I'm reading a new book titled Women, Food & God by Geneen Roth. If you've ever suffered from or continue to suffer with emotional eating, she shares many wonderful thoughts, ideas, wisdom and laughs on not only her own journey with emotional eating, but of those who attend her retreats. Roth is new to me, but, as I soon found out, she has written on the subject of emotional eating for may years. Feeding the Hungry Heart, When Food is Love, Breaking Free from Emotional Eating and many more. She talks a lot about why diets don't work, and I couldn't support that idea more. When we diet, we for the most part, don't look at our relationship to food or to the feelings that trigger our food issues. All we are concerned about, is dropping the pounds and looking good. We don't go deeper into what is behind what drives us to over eat or eat the wrong foods or have cravings. I try to ask myself when I'm craving something, what am I really craving right now? Comfort? Excitement? Not to be alone? And what would happen if we actually sat with those feelings? We want a quick fix. We don't want to go deep into our feelings, because hey, what might be down there?
She reminds us of the importance of being in the here and now when eating and recognizing and feeling the feelings that come up instead of heading for the refrig to mask them with food. We have a whole arsenal of feelings inside of us though we tend to not want to feel many of them, mostly feelings such as, loneliness, fear, anxiety, sadness and or boredom. We'd rather eat a bag of chips, Oreos or ___________you fill in the blank, then feel the feelings. Roth reminds us that feelings won't kill us. We might cry, we might feel uncomfortable, but they won't kill us. Here is where I recommend keeping a journal. Write your way through the feelings. Collage your way through the discomfort. Turn on some music. Call a friend. Go for a walk.
She writes about being aware of the Voice. That voice that has been present inside of us since our little brains could make sense of them. The negative and positive messages that still scream in our ears. The voice that maybe says, "You're not wearing that outfit are you?" Or, "You're not going to eat that are you?"And how these statements can trigger an internal reaction or thought about ourselves and inturn sends a message about ourselves to our core. She stresses the importance of listening to our bodies. Where in our bodies to we experience a feeling? How does it feel? What shape is it? What color is it? I use this a lot with art therapy when I ask a client to create an image of what they are feeling in their bodies. We live so disconnected to our precious bodies that we stay in our heads where all the lies dwell about ourselves. The lies that say, we our too fat too thin, too this too that.
I especially like The Eating Guidelines, which include things like: Eat when you are hungry. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. Eat what your body wants. Eat until you are satisfied. These are just a few. I recommend you pick up the book at the library and savior Roth's wisdom and expertise on the subject. Until then, eat mindfully.