03 Oct 2016

Emotional Eating and The Reason You Can’t Stop It


Every disease or every diversion from what we perceive as health – psychological or physical, usually carries a hidden message or a lesson. When it strikes us, it is really difficult to get distant from your own self, your feelings, emotions, but if you show more effort and patience, among the chaos, you notice what can help you achieve balance. When I had problems with emotional eating and the whole palette of eating disorders, this felt like something I couldn’t overcome. Even today, I consider this to be one of the toughest things I had to deal with – because an eating disorder is something that other people do not see. It is something that exists just in your own mind. It is something that you carry within you and even when other people see you as a whole person, it is slowly eating you inside.

I’ve been on the edge of what I believed I could handle and that is exactly when life challenged me to find strength and step back and then deal with it – only because, I desperately tried to understand my thoughts, my behavior, my choices.

Recovering from an eating disorder, goes hand in hand with the proper nutrition, physical activity and a lot of work with the mind. Today, I want to share with you some observations that helped me so much, to ask some important questions and then receive the answers I needed.

Every obtrusive thought, appears in the mind in order to hide something that we are trying to avoid!

This was an extremely important realization. Realizing and most importantly admitting it to myself, that all obtrusive thoughts, that I had about food, my appearance, being active and so forth, appeared as a mean of my mind to lead my consciousness away from something that I didn’t want to deal with. Just think about it! How often emotional eating strikes you, when in your life happens something you feel like you can’t handle? That is when you start the self-destructive behavior. All obtrusive thoughts emerge again. Why? Because the obtrusive thought is engaging your mind, your behavior and your life and it doesn’t leave you room to worry how you are gonna handle everything else that is taking place.

But it is just that your consciousness doesn’t perceive the fact that by running away from what we really need to face, doesn’t solve the problem, but just makes it freeze in time and postpones it – for the moment, when we will finally decide to face it and take action.

I understood this in a funny way. Actually, that is when I started believing that this is one of the most effective ways to cure diseases. And what is it?

I had to travel for 4-5 days. During that time, I didn’t have a single obtrusive thought; I didn’t think about how I looked and I felt great. I was astonished how this was possible. And the reason isn’t that I went to Bali or that I had servants and my life was a piece of cake during these 4-5 days. I wasn’t in a place like that and initially, I didn’t even wanna go there. So, the reason to feel good, wasn’t that something completely different took place.

Back then, I just came back and thought about it, but nothing really special. Later on, I had to travel again and everything repeated the same way. But this time, I was mad at myself and I decided that I need to understand what is it that urges me to act self-destructively when I am at home and what is different when I travel. I knew that it was something minor, but it is the details that either trip us or open the path in front of us.

During the whole time I asked this question and finally I found the answer. It was the way my day started. When I was at home, I woke up with the thought what I should eat, how much should I eat. Then, passing by the mirror, I resented the way I look and so forth. Everything happened in a rush, because when I used to be at home, I used to live by a schedule and I didn’t take the time for my day to start differently.

On the other hand, when I traveled, my first thought in the morning had to do with something else – it was about work. My work started pretty early and because I didn’t do everything in the evening and I left some tasks for the morning, when I woke up, my first thought was that I need to do my job and be ready before the day starts.

Thus, I didn’t have time to think what, how much and when I should eat and I didn’t have time to contemplate on the way I looked, because I liked what I do and I gave it enough time, to dive into my inspiration – and this took my obtrusive thoughts away.

It became like a novel, but I needed to share it. That is how I started realizing that my eating disorder, besides a result of the way I ate and trained, was something like a defensive reaction of my body towards my environment. In this previous post, you can read about pain and how it is more a matter of opinion and how people who have strong lower back pain, when they are at home, notice that the pain goes away when they travel and comes back when they return.

This is a key moment. Few people ask the question why it happens like that. Often times, pain, emotional conditions are a defensive mechanism of the body to something in our environment – something that has caused us harm (mental or physical) in the past and every time when something hints about this memory, the body reacts in such a defensive way – the nervous system is trying to protect us.

Thus, every time, when my obtrusive thoughts came back, I started to repeat “every obtrusive thought appears in the mind, in order to push away something more important, that I need to deal with, yet I refuse to do it.” And every time, I found out what it was. I tracked the tendency and I saw that every time when life sent me a situation, that I didn’t want to deal with, the eating disorder grew deeper roots – obtrusive thoughts that protected me from what I didn’t want – to deal with reality. I can write a whole book on the topic, but this is one of the key points. Think about it more often and you will reveal the reason for the obtrusive thoughts and always repeat – “every obtrusive thought appears, in order to push away something more important, that I do not want to deal with.”