Tuesday Toffee #28: Emotional eating

Recently I started a quite strict diet to get rid of some of my protecting shields that materialized themselves in that weight I’d like to liberate myself from. But as I’m someone who really enjoys and likes eating, it’s not the easiest thing to cut off almost all carbohydrates and sweets and get my neanderthal diet of proteins, salads and more proteins.

I trust my body, that after the three weeks threshold it will take it a lot easier. However, in the past two weeks, I recognized that eating things I like, the way I like, and when I like – though it might have been many cases quite irresponsible – makes me feel happy. Like feeding those little infinity-vacuum spots inside I get faced sometimes.

Avoiding. That’s OK, I have no problem to face my vacuum, though it’s uncomfortable of course. But I truly love eating… Sigh…

After some research, I think it’s not only about the what but also about the when, and to find the right biological rhythm that fits our body-type and metabolism… and of course, it’s about the right amount.
But how on earth can this be possible in such cultures that do not favor, for example, dining early? It’s a long known nutritional advise not to eat within 3 hours before going to sleep. If I’m living in a country – and I do – wherein a 20.30 dinner is considered early, and I wish to go to bed before midnight, well, that sucks, whatever I do.

Our nervous system needs at least 21 days to adjust to any new habits we’d like to make part of our autopilot mode. That’s not easy, because in 21 days you might go to family meetings, to travels, have your kids with you or with your partner, or you might just go to a lovely holiday, and then… the not so well established new habit breaks.

There is no shortcut here, what needs to be done, needs to be done, step by step, small parts by small parts, and I’m willing to play the game, though I find it extremely hard, as eating light hardly fills this body of mine, and I enjoy different tastes, or to discover new things, and so on. And, feeling hungry most of the times gets me to the point of “hangry” – feeling angry because I feel hungry… If you’re interested in the scientific explanation of these symptoms, you can find it here. I do wish I could control my hunger, but I am most of the time getting grumpy being hungry… and as this is the tendency since I can remember, I am not sure that’s something I can change, but I do intend to. At least, to be prepared to bite something off, rather bite the closest person.

I could not yet track down why this happens, though I am quite sure that those little cell-based memories which I inherited from my ancestors, who were survivals of the second WW, and of 1956 that in Hungary marked the year of freedom fight against the Soviet troops, experienced a great amount of hunger and even starving.

The newest neurological investigations show that parent’s traumas or fearful memories can be passed down to subsequent generations – as it is explained by Brian G. Dias and Kerry J. Ressler in their paper Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generationsThe research was carried out on mice but there are other psychological studies that clearly show this direction in humans too.

Anyways, I’ve never considered myself an emotional eater. But as much as stress, anxiety, and loneliness can make us eat beyond our needs, happiness can do the same. Just because we’re too relaxed, we might end up eating a lot more, drink more, and do less training (if any), and so on.

It requires lots of discipline to get off from these emotional vehicles that help us to feel better. But it for sure worth all the sweat because if we can feel better in our own skin – and beyond a certain weight (which is different for everyone), it’s not only unhealthy but we can feel really unhappy because of the change our looks. And, my fellow women, being a cyclical creature doesn’t really help this case, it’s quite common to crave sweets and eat a lot more before getting our period. But when there’s no sweet, what do you eat? Fruits are great, but hey, a nice bar of chocolate… or hot chocolate…

The only possible way is to realize that this body is not me. Though it definitely acts like it was. But holding the hunger (and hanger), observing the cravings, and getting to the roots might get us some really nice present, and on the way down we might recognize that what we’re really hungry for has nothing to do what our body-nutrition, but with craving company, a hug, a good laugh, a good cry, a walk. And when thegets what it wants, or understands what it seeks and why; the body feels less hungry. Less needy. More at peace.

Merry diet to everyone! Hang on there, we can do it! 😉


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Anna Sólyom

Certified TRE® Provider, Biodynamic craniosacral therpaist, PSYCH-K® advanced facilitator. Writer. Dancer. Body consciousness. Mindfulness practices and meditations. Reconnect with your wellbeing.

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