There are many times in our lives when we eat something we consider “bad” for us. It may be ice cream, pizza, or chocolate cake. You know what I am talking about. I do it too. Even though I eat a pretty good diet most of the time, I also indulge. Sometimes I overindulge but less now than ever before. When this happens many emotions come up. For me I can go into judgment. I yell at myself saying things like “what is the matter with you “ or “you should know better”. Other times I feel fear. I am afraid I have lost control. Other emotions I have experienced and hear from my clients are feelings of guilt, shame and anger. Sometimes people feel despair and want to give up eating healthy foods completely. This is all normal, it is OK.
In today’s blog I present a few tools to soothe yourself when you overindulge.
I am writing this as a summary not just for you but for myself to refer to at those times when I experience these “negative” feelings. I have found it is common for them to come up when we think we have eaten something “bad”.
The tools I am about to share come from years of being a student of metaphysics using the teachings of Seth, Abraham, Deepak Chopra, Echart Tolle and more.
First, I want you to know feelings of guilt, judgment and shame
don’t stop you from overindulging.
It may seem counter intuitive but the more your beat yourself up the more you are going to continue to overindulge. You’ve heard the adage “what you resist persists.” Carl Jung came up with this phrase when he found that patients who resisted aspects of themselves would have those aspects persist, or actually enlarge.
In addition these “negative” emotions put your body into a state of stress.
Your adrenals release cortisol which prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response. It floods your bloodstream with glucose so you have an immediate energy source for your large muscles to fight or run. Cortisol also inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored, favoring its immediate use. The result is excess sugar in your bloodstream, insulin resistance and cravings which lead to weight gain and storage of fat, especially abdominal fat.
Now that we know it doesn’t help to feel anxious, guilty, fearful or any of the emotions we may experience when we overindulge, what can we do about it? Here are a 3 tools to help soothe yourself.
Accept how you feel. Don’t run away from the feelings. This is what is known as being present with what is. Notice it, give it a name (guilt, shame, anger). Where do you feel it in your body? Take a few deep breaths and welcome the feeling. By doing this you align with the present moment. I know this can be uncomfortable but stick with me. Tapping helps here, if you like it. The truth is these feeling are coming up because they want to be acknowledged and loved.
The first step toward healing is to become friendly
with the present moment. It is there for you, it is guiding you toward greater peace, joy and connection.
This is a new way of seeing it. Knowing this enables you to relax a little and feel better.
It is my experience when I feel guilty (ashamed, angry) about eating something “bad” it is an opportunity to heal this emotion, not just around food, but in other areas of my life.
Consider this idea. What if what ever we are experiencing in our body is friendly and there to guide us to a higher state of awareness? When we begin to heal these feeling around our body they enable us to heal the same feelings in other areas of our life.
Our body is a great doorway to heal many aspects of our life.
I like working with my body because it is easy to stay focused on the feelings I am experiencing about it.
Be kind and gentle to yourself. Love yourself like you have never been loved before. For example, if you are feeling irritated or afraid, first welcome the feeling. Be willing to know it there for you(Step1) You are now witnessing your feeling. Then treat yourself like you would if a child was feeling that way. If your child were feeling guilty, afraid or ashamed how would you be with her? Send love, compassion and understanding to that hurt part of yourself. Love her like she has never been loved before.
Welcome your feelings with love and kindness. Be there for yourself.
Breathe them in with kindness and compassion, don’t push them away. Tell that part of you that is so upset you love her no matter what she does or how she feels. Love her unconditionally. Love yourself however you feel, whatever you do, unconditionally. This is a very soothing practice and I highly recommend it. The more you do it the easier it becomes. It is like a muscle you are growing, “the muscle of unconditional love.” You will be amazed how different you feel and behave when you start loving yourself unconditionally.
As it turns out loving myself has been the greatest way to
heal and improve myself.
As I heal myself I am inspired to share the tools use to deal with my pain and judgments so we can all experience greater peace, joy and connection.
Step 3 – What I do when reaching for unconditional love it isn’t working?
Sometimes when I am really in the grips of my negative emotions it is hard to witness my feelings with love and kindness. At this point I bring in an ancient Hawaiian mantra of reconciliation and forgiveness called Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono). I learned this mantra from the inspirational speaker Dr Joe Vitale who was featured in the film, The Secret.
This is how you use the Hoʻoponopono mantra.
Whenever a place for healing presents itself in your life, open to the place where the hurt resides within you. Feel the feeling. After identifying this feeling, with as much intensity as you can, direct these four statements to that place inside you that feels hurt.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Even if you are skeptical, consider giving this simple healing method a try to see what happens. Many people find it to be incredibly profound in their lives. I don’t know exactly how it works but it really helps. You can read a more complete description of the Hoʻoponopono process here.
In Conclusion: The next time you find yourself feeling guilty about something you are eating or have eaten, stop and recognize this is a healing moment. Honor your feelings, bring love, kindness and compassion to yourself. See what happens, be curious where these feeling are guiding you. Notice how you change over time.
These are powerful tools that work for me and my clients. Starting with these tools I went from eating 2 containers of ice cream each weekend to not wanting ice cream any more. I also learned to not be so afraid of my feelings or my indulgences. I now have more kindness and compassion for myself and others. I am grateful for this expansion.
Please leave me a comment below. Let me know what you think about loving yourself unconditionally. Tell me what happens when you are willing to treat yourself differently.