I saw the Whitney Houston movie the other day and was really taken by the story as I watched her addiction unfold. *As of the publication of this newsletter, Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, is in the hospital, in a medically induced coma and breathing with the help of a ventilator, after being found unresponsive in the bathtub of her home.
A lot of people talk about emotional eating in a bad way, but I have another take on it that I’d like to share with you.
Why Emotional Eating is a Good Thing
What I have come to notice about my emotional eating is that it clues me in to the fact that something’s wrong. I don’t feel good, I’m out of the zone and my inner guidance wants me to do something about it.
I could be doing far worse things to my body – drugs or alcohol. Watching Whitney Houston walk in on her husband screwing another woman and go straight for the cocaine I thought to myself, I’ve been there. I know what was going on. A seriously disturbing emotion is coming up for her and she wants to check out, numb it and go back to feeling happy.
I get it.
Especially the way food is engineered these days, eating can seem synonymous with happy and comfort, but it’s only temporary and the problem is still there staring us on the face when the food fest is over.
So when I noticed that overwhelming urge creep up on me last week, first I tried to fight it. Then I indulged a bit because emotional eating IS one of my coping mechanisms, but I’ll only let it go so far these days because I’m far more interested in feeling good physically than running from my emotions. I dusted myself off and went back to the beginning. What is really bothering me here?
I was triggered by a negative comment about how I looked. And in spite of dozens of people commenting on how good I look, I let one person knock me off of my high. The truth is, they didn’t knock me off, my partial agreement with their opinion knocked me off. Thoughts of not good enough returned from my childhood and the instinct to try to please them or fix myself reared its head.
So the emotional eating started, which I am so thankful for because it asked me to dig deeper. What is really bothering you about what they said? After a lot of writing and meditating I discovered a wound that I had forgotten was still open and infected from my past. The belief that if I was perfect, Dad would not have left Mom.
Complete story I made up as a 9 year old. I have no idea what was going on between them, but he left for his own reasons and not because of me. When I look further, my mom did everything she could to get him to stay. The bottom line is, that that discovery helped heal a very old wound. The urge to emotional eat dissipated and I gained new insight into myself.
There is no need to bend over backwards trying to “get it right” and “be perfect” and control my situation, because in the end, people are going to do what they are going to do and it does not have to do with me and I am ok.
Is there a situation in your past where you think, “if only I were different – if I did X then Y wouldn’t have happened?
First can you forgive yourself because you were only acting with the information tools and skills that you had at the time? Can you see that if it were about you and what you did or did not do, the outcome would have been different?
In the end, what happened, happened. It’s time to let yourself off the hook.
Please share this post with someone you think could benefit from this take on the subject.