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How do you break the vicious circle of using food to repress emotions and

then needing more food to repress even more accumulated emotions ?

These three simple, yet infinitely powerful friends will help you on your

journey out of emotional eating.



Awareness.

First and foremost, awareness.

Be aware of the fact that you're eating for an emotional reason. When you

notice the sensations that lead you to eating, before you run to the plate,

stay with those emotions a little longer.

Let yourself feel them, even if they're not pleasant.

Tending to avoid unpleasant situations is exactly what brings you into that

cycle of eating.

So, before you dash off to grab a bite of something – stay with the emotion.

Start to breathe, slowly and carefully.

Stay with the unpleasant emotion – anxiety, fear, depression, sadness.

Remember that food won't make the emotion disappear. Food will only

suppress the emotion for a few more minutes.



Responsibility.

Forget the reasons and excuses and legitimate explanations for everything

that was done to you as a child. Put aside your history and everything

you’ve experienced.

And now we get to the stage of taking responsibility. No matter what eating

habits you started out from, you can change them. You really can.



Choice

And this is precisely where choice comes into play.

You can choose to do things differently.

I recommend that you sit and write down the things that come into your mind

when you want to eat. I don’t mean eat for hunger’s sake, but in those

moments when you know food is an emotional response;

I want to ask you to stop for a moment, sit quietly, write, record the emotions

you're feeling, the sensations, the thoughts.

What it is that makes you want to eat.


Once you’ve finished writing, you can make your choice: to go and eat, or

not. Very often the choice is to forego the eating.

But even if you do eat, you'll still be benefiting. That’s because you’ve

turned an automatic unconscious behavior into an aware one. You’ve

turned an ingrained habit into a conscious choice. You control the food, and

not the other way around.

And most of all, you’ve become aware of the emotions you bring to eating,

instead of repressing those emotions into dark places where they can hide.

You’ve allowed yourself to experience the difficulty, and over time you'll feel

less and less need of eating as your mechanism of suppression.



Each time you start feeling this stirring of emotions in your stomach and

automatically think about food, re member Joan of ARC (Awareness,

Responsibility and Choice). Just gently ask yourself: "What am I really

needing now? Is it really food?", and give it to yourself, with love, appreciation

and care.