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Better Everyday #49 Emotional Eating with Tricia Nelson

We’ve covered what to eat for pretty much every hormone in your body thus far on this podcast but today we take a deep dive into food from a totally different angle. We eat food for a thousand different reasons beyond energy or even convenience and whether you’re experiencing full on binges or just find yourself comforting or rewarding with food often this episode is for you! Tricia shares her own story with emotional eating and her history of being overweight and how no amount of dieting or exercising fixed it because that wasn’t her root cause. She got to the bottom of why she overate and healed her deep down stuff and thus healed her relationship with food.

Tricia shares what she’s found in 30 years of doing this work to be the causes of emotional eating and why we turn to food: pain killer, escaping fear and punishment. Fascinating, especially that last one as so often we think of food as a treat or a reward. Great tools in this show that will help us all have a healthier relationship with food. Learn more about Tricia here.

We are planning MORE Q&A episodes in the coming months so send us yours at bettereverydaypodcast@gmail.com!  Follow us on Facebook together or keep up with Dr Brooke here and Sarah here. Learn more about working with Dr Brooke at betterbydrbrooke.com and with Sarah at sarahfragoso.com (obviously). Oh and you can find Dr Brooke and Sarah on Instagram as well.

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FROM DR BROOKE

As we were talking to Tricia in this episode two things stood out that I talk about all the time. Punishment and the idea of “I deserve this food because blah blah”. These are two very tricky terrains to navigate.

So often food and exercise are tied to some sort of punishment. We can’t have that food because we need to punish ourselves for missing a workout or eating that bad bad thing yesterday or just for being unhappy with our body (i.e. I can’t have that because I’m fat or lazy or frumpy don’t look good in my bathing suit or whatever). OR we have to punish ourselves at the gym because we ate something we feel we shouldn’t have or again because we feel fat, frumpy, etc. Perhaps also it’s just the mental punishment we put ourselves through when we aren’t eating or living in a way we think we should…and here comes the guilt. Which is absolutely a form of punishment – and one that doesn’t solve anything! Feeling bad about it doesn’t change what happened, makes us feel bad and makes it hard to do better at your next choice.

Eating food and working out are acts of self love and we really must keep them that way because they are already loaded with landmines of emotional baggage. This is why #nourishnotpunish is my mantra when it comes to food and exercise. They are things we need to do and staying in the right mindset keeps us from doing them in excess (dieting, over-exercising), avoiding them cuz they feel bad (getting the eff-its) or doing the right things but feeling like crap while you’re at it  (eating a sad salad or cursing your reps at the gym).

The second head-game we talked about is the idea of deserve. Watch yourself, see how many times you use justifications to rationalize choosing a particular food or skipping the gym or staying up too late or avoiding meditation. It feels like we’re being kind to ourselves, letting ourselves off the hook, taking it easy, rewarding or giving ourselves a treat. But here’s the thing ladies: real acts of self love don’t need any justifications or reasons. You don’t need to explain why you deserve self care or self love, so it’s a sure fire way to know you may not be in integrity with your true wants and that something that feels like self love is actually not so much. If we follow up a choice around food, self care or exercise with a lot of justifications there’s almost always part of you that knows it’s not in your best interest – you’re literally trying to talk yourself into it. This is one of the misery makers along with guilt, the shoulds (as in I really should order that salad but I want pizza….), unfairness and comparison.

So opt out of “deserve” and just own your choices. And by all means #nourishnotpunish.

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