How to stop using food for comfort is a complex problem
This video recaps Julie Simmon’s book ‘When Food Is Comfort’ and gives me brief take on her 7 steps, which are:
- Track bodily sensations
- Validate self
- Reinforce self love with comfort
- Get clear on needs
- Catch/reframe negative thoughts
- Highlight resources
- Meet needs
Because how to stop emotional eating forever …
Starts with understanding the core reasons why you comfort eat.
And the core reasons ALL have to deal with psychology and emotions.
Whether you want to stop comfort eating depression or learn how to stop stress eating at work …
It all comes down to Your Relationship with Yourself.
There’s no way around that. I made another video here about ‘how to not eat when you’re bored’ which you can watch by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p30KNEbfuN4
But truth be told … How To Stop Using Food For Comfort…
It all starts with being able to feel and become aware of your emotions!
That’s why Julie Simmon’s lists tracking bodily sensations as the first step.
What are you feeling right now?
What mood are you in?
Are you aware of these aspects?
Years ago if you had asked me I wouldn’t have thought these questions mattered.
But years ago I was addicted to marijuana and using food to cope with emotions.
My insight came when I was on a vipassan retreat (aka 10 day silent meditation retreat) back when I was 18 ten years ago …
The guru said ‘it’s easier to release energy that thoughts’
And that every one of my thoughts had energy.
So back then I was constantly thinking all these obsessive thoughts and I just wanted to get rid of them!
Can you relate?
Well … the big insight for me was realizing that each and every one of these thoughts was also an ‘energy’ in my body.
This is what step 1 means.
Know your body.
In intuitive eating they have a different step 1, but it comes down to the same thing.
But then you also have to speak gently to yourself.
Like for me I had all these expectations around feeling energy in my body.
Once I started realizing that anxiety in my brain was manifesting as nervous energy in my body like stomach aches, sweat, tingles, etc …
And that I could relax the tension (step 3 not to get ahead here) …
Then I started wanting to FEEL MORE of the energy.
I would get upset at myself when I couldn’t feel my energy. Or I’d be so bored I wouldn’t have any motivation.
Or, I wouldn’t like the negative feeling in my body as I dealt with residual depression (which I still have residues to this day and I expect to have residual depression for the rest of my life, albeit less and less as each year goes by).
In essence, I was now feeling my body but I was judging what I felt.
That’s NOT what step 2 is about. Step 2 is about accepting what you feel, even if you don’t like it or can’t feel that much of it.
I remember one guy in the meditation retreat saying he couldn’t feel anything. He was an engineer in Mountain View.
(side note: I am an eating disorder therapist in Mountain View. I did another post on my blog here about getting rid of obsessive thoughts which you can view here:)
So anyways, this guy is STUCK. And that’s okay.
Because the next step is simply getting comfortable.
It’s one thing to accept pain and discomfort, but you can only do that for so long.
You’re going to give into the pain.
And honestly, if your default reaction is anything like mine, you are going to resist the pain.
So step 3 is all about getting comfortable and letting go of resistance, so that you can love yourself.
Because if you are comfortable, aware and relaxed then you can get clear on your needs, which brings me to step 4.
Are you following How to stop using food for comfort so far?
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! Emotional eating causes are complex!
As for Needs …
They are VALID!!!!
I can’t tell you how important this is.
For me personally, for years I was subconsciously rejecting my own needs!
This is no bueno. For years I had been thinking that my needs were preventing me from being productive …
Can you relate to the productivity trap? Us workaholics, oh my gosh aren’t we hopeless! No. Just kidding. We’re not hopeless.
But seriously, drop this notion. If you aren’t taking care of your needs you aren’t going to be productive. You won’t have the inner clarity to determine what will really get the most results and you won’t have the energy, stamina to get results. You also won’t be able to have great relationships either.
Finally, you must catch your negative thoughts which is step 5.
Catch and release them!
Step 6 and 7 are all about remembering the other aspects and strengths you have in life and then actually going ahead and meeting your needs!