Is Food my Best and Most Loyal Friend Right Now?

Is Food my Best and Most Loyal Friend Right Now?

I recently had 2 very profound counseling sessions with 2 different clients.

  One client, I have been working with for a bunch of months now. Maybe even a year. She is such a great client. Always coming to the sessions on time ready to hear everything I have to say and ready to implement what I RECOMMEND.   She is pleasant, accountable, working hard and in my eyes, really making progress.  

However, she mentioned many times over and over how stuck she was feeling. How she feels like maybe something was missing in her intuitive eating journey.

  She was able to stop and ask herself why she was eating if she wasn't hungry. She was able to try to connect to her deeper parts. But she wasn’t getting such a clear message. Was it a lack of self care? Was she truly hungry? Was she still feeling restricted? Has she not yet made peace with certain foods?  

She isn’t a dramatic person. She’s not an exaggerator. It just seemed like, can it be that she just likes good food and wants to eat it?

Maybe….but, usually there is something else going on.

  This past week. The client relayed something to me that showed me she was allowing a more vulnerable part of herself to surface, and she was able to make some connections to her eating and her emotions. She found herself in the kitchen, eating something that she didn’t want. She asked her why are you eating this?   The answer came and smacked her in the face. “I don’t care about myself at all. I care about myself to be there for my family, for my husband and 9 children, but I don’t actually have a sense of self.”  

Mind blown, for me and for her.

Our sense of self is EVERYTHING.

Without it, what is our guiding light? Why are we here? Why do we exist?

  Client number 2 is only with me for 2 sessions. We begin talking about her earliest childhood memories around food,  when her dieting began. Right away I hear about her abuse history and we are connecting her eating with emotions. I see the lines crossing and all making sense right away.   We begin to discuss self care and how a lack of self care can lead to using food to fill that void.  

You see, it’s not just physical self care that we all need! Eating, sleeping, moving etc. What about our sense of self? Our sense of purpose. Our identity. Don’t we all NEED that as well.

  When I asked her “what lights you up, what makes you happy, what fuels you?” she cannot answer me. She may have never even been asked this question in her entire life.   “I like to paint,” she finally answers. “But I never thought I could paint as an adult, that was just something I did and enjoyed as a child. My role now is to care for my children. Caring for my children is what is SUPPOSED to fuel me.”  

I got curious. And I asked - “where and how did this become a belief system you live by each and everyday. And is this something you believe to be true? Can you have meaning and value outside of your role as a mother.”

  Her answer was clear. She didn’t believe there can be a purpose outside of that role but now she can challenge that thought.   And at night when she sits on the couch, done taking care of her kids and her husband is working, she sits alone and fills that void with candy and cookies. And guess what. It helps. It does help. It lightens the blow until the next day comes. But candies and cookies can't compete with feeling meaningful and valuable. They can’t compete with our truest sense of self.  

I felt I had to share these two encounters (with permission from my clients of course), because isn’t that what we all want? A meaningful and purposeful life?

  When I was a kid, my grandmother always said how money doesn’t buy happiness. How she knew rich people who just didn't know what to do with their money. How money breaks families apart. I know I was raised with a lot of messages around money and happiness. We didnt have alot of money and I always wanted to have a lot of money.  

As an adult, I really did learn the hard way that the most important thing for us humans here is to feel meaningful and purposeful.

  If you are struggling with emotional eating, or eating in a way that feels out of control for you, take a few minutes to check in with yourself to see what that food is blocking from you. Whether the eating is actually blocking the feelings or the action of eating is taking you away from another action you are afraid of, this is worth exploring.   

Your sense of purpose and meaning, your true sense of self, is worth EVERYTHING. Gift yourself the ability to find it!

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