Emotional Eating, Food Fears & Body Image: Q&A with Christie, Part 2
Here’s part two of my interview with Christie from Honoring Health, where she writes about intuitive eating, well-being and honoring your body. Plus, she also features drool-worthy recipes like this one. Yum.
Like I said yesterday, I love Christie’s work. She’s truly spreading a positive and healthy message. I’m so happy to share her wise words with Weightless readers.
Below, Christie talks about emotional eating, making peace with food, her favorite body image booster and more.
Check out part one of our interview here.
Update: Christie is now blogging about intuitive eating at her beautiful blog Nourishing Circle.
Q: You’ve written before about realizing that you struggle with emotional eating. So many of us use eating to distract ourselves or to numb our feelings. How do you deal with emotional eating now? What are some ways we can truly feeling our feelings?
A: I was a big emotional eater, I binged and compulsively over-ate most of my life. In order to overcome that, I had to get to the root of why I was eating. You know that old saying “it’s not what you’re eating but what’s eating you”? Well, that was me, through and through. I was using food as my coping skill to deal with life. I suffered through some intense childhood and early adulthood trauma and learned from an early age that food was comforting and safe.
No matter what was happening, I always found solace with my food. In order to heal, I had to lay my junk on the table and examine it; I had to dig around in the trauma to find my true self. I had to face it, feel it, accept it and move on.
I don’t believe that everyone who eats emotionally has trauma underneath but I do think that once we learn that food feels good, it becomes easy to use it to not feel even everyday emotions like boredom, procrastination and being tired. Learning to just feel those things can be daunting work. Whether it is trauma, grief, boredom, sadness or even joy, just being with those emotions is the only way to get through them. To feel is to live and if you are stuffing your emotions down, even the everyday ones, you aren’t really experiencing life to its fullest.
I encourage my clients, my readers and even myself to just sit with whatever the emotion is without worries of labeling them. Just sit with them. I’ve written on my blog before about the 15 minute method which is the most valuable method I have ever found for just being with emotions.
Q: Today, many people are afraid of food and of enjoying eating. What are your suggestions for letting go of this fear?
A: The society we live in today really engrains in us to fear food, and diet foods are all the rage. Funny how we’ve actually become fatter instead of stronger and healthier but I digress. The only way to let go of those fear foods is to make peace with all food, even the foods people often deem as “bad” or “unhealthy.”
I recently wrote a post about making peace with food where I explain the steps to take to overcome fear foods. In a nutshell, one should stock up and make food always available. Learn to sit and savor food and explore the flavors of it. Ironically, many people start to discover that the foods they feared the most or thought were “bad” aren’t actually that tasty to start with. Can you imagine learning that your former favorite food actually is your least favorite food? Amazing things are learned when we just sit and savor.
Q: Any favorite body image tips?
A: As I mentioned before, I am really big into yoga and meditation as both of those tools have helped me accept my body for what it is. I am also a big believer in the power of mantras. I use mantras all the time to combat negative thoughts and feelings about my body.
For people who have such negative thoughts engrained in them, I know what it feels like to have someone say “just think positive” because I know that doesn’t work. But if you can cultivate awareness of the negative thoughts, you can logically come up with the opposite. You may want to make a list of your negative thoughts and then write down the opposite of that. That opposite thought is now your mantra and when those negative thoughts arise, just go back to your mantra and repeat it to yourself as many times as needed.
Q: What are your favorite resources (books, websites) on intuitive eating, body image and/or holistic health?
A: Since the intuitive eating book was my first resource, I always recommend that but nowadays, I actually recommend the intuitive eating CD’s over the book. I think the CD’s are more concise, up to date and they include great guided practices to help with learning each step. I also have a full list of books, websites and CD’s that I recommend on my blog’s resources page.
Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know about your story, intuitive eating or something else?
A: I’d love for everyone to know that anyone can heal their relationship with food, exercise and their body. Through learning to trust your body’s wisdom and really tune into your thoughts, your feelings and your amazing spirit, it is possible. Will it be as easy as starting the latest and greatest diet plan that gives you a list of rules, foods and exercises? No, but it will be one of the most rewarding journeys you’ve ever experienced.
Christie, thank you so much for your insight and the amazing work that you do!
More Of Christie’s Posts
Just like in yesterday’s Q&A, I’d like to highlight a few more of Christie’s profound – and incredibly useful – posts.
Today’s favorite post. “Your Intelligence is Here Inside Your Body” at Mindfulness & Psychotherapy on Psych Central. When we get particularly down on our bodies, it can help to remember everything our bodies allow us to do. This post helps you appreciate the amazingness of your body.
Have any questions about intuitive eating or emotional eating? What’s your favorite body image booster? Are you working on having a healthier relationship with food – and yourself?
Tartakovsky, M. (2011). Emotional Eating, Food Fears & Body Image: Q&A with Christie, Part 2. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 30, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2010/07/emotional-eating-food-fears-body-image-qa-with-christie-part-2/