Emotional Eating vs Emotional Feeling

Over the course of the week, I felt myself getting agitated and when I checked my calendar, I realized, it was a week before BFF.  I knew it was coming and had taken time to think through ahead in order to manage my eating.  It came on sudden though, and my responses seemed reactionary. My attitude was not good. I was short with my family and had an overall state of negativity.  I tried talking myself out of it because I knew it was happening (total revelation), I was watching it, watching my thoughts.

I’m not sure if you read or believe in the concepts from the book, “The Power of Now” but I’ve read it multiple times and listen to it often.  I do believe in the ego self (the bible calls the flesh) and the pain-body.  This was a hard concept for me to grasp in the beginning but after listening to Eckhart multiple times, I started to understand what he was referring to and how as a female, the pain-body is strong during TOM.

When I was noticing my reactions, I was getting upset because I was acting like a child.  I finally decided to change my state by drinking coffee. Believe it or not, it worked. I immediately felt better.  Not ideal in the long term, but it helped shift my focus.  The pattern lasted about 3 days.  On the third day, my son actually pointed it out to me and I heard myself responding with an excuse, “It’s hormones.” That may be true, but it cannot become a separate identity I use to explain my behavior.  Instead, I know I can control it during those times, monitor what’s happening and feel the emotions.

On Tuesday, I had a situation occur where I felt like another person trying to take advantage of us.  Of course it hurt, but also sparked anger.  I’ve had some negative interactions with this person a few weeks prior where his lack of integrity shined through.  My immediate response was, “I’m going to show him how I know he’s trying to ‘pass one over one us’.”  Now this was crazy talk and I knew it yet the emotions which followed were intense. But this time, because I was aware of it, I made a point to talk myself through it, to feel the emotions coming up as a result of this situation.  It wasn’t easy because I was so used to eating to deal with them.

This time, I was in the car, there wasn’t any food around and frankly, I was stern with myself by saying I needed to start feeling these emotions.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing or if I was feeling correctly but I did it.  While I was driving, I let the emotions come like waves in the ocean and it felt strange, but while deep breathing, I could literally feel the emotions passing through and out. It felt therapeutic.

When things seemed to pass, I shifted my focus and started listening to a book which made me happy.  In the back of my mind, I knew I had to respond to this person eventually, but by feeling the emotions and not reacting immediately, it helped for when I did respond. What I said later came from a logical place rather than an emotional one. It helped significantly.

It seems minor but I can say this one small change rippled into all areas of my life.  I didn’t binge on food. Instead, I felt more in control for the rest of the day. I did what made me happy and I was in a better mood for it.  Interacting with others felt better, I was more productive because I wasn’t constantly distracted by the emotions of what happened that morning.  Ruminating thoughts were non-existent. I went on with my routine and felt good.

Feeling emotions are not inherent to me. I’ve struggled with identifying when they come and ultimately how to manage them.  In the past, I’ve most often turned to food for immediate comfort.  However, my health suffered and I know in order for me to be a better person, to give back to others in the world, I will need to manage emotions a lot better (This is Dan Goldman’s entire premise in his book, “Emotional Intelligence”).

I’m grateful for where I am today because I know it’s the path to eternal peace and joy.  I am excited about helping women find this peace and freedom.  Imagine how much healthier our world will be…

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