Food, Emotions + Fasting
Over the last few months I’ve found myself using food as a coping mechanism.
To cure boredom.
Distract myself from reality.
I then realised I could not remember the last time I had felt the sensation of hunger. Hunger had been my biggest fear over the two decades of on-and-off dieting I had endured. All the restriction, counting of calories and concern with weight. The last thing on earth I wanted to feel was hungry and deprived.
Since ditching dieting for good a couple of years ago I’ve embraced the concept of Intuitive Eating. I’ve written and explained more about this practice here. Some of the key principles include honouring your hunger and also honouring your feelings without using food. With these principles inmind I have decided to also deepen my connection to my body and my emotions by embracing Intermittent Fasting – a process of eating within an 8 hour window and fasting for 16 hours each day. There have been a number of studies outlining the benefits of this eating pattern including reduction of inflammation in the body, enhanced cell repair processes and increases in energy levels.
I have been applying this way of eating for the last week and I have to say I am really enjoying it. I’ve been naturally waking up super early, feeling well rested, and experiencing clarity in thought throughout my day.
Some people take it to a whole new level by heavily reducing their carbohydrate intake enforcing a state of (fat burning) ketosis – however given my colourful history with food I’m not prepared to start dividing foods into Yes and No categories! I continue to eat what I want and am making a huge effort to really listen in to how I am feeling throughout the day, particularly during this 8 hour window.
Before commencing any changes in your eating and movement routine it is very important to get clear on your INTENTION and get clear on your WHY. Ensure you are coming from a place of love and kindness.
Another practice that has been super supportive as part of my emotional eating journey has been meditation. Meditation allows us an inner stillness and space which helps us to connect to both our bodies and emotions. I find even taking 5-10 minutes to sit in silence and focus on my breathe really relaxing. When reaching for food to numb and disconnect from emotions we are not allowing ourselves to fully lean into what is arising. If we allowed ourselves to truly feel our emotions and identify the root cause they would eventually dissolve and there would be no reason to mindlessly reach for food.
If you yourself have identified as someone who is having challenges with their own eating patterns please feel free to send me an email and I will point you in right direction. I appreciate deeply the struggles you might be facing and want to provide support and love towards your own journey.
Sending a tonne of love,