A highly effective way to blot out your life.
Do you want to dull your emotions? Do you want to avoid painful or extreme feelings? Or tune out what happened today, yesterday, or even last year? Do you want to stop your mind from churning because of what somebody said, or did, or didn’t do? Or because of what you said, or did or didn’t do? You know – all the daily stresses that can bring you down, and then twist you around.
Well, there is one sure-fire way to manage all the above (and more). And it’s cheap (relatively speaking). It’s legal, easy to get, and very easy to do. And, it’s an activity that comes naturally to most of us – i.e., to eat.
Yes, ladies and gents, destructive eating is one sure-fire way to wend your way through life. I’m not talking about the healthy X-meals-a-day kind of eating – I assume you already know about that. Bo-ring!
And I’m not talking about enjoying a special treat once in a while, or marking a special occasion with special foods. Or even being a bit self-indulgent.
No, I’m talking about extra eating that goes beyond all that. Destructive eating (sometimes known as emotional eating or stress eating) is shoveling food into your mouth whenever you feel a bit uncomfortable, physically, mentally or emotionally. Destructive eating is consuming whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. Whenever things don’t go your way.
Like emotional and stress eating, destructive eating is not about satisfying hunger. Destructive eating is about satisfying the need to avoid what’s bothering you with no regard for the consequences. Eating like there was no tomorrow. Eating as if no one was watching. Eating as if it was an amateur sport. Destructive eating. Using food to plug up the emptiness inside. To nullify the boredom. Soothe the loneliness.
A crappy idea, with one big plus. It works. Absolutely.
Until it doesn’t. And until the consequences outweigh (if you’ll pardon the scale reference) the benefits. And by consequences, I refer to more than the obvious weight-related concerns. That’s what receives the lion’s share of attention, when weight is but a symptom designed to distract us from the real issues. (Hint: the real issues are the ones we don’t want to look at, because they are painful or difficult.)
No, ladies and gents. The real consequences of destructive eating involve being cut off from your true self. Being cut off from your emotions and your god-given internal guidance systems (such as your intuition, and gut instincts) and from your authentic self. These emotions and guidance systems still work, of course, but on a very low level. And, if you don’t care about that, so be it.
But if you do care, and want to make changes, then there are 3 things you can do right away.
First, say out loud (to yourself ) that when you are stressed, you eat (When I’m stressed I eat) or that you are an emotional eater (I am an emotional eater).
Second, say out loud (to yourself) that you are a destructive eater (I am a destructive eater) – a much harder thing to admit.
Finally, tell yourself you want to stop destructive eating (I want to stop destructive eating).
Do this several times a day for at least 3 weeks. And you will notice a change. Congratulations. You’ve begun the process.
At some point, you will start to feel your emotions (if you haven’t already) and you will have a deeper understanding of why you turned to food in the first place. (Remember, destructive eating works!) Your adventure may get a bit rocky, depending on how long you’ve been relying on destructive eating to get you through. But if you’re really struggling, you may want to consider some professional support and guidance to help you along.
Know this. It’s worth it, for a fuller life.