Using food to soothe discomfort
Using food to soothe discomfort

Whether it’s chocolate, bacon, mashed potatoes or apple pie, we all understand comfort food. Life is stressful, and for some magical reason, there are some foods that just make it all feel better. That’s fine, of course, until it causes health issues or unwanted weight gain. Improving your diet usually means giving up the foods you count on for comfort, and that’s when the struggle begins.

If you’re using food to feel better, that suggests you have some kind of discomfort under the surface. Resolving that discomfort with food is like using a tranquilizer.

Food is completely legal and free of social stigma, so we can tranquilize ourselves in broad daylight without any consequences. Because of that, we assume that the underlying emotional issues must not be too serious. On the contrary, food can soothe everything from minor self-esteem issues to more serious histories of abuse and neglect. In addition, the weight itself can be used subconsciously for safety or control, which makes losing it an even bigger challenge.

Some people use will power to simply force themselves to avoid the food, but then without missing a beat, they grab some wine instead, log into a social media account, or do some online shopping, which is like trading one tranquilizer for another. Coffee, cigarettes, or sex can also serve as substitute tranquilizers, but the underlying problem is still there beneath the surface.

Articulating the emotional issues related to unhealthy eating habits can be a significant challenge.

Over time, we learn to just grab the food before we even have time to acknowledge the issues, and eventually the feeling of underlying emotional stress is redefined as “hunger” or “appetite.” If the issues were originally separate and clear, the tranquilizer allows them to blend together in a vague, blurry mess which makes them very hard to address.

Obviously, I am in the business of healing emotional discomfort and there are lots of clients looking for help with weight loss. The weight loss industry thrives on repeat business because so few people find lasting success without resolving the underlying emotional reasons for the foods they choose.

The secret is to find the individual experiences in your life that remain unresolved and continue to create emotional unrest. Did you go through a difficult divorce? Was there an accident or trauma in your life? Has your financial situation changed dramatically? Was it difficult to please your parents as a child? Was there any bullying in your neighborhood? When did you start eating this way, and what was happening at the time? For some people, the discomfort is a long term accumulation of much smaller experiences.

These unresolved events created a disruption in your energy system that is somehow being triggered in your daily life. When you feel the discomfort, you’ll head for the food. If you can identify the events in your life that still bother you and resolve them with a quality healing process, the cravings for unhealthy food will start to subside. Your interest in taking care of yourself will re-establish itself and you’ll be on the road to a much better you!

I recommend EFT as a powerful DIY tool to clear individual events in the past, and you can find out how in my EFT DIY blog. If you prefer the faster, more powerful results with a professional, you can explore My Approach or contact me for availability.