DAY 64 – Uncovering Negative Beliefs About Emotional Eating (Five Minutes)
In the next section, we’ll examine the stressful things we may be telling ourselves when we eat to satisfy emotional needs. For example, you might be telling yourself the following when you eat because you’re feeling down:
I’ll never get the body I want.
I can’t get on the right track in my life, and I won’t attract the kind of partner I have always dreamed of.
To help you uncover your beliefs, read the lists in the next section and circle the ones that apply to you. Hold onto them because a few pages from now you’ll have a chance to question them in the section called “Inquiry for Resistance to Wise Responding, Expressing, and Emotional Eating.”
The more you question stressful beliefs, the less power they have over you, because you get to see that they don’t tell the whole story, the whole truth. When you see this, you can’t believe in them in the same way, and if and when they arise again, you won’t give them a second thought!
What Your Beliefs About Food and Eating Mean About You
We all have so many beliefs about food and eating that it might be hard to know where to start. In addition, these beliefs affect how we feel about ourselves. For example, you might think any or all of the following at different times in your life or even at different times during the day. Food…
Is my Achilles heal
Is my only source of pleasure
Has to be governed with an iron fist
Makes me fat
Is not safe because I have to control myself when I’m around it
Is my curse
Ultimately, no matter how much you dress it up, food is fuel. It’s the stuff we stick in our tanks to keep the body moving, thinking, working, playing, and breathing. However, as we’ve seen, this basic truth about food has done little to prevent us from forming wildly romantic beliefs, and creating an overblown relationship with it. In this section, circle all of the beliefs about what it means to eat emotionally that cause you stress so that you can question them later.
Eating to Satisfy Emotional Needs Means… (Negative)
What It Means About My Character
I have no willpower.
I’m a hopeless failure.
What It Means to Others (friends, family, colleagues)
Others will judge me as:
A loser because I can’t get my eating under control
An emotional wreck
Not living up to my potential
Someone to look down upon
An example of how not to live
Others think my eating is:
A turn off
What It Means About How I Live My Life
I eat emotionally and that means:
I’ll never stay in a stable weight range and that means:
I’ll stop socializing.
I’ll stop trying to find a partner.
I’ll feel like a failure.
I’ll always be on a diet, trying to get a handle on my weight, and that means:
I’ll always be unhappy.
I’ll always struggle.
My weight will always yo-yo, so I’ll never be able to maintain a normal weight.
What It Means About My Ability to Be in Relationships
My emotional eating means that:
I’ll always be fat, and that means:
I won’t be loved.
I’ll end up alone.
No one will want me.
I won’t be able to attract the kind of partner I want because I’ll be judged for not being more together and in control of myself.
No one will want to be in relationship with me because I’m always in a bad mood when I eat emotionally.
I’ll never be able to reveal this shameful practice to my partner, so I’ll always have to hide my munching.
What It Means About My Career
My emotional eating means that:
*I won’t have the respect of my subordinates, peers, or superiors.
*People at work will think I’m weak-willed and lacking in self-esteem.
*I’ll lose out on promotions.
*I’ll talk out my bad moods on my co-workers
*I’ll never live up to my potential.
* If I can’t do a simple thing like manage my weight, I’ll never amount to much.
If you have other stressful beliefs that weren’t listed, take a moment to list them here:
The next few days of Inquiry will help to uncover and regain power over these stressful beliefs.
By Laura Katleman-Prue, author of Skinny Thinking