Okay, so I think it’s probably fair to say 99% of us have put food in our mouths as a reaction to some emotion. We’ve all heard of the phrase “comfort” food, right? It helps us cope during times when we may be feeling depressed or out-of-touch with life. But then there are the times we eat when we’re celebrating too! I know I have justified eating the wrong foods and too much of them because “we’re celebrating!” SO many of us have interesting relationships with food, don’t we? Do we wonder why? Food provides us nutrition and sustenance physically but where do the emotions come in regarding food?
Today, I’m honored to introduce my friend, Clara Wisner, to talk exactly about this issue.
I met Clara in a spirituality class several years ago and have had the pleasure of watching her hone her gifts in nutrition and helping others globally achieve acceptance and self-love for themselves. If you’re really struggling with emotional eating, I highly recommend contacting Clara-she is very accessible from wherever she is and I promise, you’ll be glad you did. She gets it and she’s a light!
Clara’s Post – The Meaning of Emotional Eating
You get home later than expected from work. You’re feeling super drained and exhausted. You make yourself dinner and sit in front of the TV watching your favorite “trashy” television show while you eat. Afterwards, you have a craving for something sweet and you give in because it feels like the only exciting thing you’ve done all day. You grab a package of cookies from the cupboard and watch another episode of your show. You end up slightly nauseous and over full and head to bed with a slight overarching feeling of guilt.
This is a very common scenario in this day and age. We tend to use food as an emotional coping mechanism. A way to give ourselves a “treat” or make life feel a little more exciting, rebellious and/or interesting.
But what if eating itself was an enjoyable activity?
A lot of the eating habits that can lead to the health imbalances (mindlessly eating junk food, over eating, or not eating the nutrient-dense foods our bodies need) get ingrained as habits because we’ve stopped being present with our food and we use food as a coping mechanism to deal with our emotional needs.
On a physical level our bodies know exactly what they need to be healthy. We will have a physical craving for berries if we need vitamin C. We will have a physical craving for steak if we are in need of some iron. But, the problem is most of us have practiced not heeding our bodies subtle physical cravings.
A lot of people will say, “But all I crave is doughnuts! That can’t be what my body needs!” True. Although not impossible, your body probably isn’t having a physical craving for doughnuts, it’s having an emotional craving for doughnuts and all they represent. You might need quick energy because you’re sleep deprived, but you could also be craving the comfort of a time passed when your dad would bring doughnuts home on Sunday morning and it has nothing at all to do with what your physical body needs but everything to do with what your emotional self needs.
This emotional craving is still telling us exactly what we need, we just need the knowledge and presence required to listen to it and take action from our own internal guidance system.
However, most of us have been taught that our bodies can’t be trusted. We want them to look different, act different, and we’ll go to all sorts of lengths to change them so that we may be validated physically by external sources. A lot of the ways we try to change our bodies involve using our minds instead of our intuition to feed ourselves.
Eventually, between forcing our bodies into diets and exercise programs and the way we all use food to fill emotional voids, we forget how to trust our bodies’ physical cravings and forget how to hear our bodies’ subtle language. Eating should be a very intuitive process, but we’ve made it an intellectual process.
When it comes to emotional cravings; we’ve got to become more aware of our emotional “hunger” and “feed” ourselves instead with what we are actually craving experience-wise.
One way I show my clients how to do that is through using metaphors around the types of foods we are a craving. These come from ancient Chinese medicine and from the work of Dr. Anita Johnston (to download her guide on cravings and metaphor, click here: http://lightofthemooncafe.com/)
|What you crave||What you need emotionally|
|Sweets||Where is my life not “sweet” enough? Do I appreciate and acknowledge “sweetness” in life experience. Example: Watching my kids sleep or playing with my pup.|
|Chocolate||What am I craving sexually? Do I feel like romance is missing from my life? Eg: am I sexually satisfied? or Do I feel sexually connected to my body?|
|Crunchy/salty||At whom or at what am I angry or frustrated? Eg: Is there something in my life that I have not processed my frustration or anger about?|
|Smooth/creamy foods||Where in my life am I wanting things to be smoother, easier? Are things feeling too hard or rough?|
|Warm foods||Where in my life am I longing for emotional warmth?|
|Spicy foods||Do I have enough excitement or stimulation in my life? Do I need change in some area? Do I need more “spice” in my life?|
Our bodies are precious, wise, intuitive beings and they deserve to be respected, loved, and taken care of. Putting time and effort into remembering how to speak our bodies’ language is one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves. So take your time. Slow down. Listen carefully to your cravings, physical and emotional and start giving yourself what you want. Your health and happiness depend on it.
Clara Wisner is on a forever mission to help woman awaken to their innate worthiness. She knows she was put on this Earth to walk beside women on their journey back home to themselves. Clara believes that every single one of us has the ability to harness our feminine power for good, healing & transformation without the focus being on “willpower” “discipline” or “hustle,” but instead on trust, self-love & surrender.
Clara Wisner is a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner & Self-Love Guide of revolutionary lifestyle. She attended the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, CO from 2012-2015.
Clara specializes in helping women ditch toxic habits & release the self-sabotaging beliefs that keep them from creating the health and fulfilling joy & freedom they desire with her unique coaching approach that addresses mental, physical, spiritual, & emotional health.
Having a highly clinical education in nutrition, Clara blends this scientific knowledge of biology and physiology, with her deep and personal understanding of the emotional components of dietary & lifestyle change. By blending the clinical with the energetic, Clara creates customized nutrition and lifestyle programs that facilitate true mind-body transformation for her clients.
Clara is currently traveling the world with her husband & researching for a book she is writing about self-love practice. Her adventuresome soul is happy.
I’m so grateful that Clara agreed to share her thoughts in this piece on what is a subject that affects to many of us at some point in our lives.
Peace and Good Health!
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