A treat is something that is supposed to leave us feeling good, right? Many people I see in my practice tell me they like to “treat” themselves by eating certain foods. The foods they are generally choosing are contributing to a situation they dislike very much, that of being overweight. So, I ask this question, “How do you feel after you have “treated” yourself with food”? Their answer is usually something like this, “not good, I wish I wouldn’t have eaten that, I always regret it, it felt good while I was eating it but then…”. When you look at the outcome, not feeling good, isn’t that the opposite of what we were after?
What’s really going on is that we’re feeling uncomfortable emotions and to escape the discomfort of dealing with them, we momentarily cover them over with food (or other substances). I usually phrase it like this, “instead of feeling our emotions and dealing with them with kind and loving behaviors toward ourselves, we eat them instead.” When we choose this path of dealing with uncomfortable emotions guess what? We are guaranteeing their return, just the opposite of what we want.
At one point I realized there would never be enough sweets to stop me from feeling the unwanted, painful emotions that kept resurfacing. The only way to decrease or eliminate them was to deal with them or they would keep coming back, and I would keep eating sweets. Here’s a way to picture it in your mind: you are running and someone is chasing you. They continue to chase you as long as you continue to run. One day you decide to turn around and face them down. That is the day they stop chasing you.
If you want to lose weight like I did, but you keep making food choices inconsistent with weight loss, you are not in control of your choices, your emotions are.
If YOU want to be in charge of your food choices, or any other choice for that matter, you can choose to take the emotional journey.* It may sound scary but look at the alternative, continuing to be overweight, feeling stuck, not feeling good about yourself day after day and perhaps not seeing a way out. The truth is;
“If you want something different, you have to do something different.”
What you might gain; freedom from negative thoughts, judgments and beliefs, feeling lighter and brighter.
What you might lose; emotional and physical weight, a feeling of disempowerment.
You get to choose.
With love, Jackie
* What is the “emotional journey”? It’s allowing ourselves to feel our unpleasant feelings instead of trying to distract ourselves from them. It’s also about using our positive and negative feelings to guide us in our choices.
There’s more information about this on 2 previous blogs (see below) and you can always leave a question or comment on my blog in the section titled “leave a reply”.
– 11 February 2015 “Which direction is your compass pointing?”
– 1 March 2015 “Why can’t I lose weight and keep it off?”