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The Power of Surrender – The End of Emotional Eating
Are you a slave to emotional eating? Many of you want to eat healthier but there are circumstances in your life preventing you from actually taking the steps to making healthier choices. Let me tell you what I mean. You might be in a job you dislike, in a relationship in which you are not happy, perpetually arguing with your child, feeling lonely, battling an addiction or simply not knowing your purpose. Each of these challenges can lead a person to not want to treat their body like the temple that it is. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the power of surrender.
I invite you to go back, in your mind, to when you were a baby. Try to remember how it felt to be held in your mother’s arms, close to the same heartbeat you listened to in the womb, being nourished with warm milk, feeling completely safe and supported. Remember when you were nourished by the milk you drank and fed by your close contact with your mother or father. Most babies experience this profound and total nourishment as her or his first engagement with the physical world.
Now, have a look at how you are eating now, a few years later. You might have spent the day working in a mundane job that pays the bills or got in a fight with your spouse for the umpteenth time or been mistreated by a friend and so you pull into your favourite fast food joint, saying “What’s the use? The last thing I want is something healthy when I am feeling this lousy. I need comfort food and I need it fast.” You might down a bowl of ice cream or a bag of chips or a whole chocolate bar. You might make a midnight run to your local variety store and indulge in a bag of candy. Each of these examples entails “Emotional Eating” and many of us do it on a regular basis.
“Hunger is deeply personal – it is the unanswered side of our dreams; it is born of the need for completion, fulfillment and serenity. When we become aware of what we are hungry for, we can begin to seek the appropriate nourishment.” Feeding the Hungry Heart by Geneen Roth.
What is it that you are truly hungry for? When you have had a couple of glasses of wine or spend time with your best friend, how do you or would you describe your deepest desire? What are you most afraid of doing? What do you dream of doing or becoming?
When is it time to put your needs first? When will you be strong enough to say “no”? When are you going to start setting boundaries as to how you spend your time or how you are spoken to or what you feel is acceptable in your life? When are you going to stop living the life you feel you “should” be living and truly live the life you want to live? What part of your life do you need to surrender in order to truly respect yourself?
It is only when you begin to address these questions that you will start to find the love for yourself that you need, in order to allow food to not only feed you but to nourish you. All any of us want is to be happy and the only way to happiness is coming to love ourselves. And the only way to love ourselves is to surrender whatever is not working for us and grab hold of our deepest desires, never letting go.
“The drive to eat compulsively is not about food. It is about hungers. The hunger of regret and sorrow, of unspoken anger, unrealized dreams; the hungers of your own potential that are waiting to be filled, like a baby bird’s mouth. The more you run from them, the more they threaten to overtake you, consume you, so the more you run from them. Something in you – the voice of your hungers – does not want you to die without having realized your own uniqueness, so it calls to you. When you don’t listen, it screams at you. When you run, it follows you. Trying to escape from it is like trying to escape from your own shadow….
“Yet when you stop running, you stop being afraid. It turns out that the fear of hunger is worse than the hunger itself.” Feeding the Hungry Heart by Geneen Roth.
Have you experienced the power of surrender? What have you surrendered and how has your life changed for the better? Please start the dialogue and encourage others to do the same. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Hi Meredith – to me the power of surrender is just accepting what is right now! Nothing in this life is permanent, everything is always dynamic so to surrender, stops the resistance! I have a story from my experience on this. I believe I have learned to honour my body and eat healthy, I do not handle alcohol well and don’t eat fast food. What I do love is my tea…yes, what I called real tea (black full caffeine) I always thought – at least I have my tea! It was my comfort food. A couple of years ago I really noticed how I was getting a mild headache every morning after my tea and thought – No Way, this isn’t fair – it’s my only bad habit. (haha) Well – I resisted it for a long time and dealt with the side effects. Then in the spring as Lent was approaching, I knew what I had to do. I gave up black tea for the 40 days and WOW, I discovered other flavourful teas that did not have caffeine and I felt so much better. My surrender showed a new way to enjoy tea and for today, it’s working! Great topic – well written!
Thank you, Karen. You gave a perfect example of surrender – good for you! By the way, one of my nutrition teachers said “If you can just get a person off of caffeine, you will have done an incredible job as a nutritionist.” I hope others will join in the sharing. Perfect timing with Lent being here.