Do any of the following habits describe you?
- Fast Eater
- Eat on the go
- Eat while in a stressful state of mind
- Mindless Eater
- Binge Eater
- Emotional Eater
- Always on a Diet
- Feel guilty about what you are eating
- Skip meals
If one or more of the above phrases describes you… it’s likely you are causing your body to live in a “low-level stress response” the majority of the time.
How does stress response affect the body, you ask?
It diminishes our calorie-burning capacity, doesn’t allow us to absorb nutrients optimally, promotes fat storage with raised cortisol levels, decreases our ability to hold on to lean muscle, slows metabolism… oh, and a whole host of other potential health conditions like low immunity, low mood, low energy, etc.
Ok, Tess! I’m listening. But you don’t understand, I can’t just STOP emotionally eating/worrying about weight/feeling like I need to have the perfect diet. If it were that easy, I would have stopped by now.
You are right! And, I’m not telling you to stop. I’m inviting you to notice, breathe into it, and feel.
The first 3 principles of my 7-step process called Eating Intuit are Reveal, Relax, and Restore.
This translates into you Discovering (REVEALing) what the root of your unwanted behavior is by increasing your awareness around that behavior: What triggers you? What is the underlying emotion?
Once you have gained a higher awareness of the reason you use the behavior, then it’s about RELAXing into it. This means you are not making yourself wrong for, let’s say, binge eating after a stressful day, but you are actually RIGHT for doing it.
Your body needs a way to cope and deal; it’s telling you in one way or another it needs love, pleasure and attention. So if we relax into knowing that, and not just make it one more thing to be stressed about… well, then we are actually one step closer to being able to shift the behavior and have a breakthrough. So, don’t worry about taking away the behavior, simply be curious when it arises, relax, slow down, allow the food to bring you some pleasure and comfort. We are designed for that, after all. And when we slow down and actually enjoy the food, we are less likely to eat too much.
The 3rd step is RESTORE. This is about truly feeling the emotions you are feeling when the behavior arises. Is it loneliness? Anger? Fear? Anxiety? This allows you too really be present with the emotion, and when we are present we are more likely to choose what we authentically want.
It is also about taking inventory of all the ways you are drawn to restore yourself emotionally (that you aren’t doing enough of). Make a list of everything that brings you pleasure. Practice… key word, PRACTICE choosing to implement more from your list each week, and even instead of the behavior sometimes. It may be talking to a friend, going for a walk, journaling, dancing, being creative, etc.
Have fun making your pleasure list, and relaxing into any challenge you may have around food and body.