Food became the only thing that could calm my emotional anxiety and fill an emotional void. I felt as though food controlled me, it tempted and manipulated me. I literally woke up every single morning panicked with worry, wondering how the day would unfold. Would today be any different? Would I actually start that diet, or would I give into the pain and eat my way back to the comfort of emotional numbness?
I felt that my struggle with emotional eating was at the center of everything that was wrong in my life. If only I could release myself from the grip food had on me... I would no longer feel tormented by food, I would slim down and feel comfortable in my own skin, I would finally attract the man of my dreams and feel more confident to pursue the life I had always envisioned! I blamed my compulsive relationship with food for not having achieved any of these things.
I remember so many days when I just wanted to give in and give up. What if I could just move away where no one knew who I was? I could hide out and eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted. Sure that would mean settling, but I'd be set free from my internal food conflict. Or so I told myself.
It was only when I started to understand the role my thoughts played in creating my life that it finally dawned on me, my negative associations (in terms of what food meant to me) had to change. Food represented something destructive in my life, and I needed to change that relationship. I had to associate food with something positive and healing. It was for this very reason that I was drawn to the concept behind raw foods. I love knowing that the foods I eat today nourish me and bring nature’s purity and healing to my body.
The one thing that has really helped me on my journey to overcoming emotional eating is to define for myself exactly how I wanted my ideal diet and lifestyle to look like. Drawing from the knowledge of the many health books I’ve read over the years, coupled with my own intuitive knowledge, I created some guidelines for myself that I felt were appropriate and realistic for me.
It feels wonderful having a custom lifestyle plan just for me! In fact, it gives me that much more incentive to stick with the lifestyle, because I know it’s mine and a lot of thought went into it.
I can truly say that by connecting back to a natural way of eating, food has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It is no longer something I desperately need to calm fear and anxiety, but rather something that brings healing and nourishment to my body.
But I also keep in mind that it’s an ongoing journey. I try to stay flexible as I continue to evolve and fine tune my diet and lifestyle. I have learned to let things go and not give myself a hard time when I'm not on my best behavior. I truly give myself love and understanding every step of the way (especially during an emotional relapse).
In overcoming emotional eating, I believe it begins with learning to love ourselves. Issues around eating, whether it's expressed through binging or starving, is a form of self punishment and self sabotage. As I continue to love and accept myself, I find that I have far less self-destructive tendencies. Plus, the cleaner I eat the more clarity I have about the choices I make, and thus it gets easier!
So breathe, and surrender yourself to the truth and wisdom of nature! In admiration of nature's beauty you will find a simple universal truth, that only the perfection and magnificence of nature can bring perfection and magnificence into our lives.