Eating at night used to be a difficult, embattled, frequent experience for me.
It’s not uncommon….I’ve heard and worked with many others who have the same experience.
Evening is “down” time.
Night time is “free” time.
This was the time when I wasn’t working, or studying, or training physically, or self-improving (at least, I wanted NOT to be doing these things).
I also didn’t have to be out there in the world in contact with people.
I could have my own space to do as I wished.
The thing is, when I finally said “OK, it’s free time, so let’s do something fun!” my mind would go through the rounds of what “fun” is and hesitate or eliminate them because of guilt.
“You should clean out the garage, or at least get started. You should start on the taxes. You should do the dishes. You should do something productive. You should watch an educational video.”
I had free time, but the mind would start thinking about all the things I should be doing.
What I really wanted was some escape from the relentless task-master mind that couldn’t give me more than a five minute break from being highly productive, completing things, handling projects, and “doing, doing, doing”.
I still have this tendency to “do” quite a lot. (But it’s more restful than it once was).
What do you think happens when someone is yelling at you to do all the unfinished projects you haven’t completed yet?
If you’re like me (which you probably are if you’re interested in eating peace) then your first thought is often to get away from that dictator yelling at you to accomplish stuff! Even if the dictator is YOU! Especially if it’s you!
What a great way to rebel fiercely, gobble sweetness and comfort, find solace, get comfortable, throw it all to the wind: EAT!!!
It was almost like I had a rebel voice inside that would say “Screw it, I’ll do whatever I want…where’s the food!?”
Eating at night turned out to override the dictator mind, but it didn’t last.
And then, it got worse.
That same mind that was trying to be rebellious and gain distraction or comfort by eating, turned into a raging nasty mean one by saying “You did it again. What’s wrong with you? You’re such a loser. You’re selfish, piggish and greedy to eat so much and not be able to stop. Why should you even bother living?”
It’s like a split personality, that mind. Encouraging you to eat, then criticizing you for eating. Completely insane!
What I didn’t know at the time, was that my eating was a by-product, or a direct result, of my thinking.
I thought confused, mean, attacking thoughts. I thought desperate, victimized, I-need-comfort thoughts. I thought of myself as a victim. (I was. Of my own thoughts). I thought food was my best friend, and then my worst enemy. I feared being too fat. I hated my body.
And these were just the thoughts related to food and eating!
I also had thoughts I believed that felt the same about family, neighbors, teachers, friends, siblings.
To be honest….the stressful, uncomfortable, troubling thoughts about family and people close to me in my world since childhood actually came first….before all the thoughts about food and eating and bodies. Or maybe some were simultaneously born, who knows, but one thing I do see is the following pattern:
Think – Feel – Act – Have
I thought something, I felt the consequences or response to that thought, I acted on the feeling, and the results were what I had.
It’s very speedy quick.
Today, I wanted to share more about the flow and pattern of Think – Feel – Act – Have and how I experienced it with off-balance eating.
The most important thing I found?
I couldn’t eat uncomfortably without feeling and thinking uncomfortably first!
Eating off-balance always followed feeling off-balance, which always followed thinking off-balance.
It’s great news in the end….because you can identify your thoughts, and then question them using The Work of Byron Katie. The power of inquiry is stunning.
It literally leads to slowing down the mind, which slows down the eating. At least that’s been my experience, and many others who want to learn to heal their eating from the inside out.
If you’d like to learn more about the way thoughts lead to eating, and how to understand the cycle, then please come join me for an upcoming webinar I do only once a year: Seven Stressful Thoughts That Keep People Struggling With Eating…And How To Dissolve Them.
This is a very rich, thorough masterclass-style webinar, where we meet once for this training. It will be 90 minutes (and maybe a little more depending on Q & A). I’ll offer it at the following three times, and you’ll be able to pick one, and join me, if you register.
- Saturday, November 4th 7:30 am
- Tuesday, November 7th 4:00 pm
- Thursday, November 9th 8:00 am
I can’t wait to teach this class again (I always update and tweak it from previous times I’ve taught it). I’m so looking forward to sharing this path to eating peace with you.
Register for Eating Peace Webinar: Seven Stressful Thoughts to Question That Keep Eating a Battlefield and How To Turn Them Around To Declare Eating Peace HERE.