I just had a great conversation with a weight management client, for this purpose I will call her Beverly (not her real name). Beverly was concerned that she might start emotional or stress eating again because of a situation that is ongoing in her life. She was pleased that so far the emotional eating hasn’t begun, but she wanted to be sure it didn’t. So we talked about the situation and what she could realistically do about it.
First of all, Beverly realized that she cannot control the other person (I shall call Judy) involved or Judy’s actions. The only person she can control is herself. If she begins to eat for emotional reasons, then Beverly has lost control of the only person whom she can regulate. The tricky part then is to not allow Judy to have so much power over her. Judy isn’t in Beverly’s life on a consistent basis, hasn’t been for years. The issue goes back several years and while the Judy may not have done the right thing by Beverly, nothing can change the past. Beverly admitted that she has thought angry, jealous and hurtful thoughts about Judy for years. Meanwhile, Judy has continued to live her life as if nothing ever happened.
How often do we all do that, hold onto hurt or resentments that cause us to lose out on the rest and best of life? I have certainly been guilty of that. Because I hadn’t gotten my perception of justice, I was still feeling the imbalance of the scales and holding onto my pain. Then, it occurred to me that I was suffering by my own thoughts way more than anyone else had ever inflicted pain on me! Doing the math is what made it obvious to me. I mentioned this in my post, I’m Not Gollum, “If you break things down into numbers and percentages though, how much of your total day did you deal with that one incident?”
When we hold onto pain, it is natural to want to self-medicate. Some people do that with alcohol, some with drugs or shopping and in the case of my weight clients, it is often food. Food becomes the drug of choice, although not a very effective one. In fact, the pain still resides inside their head, and now they have added guilt and remorse and other unhealthy side effects.
I suggested to Beverly that she begin to take back her thoughts. When she noticed herself going in that direction, clap out loud and say STOP! She could get up and sing a song or she could go for a quick brisk walk. The idea is to interrupt those thoughts, suddenly and then redirect her attention to something that will benefit her. I have had many clients buy helium filled balloons. Then write what it is they need to let go of on the balloons and release them by the water. This is a great visual ritual that allows you to see your issues leave.
In trance we do the release of the balloons as well as the prisoners (those who offended us). Then we can create a shield of light that is filled with love to surround us. The subconscious mind is then given permission to find healthier ways of dealing with the pain and the stress. For each person it may be a different activity, that powerful subconscious knows what is perfect.
So, if you find yourself stress eating or eating for emotional reasons, maybe you want to consider releasing your “prisoners” and old negative thoughts. Maybe it is time to evict those hurtful folks and put a no vacancy sign up instead!