Emotional eating

You Don't Have a Food Problem

HAPPY SUNDAY! Guess what? YOU DON'T HAVE A FOOD PROBLEM! Aren't you relieved?!!

You may not be relieved. You may think I don't know what I'm talking about. You may have a list of reasons that prove that I seriously am clueless. That list might include:

  • I eat too much (see, food problem, duh!)
  • I crave sugar and other food that is "bad" for me (again..food = problem! Hello!)
  • I'm overweight and want to lose weight but I still eat too much! (food)
  • I seriously don't know what to eat to make me lose weight. It's a problem (again...food)
  • I am STRESSED about food. I mean--it takes up a lot of my headspace. Like, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT???! (food)

There's many many more additions to this list but I know you have things to do today so I'll trust that you get the picture. AND. I'm telling you--you don't have a food problem.

Disclaimer: if you're eating total crap all day every day (and by crap I mean highly processed food, fast food, nothing made at home. food laden with additives, little to no fruit or vegetables etc..) then YES. YOU HAVE A FOOD PROBLEM. And you most likely have some health problems, too. And if you don't have health problems now, you will eventually. So to be clear--when I am saying you don't have a food problem this kind of eating is the exception.

For the rest of you--those of you that eat a lot of whole foods, cook at home often, and avoid processed foods as much as possible (except when you don't)--you don't have a food problem! YAY!

What you have is a LIFE problem. Yes. You do. You're obsessing about food instead of obsessing about life. You're not letting joy be your guide. You're seeing all the stuff that isn't working and not noticing all the stuff that's going right. You're also plugged into some really damaging belief paradigms around how you're supposed to LOOK and that alone can cause you to not be living your life as fully and joyfully as you have the right to.

Food is a SYMPTOM. Food covers up stuff for us. It numbs us out. It also keeps us safe (if we have a few extra pounds on we are safe from getting unwanted attention, for example).

If you find yourself being even mildly obsessed with what you eat, you are robbing yourself of joy. And you are also IMMEDIATELY putting yourself into aDEPRIVATION MINDSET because the obsession about food is really about what you can and cannot eat. And once we say, "No more sugar!" all we want is sugar. ALL WE WANT IS SUGAR. I mean, we may be fine for a little bit but then, when we can't take it anymore, we are going to eat the sugar--but not just *some* sugar. We're going to eat A LOT of sugar because, you know, f**k it! I might as well eat a second piece of cake, a third brownie, or whatever it is.

So how do you address this? There's many ways to start FREEING yourself from you "food problem". One of the most important things to do, I believe, is to figure out what you're using food for. What is food standing in as a substitute for in your life?

The way to do that is simply by starting to pay attention. If all of a sudden you find yourself craving sugar, or craving chips, or even just feeling hungry when you know you're not really hungry...slow things down and start to see what was going on in your mind or life the moments before the craving hits. Sometimes this is hard, but keep at it. You'll start to figure it out. (Yes, I know I've said this before but you guys--THIS IS IMPORTANT! I probably repeat this in the future so be prepared.)

Once you start to uncover the stuff you're covering up with food THEN YOU CAN START TO LOOSEN THOSE SHACKLES!

My story (Reader's Digest Version): when I started Vibrant Living I noticed I started "eating emotionally" more often. I couldn't figure out why. I wasn't working in the job that was sucking the life out of me anymore, I was doing what I wanted to do...so why was I overeating? Short version is this: I got a coach and did some deep work and found it it was directly related to an incident when I was 5 years old in which I decided, "If I speak my authentic truth, people yell at me, I upset people, so I need to stay small and hide and never be fully expressive of who I am." Really. I did figure that out and it was AWESOME. Because every time I sat down to write a newsletter, I would CRAVE CEREAL. And then I would eat like three bowls of cereal. You guys. OMG. Can you imagine how crappy I felt afterwards? REALLY CRAPPY. And the WHY I was doing it was because writing my newsletter meant EXPRESSING MY AUTHENTIC SELF and that scared the crap out of me so of course I needed to NUMB OUT! This is the very short version of things. I'm going to write another email telling you more details. But I wanted you to see the underneath the "why"...awareness creates opportunity for action. Getting aware is imperative.

The coach I worked with was trained in the Transformational Coaching Method (which uses NLP and Family Systems work to uncover all this crazy stuff!) and I was blown away and got certified as a Master Transformational Coach as well because I wanted to make sure I could help people change their lives the way mine was changed. That's important for you to know if you're considering working with me!

Okay, Elijah! Let's get ONTO THE JOY! SOUL SONG SUNDAY!!

THIS SONG IS PURE JOY! My friend (and past client!), Randi Berry, suggested sharing this song with all of you and I LOVE IT. It's been called, "...one of the most joyful songs ever recorded."

A note on the lyrics: You may try hard to decipher some of the words in the song--you may even think you know what they are, but they are actually just made up! Michael Glabicki said in an interview that the lyrics aren't supposed to make rational sense. "I was in the process of coming up with lyrics, and it just sounded so good and felt so right that it had a meaning of its own that you couldn't make better by making it a word. So I left it."

RUSTED ROOT--SEND ME ON MY WAY

 

 

HAVE A JOYOUS WEEK!!

Love,

Elijah

Overeating?

If you find yourself overeating, eating when you're not hungry, never truly feeling full, trying to control what and when you eat, or any variation of these things then you are not alone. I have lived in that terrible space and it is frustrating, depressing, and exhausting. It inevitably makes you feel bad about yourself because you "have no willpower" or because you ate the "wrong" things...and other shaming things we say to ourselves.

Here's the thing. If you're an overeater, focusing on food will only make things worse. What I mean by "focusing on food" is thinking that what you eat and when you eat is the route to overcoming overeating. This is a super common thing that we do when we feel out of control with food. But when we make food the first thing we focus on--and try and control--we actually make things a whole lot worse.

Focusing on food is always about deprivation. If we're overeating, we shame ourselves and say things like, "Starting tomorrow, I'm cutting out all sugar and bread from my diet!" or "I'm going to eat all vegan starting tomorrow!" or some version of a NOT ALLOWED list. And almost IMMEDIATELY we get that funny feeling inside of fear and anxiety and desire to eat eat eat! Your mind is throwing a temper tantrum!! It's freaking out at the thought of deprivation!

So if focusing on food doesn't work, what does?

When we overeat, it is actually NEVER about the food. It is about some emotional need we are fulfilling. Overeating is the SYMPTOM not the problem!

Our body is always communicating with us--we just need to decipher what it is saying.

So what is the root of overeating? It's different for everybody. So often there is an underlying feeling of anxiety when we eat too much or eat when we aren't hungry. If you were able to slow down the moments before you reached for food (or more food)...if you could slow it down frame by frame like a movie...you would be able to examine the thoughts and feelings you had that lead you to food. You'll start to learn what CAUSED that anxiety to begin with. And that's the magic place!

Food is SO GOOD at making us feel better. That's why we use food to deal with our difficult emotions. But we all know that as much as it solves the problems of difficult of emotions, it creates a myriad of other problems for us! So ultimately, as effective as it is, we need to unearth the core reasons why it is happening and then deal with those reasons in healthier ways.

So your task is to start paying attention to your thoughts, words to yourself, and feelings prior to eating too much or eating when you're not hungry. Allow yourself to be surprised. Allow yourself to go deep. Don't be afraid--when you discover what it is (and there may be multiple things!) you are then EMPOWERED to do something about it! Get help with this if you're able to. I got help from my coach when I was dealing with this (story for another email but I'll tell you all about it, I promise!) and it was TRANSFORMATIONAL.

If you're ready to break free from the shackles of emotional eating (OMG it feels so good!) then email me and we can hop on the phone and have a 45 minute free mini-session! Zero attachment to outcome on my part...you'll leave the call with a much clearer understanding of what is going on with you and some actions to start transforming things. If you feel called to do the deeper work, we can talk about working together and if not, no problem! I love the opportunity to talk to my peeps and get to know them better.

Sending loads of love,

Elijah

P.S. Reminder: Virtual Goddess Gathering this Saturday! More info and sign up here!

"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight"

"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight."

Does that thought sound familiar?

When you hear that common refrain, "You really just need to love yourself exactly as you are NOW!" do you think, "UM. NO THANK YOU. Because how I am now is gross and I need to MOTIVATE myself to lose weight and if I'm all lovey-dovey with myself then I won't be motivated and I'll never lose the weight."

Yeah. Me too. Some version of that anyway. I used to really really struggle with the idea of loving myself as I am now because I didn't like my body the way it was and honestly, it felt really TERRIFYING to love my body--just scary. Because if I loved my body, it seemed like things would become chaos. To me, judging my body and being critical of myself, meant keeping control--of my food and my exercise--and I believed that if I loved myself just as I am then the lid would blow off of that control and things would become chaos. Specifically I believed I'd GAIN weight and become a total mess. Hating my body equalled the hope that I would beat it into submission someday.

 

 

I know a lot of my clients (okay--all of them) have felt that way, too.

HERE'S THE THING:

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

It's really counterintuitive, isn't it? It just somehow seems "right" that in order to create change we need to be hard on ourselves. But it is MESSED UP and NOT TRUE.

In fact, when we are hard on ourselves (i.e., when we hate on our bodies) we immediately create a bunch of super negative things that actually keep us from having the body we desire. KEEP US FROM IT.

Let me ask you this: has hating your body worked so far? Has it made you happy? Has it put you into a graceful flow of your life where you resonate joy and confidence? Has hating on yourself created freedom around what you eat and how you exercise? NO. IT HAS NOT.

I know it hasn't because I'VE BEEN THERE. Hating on yourself does a bunch of super negative things. Let's look at some of them:

  • Has you feeling crazy self-conscious and makes you hide out when you could be STEPPING UP
  • Creates obsession around food and has you creating "good" and "bad" categories of food in extreme ways--and then severely punishing yourself when you eat a "bad" food (punishment comes in many forms but the worse form is takes is SHAME)
  • Every time you hate on yourself you release a cocktail of stress hormones that actually have you HOLDING ONTO WEIGHT! So that's fun!
  • Constantly judging and criticizing your body lowers your energy and affects how you show up at work, in your relationships and at play. Basically, you're vibrating on "Total Bummer" and people pick up on that.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the consequences of HATING ON YOUR BODY.

Remember when you were a kid and you didn't think about your body or food at all?!

Yeah--those were good times! We were ENGAGED in life! We ran! We played! We sat down and wolfed down a PB&J and then we ran out to play some more!

That's because we didn't yet know that we "weren't good enough". We hadn't been bombarded with all the messaging from advertising that is designed to have us think and feel that we are "not enough". It's powerful stuff and we've all bought in, hook, line and sinker.

But guess what?! LOVING OURSELVES AS WE ARE is the fist step to having the body AND LIFE that we desire! #truthbomb!

When we love ourselves--like TRULY LOVE OURSELVES--we:

  • Stop obsessing every day and every moment about how we are not good enough. That may sound miraculous, but it is true. And WOW that frees up a TON of energy that can be put to far better use!
  • Stop inundating our bodies with that awful toxic cocktail of stress hormones that chip away at our health and keep weight on our bodies
  • We see food differently! Wow! We are allowed to enjoy food but because we actually LOVE ourselves, all sorts of things start to click into place and it because effortless to actually feed ourselves HEALTHY and NOURISHING food!

And that's just a few of the benefits :)

BUT HOW THE HECK DO I LOVE MYSELF?!!

Yes, that's the crux of it, isn't it? It took me a long long time to figure this out. But I have. And my mission in life is to shortcut for you the years it took me to get here.

And one of the most crucial steps in the process is LETTING GO OF THE FEAR that bad things will happen if you allow yourself COMPASSION and LOVE.

So your homework is to start noticing the fear you have around loving yourself. REALLY NOTICE. Dig deep and see where it is hiding. Bring it out into the light--give it a hug and let it know that there's a better way! Bless and release that fear because truly, THINGS GET BETTER when you LOVE YOURSELF.

As always, I love to know what you are thinking and feeling so hit reply and let me know!

XOXO,

Elijah

P.S. If you are excited to go deep around this, I'll be in NYC on June 27th! I'd love it if you joined me!