November 17, 2015

Food = Love?

For many of us, our first connection with food was through our mother’s breast when she held us and stared lovingly into our eyes while we suckled ourselves into bliss.

This bond and connection we had while being fed by our parent(s) can often set the course for many of us to equate food with love. And why wouldn’t we?? We are getting a basic need met through the connection of love and intimacy.

As we got older we may have been rewarded with food when we did good on a test, or even got our favorite treat if we had a bad day or got a boo-boo.

Sometimes we turned to food for comfort when we didn’t have any where else to turn, or any way to express our emotions, or the tools to communicate what we were feeling, because let’s face it; FOOD IS SAFE and it will NEVER turn its back on us!

This comfort seeking in food tends to turn to binge eating, emotional eating and over eating. In times of stress, we turn to food. If we’re sad, we turn to food. If we’re bored, we turn to food.  We lean on it. It becomes our friend. You get the idea.

How many times have you sat down in front of your TV at night and ate mindlessly? GUILTY! Or continued to eat even when you’re not hungry?! Guilty, AGAIN!

It always blows my mind how many people are in a FOOD PRISON. I used to be one of them.
I work with clients every day with this very struggle. Food is their every thought. They do “good” and eat healthy for a while, and then something happens in their life, and they get off track and spiral downward. They sabotage their efforts.

At this point, they just decide to throw it all away, because they feel like a complete failure. And then their body starts to betray them, and they feel bad physically. Then they might realize they need to make a change, so they look for the next quick fix. But a quick fix is not what will help.

What I have learned from my own journey and experience with emotional and binge eating, is there IS NO QUICK FIX. It takes courage and brevity to turn and face it. It takes action, perseverance and digging deep to break these ingrained habits and patterns that have been laying their tracks since childhood.

One way I began to break this cycle was to hire a coach to support me in taking the journey inward. I knew that trying another diet or food program would not fix what was going on inside me. Yes, meal plans are great and work for many, but what I realized is that my feelings didn’t disappear with a meal plan.  It was time to go deeper to see what I was REALLY hungry for when I overate and turned to food. I wanted to know why I turned to food in times of need, stress, loneliness and boredom. What was I looking to fill?

This was definitely an intense process, and at times achingly hard, but I knew that if I wanted to experience freedom in my life with food, and my body, I needed to go deeper.

Do you know what I discovered as I was going through this journey of self-discovery? That what I was really seeking and hungry for was; LOVE, CONNECTION and VALIDATION.

After uncovering this, I began to work more with my coach on what steps to take to be able to give myself that love and connection I was needing. I had turned away from myself and disconnected from my own body and heart. I was putting my value and worth in the way my body looked and what I weighed. Wow, what a PRISON I was in.

Little by little, I started to break free, and release the shackles that bound me. And now I can truly say that I am no longer in the prison of my own making. It took time, dedication and commitment, but it was worth every step.

If this is something that you are experiencing, it’s time to take charge of your life and break yourself free. One place I recommend starting is by reading the book, “When Food is Love,” by Geneen Roth. Actually any book by Geneen is amazing!

And, if you are really ready to take it a few steps further, and you need the support and accountability to do so, please email me and let’s have a conversation. I want to support you in diving deeper and really starting to break yourself out of prison. Remember, the only way out is through!

Look at how one of my clients found her freedom, “Before I started your program, I felt so overwhelmed with various programs that I lost touch with what is organic/authentic for me.  I am finally re-connecting with myself again and feeling liberated with this new sense of discovery!!!!”

Your turn?

Love your Body, Love your Food, Free Yourself!

Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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