4 Ways to Emotionally Repair Your Relationship with Food

By on October 7, 2015
4 ways to repair your emotional relationship with food

By Collin McShirley –

Are you someone who reaches for the phone and orders a pizza or runs to the market to get a quart of ice cream if you’re sad, happy, bored, or lonely? Do you constantly think about food or are uncomfortable in your own skin?

If any of those statements resonate with you, you might want to examine your relationship with food. A lot of people tune out when they have difficult feelings and opt to use food for comfort instead of a healthier alternative, like a walk in the park or a movie with friends. I have worked with a lot of women who have eaten emotionally, and as a lot of you know I used to struggle with it as well. In my work with clients I have found 4 emotional keys that start to help repair your relationship with food. 

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Optimism: Optimism provides power over painful experiences. Every time I would eat emotionally or in secret I felt shame and guilt, which at the time was indeed painful. I realized though that going through those experiences made me understand what it truly felt like and in turn makes me a powerful supporter for my clients. If I could survive my emotional relationship with food then so could others who experienced the same thing. When I realized this, I found that every tough experience holds a valuable lesson. The true meaning of optimism is realizing that the more painful the event, the more profound the lesson. Once you bring this knowledge into your heart and how it relates to your relationship with food you can never again look at a set back as all bad. Optimism gives you power. 
Love: We often think that being loved by someone is the best feeling in the world, but it’s really the second best. The best thing you can do to heal your relationship is food is to love yourself first. Sometimes this is difficult for men and women who have fallen into the habit of using food as punishment, but a vital step is acknowledging that you want to change because you deserve to be happy and healthy. 
Perspective: People who struggle with their relationship with food tend to see things in black in white. People who have a healthy relationship with food see things in shades of gray. For example, if someone who has an unhealthy relationship with food has a binging episode and over does it one night they automatically think that it’s always going to be that way and they shouldn’t even try to get better. People who have a healthy relationship with food will say, well today I may of over done it a bit and I notice I feel too full, but tomorrow is a new day and there is always a new meal to start over with. 
Proactivity: People who have a healthy relationship with food participate in their own destinies and create their own happiness. They don’t wait for events or other people to make them happy. They’re not passive, but understand that in order for there to be change in their lives and their relationship with food they need to reach outside their comfort zone and practice healthy coping mechanisms that will help them break free from emotional eating. 
Looking to break free from emotional eating and learn to love your body? Want to do it from the comfort of your home? Go to collinmcshirley.com and sign up for our E-COURSE to learn how to stop eating emotionally. Individual coaching sessions available to help support you. Call for a free 20 minute discovery session on phone or Skype by giving promo code “livingbetter50.” 

About Collin McShirley

Collin Christine McShirley, MA lives in Santa Barbara,CA she has a masters in clinical psychology and is certified in body image, self esteem, and emotional eating. She is also certified in healthy aging from Boston University. She coaches both women and men of all ages on how to learn to love their bodies, break free from emotional eating, and build self-esteem. She is available to coach on the phone and on Skype with people from all over the world. If you're interested in working with her please visit her website at collinmcshirley.com and call or email to set up an appointment.

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4 Ways to Emotionally Repair Your Relationship with Food