Disclaimer: this is not an advice for treatment of eating disorder such as bulimia or binge eating disorder. If you suspect or know you have an eating disorder, please seek professional help.
I have always struggled with emotional eating and am very familiar with the never ending cycle of negative feelings – > eating -> guilt -> negative feelings. Perhaps, like me, your weight might be at a healthy range but you spend way too much time and energy trying to exercise away the calories and judging yourself for overeating. The energy you put into managing your emotional eating is draining and you can’t wait to break free from it.
I bet you know and probably have tried many “diets” and attempted to follow the ideas you read on numerous blogs about “breaking free” from overeating. You probably have also tried working on all those underlying issues you think lead you to eat emotionally. But it’s not working. You’re back at repeating the cycle.
Between healthy eating and self-acceptance, there’s got to be something else.
What about letting go of the comforting sensation you associate with eating?
If you can lessen the deep rooted relationship you have with food and emotional satisfaction, your relationship with food will be a lot more simple. You will less likely to use food to sooth an emotional hunger and food will simply be for enjoyment and nourishment.
As an EMDR practitioner, I’ve seen first-hand how EMDR can be used to lessen the feeling you have associated with an event (typically trauma, but it doesn’t have to be). The same way EMDR reduces the connection between feeling and event to make it seem less fresh or immediate, EMDR can also reduce the soothing (or other pleasant) sensation associations with emotional eating.
My experience with using EMDR to treat emotional eating has taught me a few things:
- Emotional eating often provides a positive sensation to temporarily mask the underlying uncomfortable feelings.
- EMDR can help you understand the root cause of why you turn to food for comfort.
- You are more likely to pause before you reach for food to reflect on why you’re eating.
- You will get more clarity as to the underlying reasons that drives the urge to emotionally eat.
- Once you have more clarity as to the reason, you can make more effective coping mechanisms and put into place a long term strategy that actually addresses your underlying reason for emotionally eating.
If you struggle with emotional eating and you are ready for a change, call me for a free telephone consultation to see if EMDR is the right fit for you. We can discuss how you can break the cycle of negative feelings – > eating -> guilt -> negative feelings and create a healthy relationship with food. Call me at 650.397.1376 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org