Posts Tagged dysfunctional eating

“A Binge Is A Binge….”

untitled.png emotinal eatingThere is a wide spectrum of unhealthy eating among women. Removing most of the cheese from a slice of pizza is not quite the same thing as purging the entire contents of your stomach after a meal, but the two behaviors may be related.

Going on a very low calorie diet for a month to “look decent” in last year’s bathing suit is not the same thing as developing a total aversion to food, but they can also be related. Some women consider having an order of French fries with their lunch a binge and others may binge by consuming an unimaginable large quantity of sweets throughout one evening. The truth is a  “binge” is a binge.

Compulsive, obsessive and addictive eating behaviors are all symptoms of something that needs our attention and needs to heal. Besides compromising our health and well-being to lesser and greater degrees, we still put ourselves at risk with routinely unhealthy eating patterns. It is important to find out what the real problem is and be open to appropriate medical and psychological interventions when needed.

The issues we face in feeding ourselves can be giant clues about what we need to learn in our lives. They are to be explored, not avoided. Resolving issues we think are weight-related can help us to be emotionally and spiritually fit enough to live deliberately joyful lives.

 

Healing and Weight Loss

pyramidLOGO_blueReaching a healthy weight and maintaining it is about making your life better, not taking it over with a diet. Feeding your mind and spirit with deliberate and thoughtful regard is as fundamental to lasting health and a life well lived as healthy eating is for your body.

From a body- mind- spirit perspective, every aspect of your being experiences hunger, needs feeding and has its unique food requirements. Some or all parts of you are clamoring to be fed all the time.  Understanding that hunger is not limited to your body is the first step to healing your relationship with food and bringing awareness and acceptance to every aspect of your being.

Today’s drama and confusion about our weight in the throes of an obesity epidemic makes it hard to reframe the meaning of hunger and food in our lives and make a more compassionate shift in how we take care of ourselves. Whether swift and urgent or persistent and enduring, your hunger is an invitation to heal and food, in its broadest sense, is what heals you. Healing your relationship with food must begin with healing the relationship you have with yourself, on every level of your being.

Don’t believe that changing your diet and your weight will make you a “new woman.” That’s not a realistic goal. Seeking to open to everything you are is the real motivation for any change you want to accomplish in your life. Weight loss is too small a goal to sustain when you don’t feel good about yourself and have a hard time understanding your body as a sacred aspect of your being. As you learn how to make benevolent connections to the foods that feed your body, mind and spirit, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight falls into place.

Succeeding on a new diet or healing your relationship with food will both result in achieving a healthy weight. It is only by their permanent outcome that you can you tell them apart. When you go off the diet, if everything returns to the way it was and nothing else in your life has changed except the number on the scale, it’s very unlikely that number will remain where it is.

When you heal your relationship with food, the weight you have lost in the process is easily maintainable because you have reframed your thinking about the meaning of food and gained insight about your old behaviors. The real breakthrough is never about the diet but about understanding your hunger and knowing where it is coming from. Limits are set wisely, but not when it comes to living with freedom and joy.  Your life is transformed.

 

 

INVITATION TO HEAL

dreamstime_m_34879771Food, in its broadest sense heals. Our hunger is an invitation to healing. Our thoughts and feelings about our foods, our hungers and how we feed ourselves reflect a great deal about our identity as women. Our behavior around food says something about how well we love ourselves, how we relate to others and what we do with our lives. It’s that important.

For some of us, decisions about food and eating are so layered and complicated that they become a source of on-going tension that never lets up. We become so caught up in the daily struggle that we don’t fully grasp that our lives don’t have to be this way. Before we know it, tomorrow is already upon us and the struggle begins again. A different paradigm for thinking about food can free you from thoughts about being or becoming fat, and all the other related issues that have taken a stranglehold on your life. What Part of You Is Hungry?

Unhealthy attitudes about our bodies and how we feed them prevail. Some of us use food as a buffer between layers of pain and heartbreak, exhausting our will. Too many of us starve, no matter how much we eat. Every woman should take a close look at her relationship with food because it is perhaps the most intimate barometer of self-worth and how we live our lives. As we heal our relationship with food, we heal our relationship with ourselves and come as close to living “happily ever after” as we can get.

The Meaning of Food: An Overview

Happy-Group-of-WomenDon’t you wish you could go back in time and ask Eve why she ate that apple? She was surrounded by lush beauty and all the food she could ever want or need. What was she not getting from living in Paradise? What wasn’t she getting from Adam? What couldn’t she provide for herself?

The whole spectrum of problems that you have with eating may be more about the nature of your hunger than about the food you consume. Some essential part of you besides your body is starving. Some need is not being met. Some potential is not being realized. Perhaps something painful is crowding out some of the joy and purpose in your life. Food, in its broadest sense, is what heals you. Food redeems your understanding of yourself.

How you feed yourself involves far more than the choices you make every day about the substances you put into your body. Certainly you need energy to carry out your thoughts, purposeful acts and support the structure and functioning of your incredible human body. Most likely you understand food to be the organic matter that maintains life. Of course, you are correct. By now, you are familiar with the terms defining major nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. You may know a great deal more.

But you are a lot more than your body. Your mind and your spirit are vital aspects of the whole of your being. Expand your concept of food to include much more than the wholesome substances that go into your mouth to feed your body. Your mind needs constant nourishment. Your spirit can be ravenous.

Your body, mind and spirit are fluid and intrinsically interrelated and their “appetites” ebb and flow. Every aspect of you experiences hunger, needs feeding and has its own unique food requirements. It’s up to you to recognize what part of you is hungry and determine the kind of food that will best satisfy that hunger. Keep in mind that if it nourishes your body well, enlivens your mind or expands the reach of your soul, it is food…..

 

Dilemma: Distraction or Decision?

imagesFYQPDYOBIt is nine o’clock on a Friday night. You’ve just come home from having a great dinner with friends from work.  After a long and intense week of pouring your highly developed talents into finalizing a critical project, all you want to do is crawl into bed and watch a movie on TV. In the bed with you are some chips and leftover guacamole, bean and cheese dip. On your night table, a can of soda and a handful of grapes wait. More food wasn’t in your plan or was it?

You decide to turn off the television (great decision) and right away, all the resentment you ignored this week while scrambling to meet your boss’s demands settles in your throat. The unforgiving belief that nothing you do is ever good enough takes hold as the aching for recognition pulses in your stomach. The satisfying dinner and the food within your reach notwithstanding, your hunger from a tremendous sense of lack has followed you home.

When we are heart-hungry, heartsick or heartbroken, it is not our body that needs nourishment. We have the choice of distracting ourselves from our pain with food or making the decision to love ourselves. Self-compassion is the antidote for merciless self-judgment; it stops us from relentlessly finding fault and beating ourselves up. A little bit of compassion for ourselves is a bridge to our spirit when we fail, feel isolated in our imperfections and are about to give up on ourselves.

Our relationship with food is complicated.  It can become entwined with important emotional and spiritual issues and the direction our lives are taking. It is important to examine if we are comforting or numbing ourselves with how and what we eat. Taking a closer look at our unhealthy eating patterns can help us see if we are using food in ways that starve our spirit or help it thrive. What Part of You Is hungry?