By Erica Trestyn
For many years I was afraid to tell my story. Even now, I have a hard time telling people that I am a recovering food addict and compulsive overeater.
Recently I have come to understand that in order to fully heal myself I must step into the fear and expose my truth.
At 18, I had obesity. I felt ashamed, and also frightened that no one would love me because of how I looked. Even before then, I’d developed a love/hate relationship with the scale and determined my self-worth by the number that it reflected back to me.
I never felt good enough and lived a fearful life.
This past year I have been on a quest of self-discovery and healing. Throughout my journey, I have learned that true health is achieved when we create complete harmony with the mind, body and spirit.
Instead of feeling like there is something wrong with me because I was overweight I began to understand that in order to truly break free I needed to step into the fear, let go of the past and love and accept myself just as I am.
Here’s what I did to overcome my emotional eating habits:
The first step in breaking free from any negative pattern is to simply be aware that it exists. When we learn to cultivate awareness around what we do and how we do it, we are connecting with our inner guide, higher power, spirit. When we bring conscious awareness to all the little things, everything will fall into place.
After you become aware of your thoughts and actions, focus on how you feel. Stay with the feelings. Don’t run from them or turn to food for comfort (or any other unhealthy habit). Know that these feelings will pass no matter how crappy they make you feel.
Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. Ask yourself how do I want to feel? Begin each day with a loving positive thought about yourself and your life! Try mantras like: “I accept myself and create peace in my mind and heart.”
Tune in with your body. Listen to what it tells you! Once you learn how to tune in with what your body wants, not your mind, you will be better able to understand how to cultivate nourishment for yourself and slowly break free from emotional eating.
When we hold onto to our past we are unable to experience the here and now. Your higher self (the person who you truly are) only lives in the present moment. If we stay “stuck” in our past or only focus on our future we are not honoring our true selves. As we learn to let go of what no longer serve us, we open up to new possibilities and begin to receive what we need.
Make a list of all the things that nourish you and start to do them. This can your relationships, hobbies or even your work. The more you add nourishment into your life from sources other then food, the more likely you are not to turn to food for comfort (or any other unhealthy habits).
Moment by moment we have a new opportunity to change what we think, believe, and feel about ourselves. Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, acknowledge it, observe it, and then challenge it. Begin your day with a positive affirmation “I love life and life loves me.” Repeat as needed throughout the day.
Our bodies are the only eternal relationship we have. If we can’t trust, love and be honest with ourselves then how can we love, trust, or be honest with another?