Do you ever berate yourself for over-eating, bingeing, not eating clean etc? You know, call yourself weak-willed, or just generally feel disappointed over your eating?
And then I remember: “There’s always a reason for why I’m eating the way I’m eating!”
And it’s NOT because I’m lazy, greedy, or uncontrollable.
The thing is, we eat for lots of different reasons that are very hard to uncover, but they are there. And if we respect the fact that there are legitimate reasons for why we eat, we can hold back the barrage of negativity and actually listen what’s there to be heard. Without guilt!
Eating in a way that brings up some sort of shame can be for any one of these reasons, or more, and they should be heard and then sought to be understood and dealt with kindness and acceptance.
- low blood sugar
- time of the month
- hormonal changes
- current social group
- routine and habit
- primed through advertising
- tired will power
- nutritional cravings/deficiencies
You may argue that they aren’t ‘good’ reasons to eat. But that’s by the by.
It’s hard to know whether you’re eating because of tiredness or say, quiet feelings of anxiety. So it takes some kindness and patience to let those feelings come out. You know you’re eating in a way that’s not ideal, but if you give it some space and see the eating pattern as an indicator for something beneath the surface, you will uncover the truth of your feelings.
There’s nothing wrong with our bodies and psyches’ using eating to try to tell us there’s something going on inside. Eating can become a litmus test for hidden grumbles of our internal world.
Yesterday I ate lots of sugar. Today I didn’t.
Without name calling, I could hear the faint whispers of why that was so. I was not settled. There were feelings of anxiety going on. I didn’t have to completely understand those for things to change. Simply connecting to, and welcoming these uncomfortable feelings allowed me to feel a bit more grounded and present. Which can change everything. Had I labelled myself a sugar addict, weak-willed person, I would have put myself into a box and wouldn’t have given my emotions a chance to come through. Putting a label on yourself simply perpetuates that which you do not want to be perpetuated!
So the next time you are eating, it’s fine to be unhappy with the actual eating, but also make some room for the possibility that it’s simply a way for the body to talk to you. You don’t have to change anything. Hear it, and carry on eating if you so wish. But connecting to the emotion will make a huge difference, and wanting to connect to yourself makes a massive impact on you too. The next day, your inside world having been heard, you may find that your emotional weather for the day is calmer and more stable.