How often do you experience pain or stomach discomfort and figure it’s just part of life? There are many symptoms we have normalized because they come on gradually and are livable. We may not even fully realize them because they aren’t that bad and things could be worse. Some of my clients have even said when they share what they’re experiencing they’ve been dismissed by people in the medical profession saying it’s all in their head. I’m definitely not a doctor and I don’t diagnose people but I do know that food and lifestyle can play a big role in how good (or bad) we feel. Take food sensitivities or intolerances as an example.
In January as resolutions got underway, the Today Show followed Valerie Bertinelli on her journey of making 2020 a year for her to choose happy. Valerie opened up about her weight struggles over the years and talked about how she has been consistently struggling for the last 50 years with weight gain and weight loss. It’s been a constant cycle she describes as torment. Throughout this journey, she has started to realize that her weight issues are deeper than just the weight and there is an emotional component. She realized she uses food as a way to not feel her feelings.
Working in an office can be one big food minefield from various celebrations, leftover business meals, to the “obligatory” candy bowl on your co-worker’s desk. You start off the day strong with a good breakfast and eat what you brought for lunch. But when you see the free food you just can’t seem to resist it. Cue mindless eating!
When my clients reach out to me for support, they often feel like they’re at a loss of what works for them and their bodies to reach their health, weight and wellness goals. In fact they’re so frustrated and sometimes even feel hopeless after trying many different approaches with short-term success and ending up back in the same place, only more frustrated. The great part is that they haven’t given up and have sought out a new and different approach they hope will be different and lead to sustainable results.
When you think of emotional eating, what’s the
first thing that comes to mind? In the traditional sense, many people think it
occurs when they’re bored, sad, happy, lonely etc. Even if you don’t consider
yourself to be an emotional eater, I encourage you to keep reading as it can
apply not only to how you show up around food but can also come up with
shopping, drinking, exercising, etc.
When I start working with my clients most of them talk about how they’re stuck in black and white thinking. This typically leads to only being able to see two options in a situation. For example, they can either eat in alignment with their goals, or they don’t. They either meal plan or they don’t. Does that sound familiar?
It’s Thursday and you’ve been patiently waiting for the
weekend all week long. You stick to your food goals and are strict with
yourself Monday through Thursday. As the weekend approaches you look forward to
throwing your hands up in the air and taking a free-for-all mindset for the
next few days.
After every big accomplishment, family celebration, or even
a hard day, it can be easy to tell yourself, ‘When I get home I’m going to eat
pizza, ice cream, wine or any other indulgent food because I deserve it.’
Perhaps you find yourself thinking about the reward most of the day as
something to look forward to and help you unwind when you get home.
Last weekend in Chicago we experienced some spring snow. Yes snow in the middle of April! A couple days later, the temperatures rose again into the 60’s. The interesting thing is, the day after the snowfall I was walking around and noticed the flowers were still blooming and hadn’t died from this crazy weather we had. It made me realize how resilient nature can be. That thought reminded me of the parallel of how my clients build resilience through the process of understanding and uncovering their relationship around food.