Do you ever have the sense that you just can't quit eating? That there is never enough? That you are a bottomless pit? These experiences are an opportunity to look deeper, to find out what may be going on behind it.
Don't blame your food or weight. Allow yourself to look deeper. You may discover that this sense of not getting enough permeates your life.
You may find you live life from an inner sense of poverty, a deep down sense of lack that virtually guarantees no amount of food will satisfy you. That no amount of friends, sex, clothes, or money will satisfy you.
When you look closer, you may find that feeling deprived of food today can be based on a very real experience of having been deprived in the past.
Consider a child who couldn’t get enough of her mother’s love. There is nothing the child can do about this. But as an adult, she is in control of how much food she could eat. So she eats more to make up for not having had enough of something vital in her past, in this case, love.
Feeling deprived of love can also have the opposite effect when the desire to feel loved is so overwhelming that a person shuts down, and ends up restricting food intake. They are, in effect, clamping down on food in order to keep the overwhelming desire for love and connection under control.
To heal this emotional overeating (or under-eating) begin to look for proof in your life that there is enough. We all have places in our lives where we experience enough-ness.
We all have signals in our lives that there is enough. How does your body signal that it has had enough of a good time at a party, and that it is time to go? How does your body signal that i it has had enough of shopping, and needs a break? How does your body tell you, "Enough of the computer already, let's do something else!"?
As you are able to notice your body's "enough" signals, begin to tune into those signals around food and eating. For instance, the body signals that you have eaten enough food by feelings of satisfaction or fullness. Slow down while you are eating and look for those signals.
Remember, if you are distracted, for instance, watching TV or playing on the computer while eating, it will be difficult to notice the signal. Also, if you are limiting your food intake, or judging yourself, it will be very difficult to notice the signal.
When you allow yourself free access to food without judgment and tune into yourself, you can begin to move past deprivation. And while that can feel terrifying, as you learn to re-connect with your signals of hunger and satiety, you will learn that you are not insatiable. That there is enough.
Amazingly, paying attention to self-care around food and far-reaching benefits. As you re-connect with hunger and satiety, you will separate out eating from the emptiness of not feeling loved. You will then have an opportunity to heal from not feeling loved. As you quit blaming your food and your body, you discover you are enough.
Adapted from Stay Attuned by Karin Kratina and Amy Tuttle