“I’m not going to cry, I’m going to eat a bag of chips and quart of rocky road.”
With food so readily available, emotional eating is a common way Americans manage their stressful emotions. Whether we are afraid, alone, insecure or sad, food can be our go to comfort.
Emotional eating is the way we avoid feeling what we don’t want to feel. Like other addictions, it is a distraction from our emotional pain or painful environment. By stuffing yourself to the point of discomfort, you can shift your attention from your emotional feelings to that familiar full feeling. Feeling overfull in your tummy can keep you from feeling that old broken heart or your deep feelings of shame of being abused by your father.
Many people learn this pattern of eating to not feel, as children. Some families pass it down by encouraging eating certain foods to make you feel better. “Here have this brownie. It will make you feel better.” I grew up with a mom who strictly controlled all the food. We always had to go through her to get any of the good stuff, like cookies, candy or ice cream. We were always rationed to small portions while she could have more and helped herself to these scarce food treasures. I found that as I got older, I would be especially prone to overeat this kind of junk food when anything in my life felt out of control. If I couldn’t pay a bill, keep the house perfect or keep all five of my kids happy; I would find myself buying and eating the entire bag of Mint Milanos. It was something I knew I could control. No one can stop me! I’m in charge! I’m in control! I have power! Rather than being with my own powerlessness, I grabbed a bag of cookies and ate them all to prove I still had power. “I’m not powerless. I can buy my favorite food and eat it all and no one can stop me.”
Forgiveness is a powerful tool that can change the behaviors that hold you back from a fulfilling life. Hold your fear release points (directly under the collar bone) and remember to breathe after each statement as you use the following forgiveness statements to raise your awareness and to help you let go of your emotional eating.
I forgive myself for believing I can’t change my relationship with food.
I forgive myself for believing my emotional eating can’t change.
I forgive myself for believing that feeling stuffed is my only source of comfort.
I forgive myself for believing I would rather feel stuffed than feel sad.
I forgive myself for believing the sadness will never change.
I forgive myself for believing that when I feel powerless, eating whatever I want and as much as I want can make me feel powerful.
I forgive myself for using food as a way to feel powerful when I am powerless in other areas of my life.
I forgive myself for making myself sick with food.
I forgive myself for believing I can’t stop overeating.
I forgive myself for overeating.
I forgive myself for hating myself.
I forgive my mother (or other specific family member) for teaching me to use food for control.
I forgive teaching my children to use food for control.
I forgive myself for using food to avoid feelings.
I forgive my father (or other) for controlling my environment with fear so I constantly stored up for future loss and abandonment.
I give my father/mother permission to forgive me for blaming them for my unhealthy relationship with food.