so to speak.
So what’s the solution?
You might be thinking something like ‘ugh! This is so hard!’ It is hard! It takes practice, commitment to your own growth and clarity of purpose. And…
‘It also takes willingness to be uncomfortable.’
Remember that chaotic eating is uncomfortable. Judging yourself is uncomfortable. Feeling miserable about your actions is uncomfortable. Being overly full is uncomfortable. Not meeting your needs appropriately is uncomfortable.
And not eating when you’re trying to avoid feeling something is also uncomfortable. It can be REALLY uncomfortable.
Discomfort is a given…
The discomfort of not ever changing your relationship with food and your body is a pain that doesn’t really go away – at best, you just keep distracting from it with more food, or dieting, or other things. The discomfort of truly meeting yourself without resorting to food you’re not hungry for is also hard, painful even – but let’s call it a ‘good pain.’ It’s like the pain you might feel when you sit for hours writing an essay on a topic you really don’t get at all – you know you’re learning and growing, even if you’re making hundreds of mistakes and then… you complete it, feeling relieved and somewhat in awe of yourself that you somehow figured a way through it, knowing you’ve learned something really valuable through the process.
Unless you’re willing to go there… into that discomfort, you will not discover what you’re trying to avoid, or how to truly meet yourself.
You can do it afterwards – after the binge, or the emotional overeating… and that definitely does help a lot. This way you’re bringing awareness to the event after the fact. You realise what feeling you were avoiding; what need you tried to meet with food. You work through other ways you could have responded. You imagine yourself doing that next time.
And then over time, combining this ‘post-mortem’ with the more formal practice of mindfulness meditation, you become better able to enter into that moment of discomfort in real time.
Because it must be said… in order to change your behaviour, you will at some point need to be with that discomfort in the moment it occurs.
Explore it there and then.
Give it room.
Give it a voice if it needs one.
Tend to it.
That is when the behaviour changes.
And you know what else? Sometimes you will eat emotionally, even when you’re really well practised at meeting yourself in your hardest moments. And that’s OK! It really and truly is! (The last thing we want is to go on the emotional eating diet – that will only be met with rebellion🤯❤).
Mostly, be kind to yourself 😘
Do you want to stop struggling with food and eating?
I help my clients create a joyful and sustainable relationship with food and deal with their eating issues. Learn more about hiring me as your coach.