Whether you feel addicted to certain foods, or the pattern of using food to cope with painful feelings or relationships, none of it feels good.
It doesn’t feel good and yet in that moment of wanting “out” from a thought or feeling that feels like it might catch up to you, you reach for what’s familiar, for that particular combination of sugar or fat or salt that can temporarily make it all soften or go away. I get it.
Much of the time it’s because you really don’t know what else to do in that moment when you start to notice that familiar feeling of something uncomfortable creeping in… before you can fully know what it is, before it even reaches your consciousness, you go into detour-mode. The detour into reaching for something to divert you from thinking or feeling something that doesn’t feel so great.
Feelings of food addiction can be partly about a delay – holding back the moments when a feeling, or a knowing about something, is trying to reach our consciousness.
Eating, or obsessing about eating, or spinning the old familiar loop of the ways you hate your body, or need to change, they all show up in those moments when you haven’t found a better way to soothe yourself.
And because of all of the shame, because of the addictive nature of your relationship with food, you may also find that you’ve created a fair amount of isolation in your life.
Feelings of food addiction absolutely thrive in isolation. Any of our shameful “dirty little secrets” truly take root in the dark. We can’t get much comfort when we try to manage this alone. We also can’t get much perspective.
We’re tuned into the self-hate channel and it’s noisy, convincing, relentless. Which of course creates the longing for more relief – and if you use food to numb any kind of painful feeling, you’re going to be at the mercy of that pattern.
If you’re still reading this then I know you know what I’m talking about. So where do you start?
As always, with a big dose of compassion… plus a side of curiosity.
Where are you not paying attention to something that’s trying to get your attention?
Green Mountain held the workshop “Why Can’t I Stop Overeating: Breaking Through Food Addiction” from December 5-8, 2014.