The day I noticed that I wasn’t hungry but I was looking for something to eat was the day I got the knowledge that I was an emotional eater. Knowing what to do about it became my journey.
Knowledge is critical, it’s the awareness. Knowing comes from practice, experimentation, and repetition.
I wrote this in my journal: Why was I going to eat if I wasn’t hungry? Why did I have this habit of eating when I wasn’t hungry? Why was I doing it in this moment right now?
That became my practice, understanding why I habitually wanted to eat when I wasn’t hungry, and then telescoping in on it to understand what was happening right then, in that moment. I had lots of opportunity to practice because I constantly wanted to eat.
By asking those questions and working through the thoughts and emotions that came up I began to know how to stop eating when I wasn’t hungry.
I learned about my triggers, which often had to do with feeling like I didn’t belong. There was a constant conversation in my head about not really being a part of things. By not pushing the thoughts away and digging deeper I got to the core of what was going on, feelings of unworthiness, being unlovable, a constant drum beat of not good enough.
I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t exactly fun, but it was compelling because as I uncovered those feelings I was able to see how they clouded my whole view of life.
That’s the beauty of this work, it’s about personal strength, power and choice. It takes strength and courage to face our darkest thoughts. When we do we take back the power to choose what we believe and how we live.
When we distract ourselves from our thoughts and feelings by “numbing out” with food, alcohol, overwork, over-doing, Netflix, shopping, we’re not fully present in our own lives.
Noticing that you eat when you’re not hungry, use food for comfort, or feel powerless to control it is your knowledge. Knowing how to stop overeating comes from the practice of listening to the thoughts, allowing the emotions, and not turning away.
You know that moment when you “get” something in a new way … when a missing piece of the puzzle clicks in place and you can see the picture, that’s knowing. Having knowledge isn’t the same as knowing.