Loving yourself is a way to end emotional eating. I know that sounds like it is too good to be true. By loving yourself, I mean, be kind to yourself, saying loving words to yourself, thinking loving thoughts about yourself. I know this can be easier said than done.
Do you find yourself criticizing how you look, what you have eaten, how much you weigh? I am sure you could come up with many more examples of criticism. What does that criticism do to you? Make you feel sad, bad, guilty or upset? If we looked further, I bet we could find how those exact feelings lead you to overeat. You might already know that, but have not made the connection that actually saying kind and loving statements to yourself can be the antidote. I have been prone to allowing those negative thoughts about myself to run rampant in my mind. The words I have said to myself are many times worse than what anyone else could say to me, and those negative words I say about myself cause me harm.
I want you to consider what it would feel like to praise yourself. Find the goodness in yourself. Breathe that in and see how it can make you feel. Feel like eating after that? I suspect not. It is simple to do, just not easy.
How can you be kind and loving to yourself? Those nagging negative thoughts are a huge barrier to the free and joyous feelings we are looking for. First, just notice the negative thoughts. We tend to allow them to just run free in our minds and go unchallenged. So a simple tool is to notice them and just let them pass by. Let them move through your mind like a scroll on the bottom of your TV screen. Let it scroll by and don’t give it ongoing attention. When there is a thought-notice it, and then just let it drift by. It takes conscious thought to notice and let them pass by, so be vigilant to notice them in the first place. You will then free yourself from getting stuck in the negative thoughts.
The second trick is to bombard your mind with positive thoughts and positive statements. I like to use ones like “I am kind” or “I am confident” or “I am caring.” I say them often to myself to overpower any negative thoughts. I sometimes put them in a song to sing the positive thoughts to myself. I think of it like a bank account t where I deposit all the good thoughts I can to take care of me when the negative thoughts show up. I build up that positive thought bank account as much as I can and as often as I can. I find the more positive thoughts I have in my mind, the more joyous and centered I feel with less emphasis on negative thoughts and emotional eating.
The end goal is to feel good about yourself, your body, and your weight. This can be done by accepting yourself and putting all the kindness you can back into yourself. In order to end emotional eating, we need to find tools to lessen the emotions that lead to overeating. Consider how much better you could feel just practicing loving kindness in general. Think of loving kindness towards yourself as a way to end emotional eating, increase self-esteem and self-worth. Seems like an all-around win to me. Give it a try and see how it can benefit you.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor and Motivational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Kim McLaughlin has been identified as writing one of the Top 50 Blogs about Emotional Eating by the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating here or visit her website at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com.