How is our lifestyle contributing to our need to soothe ourselves and comfort eat?
As part of my journey over the last 10 years of becoming a mother and training as a psychotherapist, I have learned a great deal about how to take care of myself and my emotional wellbeing. I have healed myself from a long-term battle with an array of eating disorders and enjoy a healthy and positive relationship with food and eating. I now mentor other women who are suffering, just as I once was, and support and guide them to a place of health, happiness and personal fulfilment.
In my blog today I am going to share what I have discovered about the connection between the quality of our lifestyle/stress in our life and overeating.
Any 'normal' week
If you think back about any given week in your life. There were a variety of exchanges, interactions and situations that occurred that might well have created feelings of anger, stress, anxiety or unhappiness. (If you haven't already, you may find my earlier blog useful: Are you secretly picking at food?)
The stress of daily 'To Do's', the juggle of work-life and family balance, financial strain, the constant pressure to be a good friend/ partner/ sister/ daughter/ colleague etc, organising mealtimes, not to mention the added stress of birthdays and Christmas to name just a few! There is also the speed at which we are expected to function, and the social trend of appearing to be busy all the time.
Women come to see me because they believe they have a weight problem, or an issue with food. But in time, they discover there was actually something (or a collection of things), that triggered them off in the first place.
To add into the metaphorical pressure cooker, from time to time, we also experience big life-changing events such as relationship breakdowns, loss of a loved one, financial crisis and moving home.
When you put down on paper what our systems have to put up with, it never ceases to remind me of how much human beings can endure. So it's no surprise to me, that if we lack the tools to keep on top of our emotions, (and work through them as and when they arise), then at the end of the day we are going to be chock-full of suppressed feelings - as well as a whole heap of food we have used to squash them down.
Did you know that when you suppress anger, over time it can lead to chronic depression? Or when you don't acknowledge fear, it can lead to acute anxiety? A coping mechanism like binge eating or drinking works only for a certain period of time. At some point down the road, we may come to notice that the impact of our coping mechanism has now camouflaged our original problem (the reason why we had a difficult feeling in the first place).
How does change happen?
The recovery process I have developed stems from an integrative psychotherapeutic model that includes and values the body, mind, heart, soul/Higher Self and spiritual life of the person. It is essential to look at the client's life as a whole and this means looking back at their childhood as well as all the major events that have happened since.
I teach my clients mindfulness, and over time they develop a daily self-care plan that is uniquely tailored to their own needs and time commitments. Slowly and surely they move from numbed-out/stuffed-up/stressed-out TO conscious/relaxed/self-empowered - with a renewed joy and confidence around food and love and appreciation for their body. Their fast pace of life and unnecessary commitments begin to take on a more authentic shape, through a deeper connection with what is truly nourishing for them and stronger personal boundaries.
Are you ready to set yourself free?
Sign up to my Intensive 9-week course: Truly Nourished Feeling
Come and work with me on an individual basis
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Georgina Tasker-Simm is a fully qualified and registered transpersonal and integrative psychotherapist. She works exclusively with women only, and specialises in supporting them through their recovery process to help them fulfil their highest potential.