We eat as a result of what we think and feel. Here’s how to reverse engineer eating battles, and change our thinking.

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.

“Empty” 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.

Much love,

Grace

How do we question thoughts that fuel eating? Like this.

Sometimes we have to improvise or make a small change in order to respond to the way reality and life is flowing.

I just did it this morning.

I made an eating peace video for you on my front porch instead of in my little kitchen inside my cottage, the way I usually do. I’m teaching a four day retreat on The Work of Byron Katie and a lovely group have come from all corners of the US and Canada to sit and question thoughts.

While the focus of this autumn retreat underway right now isn’t specifically about eating (Eating Peace Retreat is Jan 11-15), some of the folks attending can totally relate to food or weight being a problem….and they know questioning stress in their lives can help reduce the compulsion to overeat, or compulsion to over-think really, about food.

What I’m sharing today?

I’m talking about how simple it is to question your stressful thoughts about feeling uncomfortable, feeling fear, feeling powerless.

Except I know, it’s NOT that easy for us sometimes.

We feel really uncomfortable and troubled….but we don’t even know why.

And the next thing we know, we’re eating.

But it may not be as hard as you think to deal with painful and difficult emotions.

Start with only one single situation, one person who hurt you, betrayed you, frightened you. Don’t start with YOU either. We get so tempted to examine and investigate ourselves, but it doesn’t work as well if you do this (so much effort to self-improve).

I always found my discomfort rose out of reactions to other people, worry about how they felt AND about how I felt.

So start there, with someone else who’s had an impact on your life.

Now…I also mention in the video that if all you can think of is a stressful thought about eating, like “I HAVE TO EAT SOMETHING NOW!” then it’s OK to start right there, because it’s so front and center.

You can question any stressful, demanding, frightened thought.

I always use The Work of Byron Katie. The step-by-step process works so beautifully.

You can trust it. Follow the simple directions.

If improvising and making changes in your daily routine causes stress, question the thoughts you have about change.

Who would you be without your troubling story?

Much love,

Grace

P.S.  Next week, I’ll be sending out word about how to register for a free webinar: Seven Beliefs to Question, Seven Turnarounds to Live–Using The Work to Return to Sanity and Eating Peace. These will meet November 4, 7 and 9th. Stay tuned. I’ll share about the Eating Peace Process program at the very end of the webinar, for those interested in joining with others to question your thinking when it comes to food, eating, the body, feelings, and life.

Slow as Molasses: The first belief to stand on to change your eating

My grandma used to comment and shake her head and my three sisters and I if she was taking us out……
“Slow as molasses”.
She always had a twinkle in her eye, and loved going on adventures.
The other day, I thought of her as I was spending some time with a little ebook I’ve written in the past, updating and changing it and adding to it.
I wanted to bring you an exercise you can do every single day for seven days….after considering the seven tricky and common beliefs people (including me) think that tend to keep us conflicted and in the middle of eating wars, not so much eating peace.
I like easy step-by-step recipes. Not long ago, I downloaded a lovely seven days of different green smoothies, and it made trying a new smoothie each day for seven days so incredibly easy! I wanted to give you a sense of one small thing you can do each day too, to help with self-inquiry and eating issues of any kind. To download the updated Eating Peace guide, click here. (Feedback welcome).
I know following a process isn’t always easy, when it comes to the mind. The mind is so fast, and so full. But that’s what I love so much about The Work of Byron Katie.
It’s a way to focus on one specific single dilemma, conflict, or painful belief, and explore it to see if it’s really true for you….step-by-step. What a relief to follow the directions, and investigate, and find the turnarounds.
Today, I made a video for you to share about exploring the very first painful belief I share in the Eating Peace eguide: Urgency.
I used to eat super fast. When I binged, I had a constant flow of energy to get more, more, more. Hardly tasting the thing I was currently eating before grabbing for the next bite.
Even slow graze-eating all evening, I would have a restless buzzing where I couldn’t stop. Or at least, I believed I couldn’t.
Believing there was a deep imperative need to go as fast as possible (fear, anxiety, demand, forcefulness) for many years blocked me from seeing many other thoughts I had that I might have been able to question, had I slowed down for two seconds.
To keep it simple, we’re only beginning with this extremely common shout the mind sometimes screams from inside, for speed. I used to feel like it was an emergency unless I ate something, or that there was no way I could calmly and slowly chew my meal. I ate literally walking out the door sometimes, and often in my car.
What could it offer, to slow down and be willing to see what else is happening with food, with my mind, with feelings, and with my contact with reality, besides responding to an emergency?
Almost always, my emergency was about relationship, the past, the imagined future, uncomfortable feelings, or self-criticism. When I slowed down my Emergency Switch, I began to understand more what was going on inside me that my eating reflected.
We can keep it simple. Join me here to wonder about the turnaround (hint: being slow). You can start practicing it today, if you follow along with the guide!

Eating Peace Process, a very in-depth high touch program to address all aspects of life with mind and food, is coming in only one month. Stay tuned to watch for my signature free live webinars on eating peace November 4th, 7th and 9th to learn more about how to bring this practice into your daily life, and find out about the immersion program. To read more about it, visit here. If you have questions, email me at any time grace@workwithgrace.com.
Much love,
Grace

Eating Peace: the voice in your head doesn’t have to run your life

Everyone has voices running in their heads, have you noticed?

Of course, you can really only hear your own. It’s there when no one else is talking or you have a quiet space of time, or you’re all alone.

It sometimes talks as if it’s another person, saying “you should go to that party, you shouldn’t wear that, you should weed your yard…you should eat something!”

So goofy. Who is that?

And when it gets mean, or steers you to something you’d really rather not do….like eat more when you’re full, or eat that thing you know makes you feel sick later….then it’s especially odd.

Do I have a companion in my head that’s not exactly friendly?

Yes, it sure seems so. Not friendly at all. Downright violent and totally destructive sometimes.

The thing is, you don’t have to listen to it.

I know that sounds so mundanely simple, you might be thinking “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that!” because you HAVE listened many times and bumped into that voice over and over, and it’s guided your actions or movements, your thoughts and emotions.

But today, despite it sounding a little too simplistic, I suggest you invite that voice in, and find out what it’s really made of, find out what it has to say, and perhaps why it’s chirping all those suggestions that don’t really serve your best interest.

AND most importantly, treat it like it’s not exactly sane. Don’t listen to it. Who’s in charge anyway? You are. The full and complete you. The one who’s listening.

Much love,

Grace

Feelings are not the enemy….or are they?

Feelings!

Sometimes feelings are so chaotic and wild, we feel crazy as they ride through us, along with all our thoughts that caused the feelings in the first place. Feelings seem to cause distress, turmoil, upset and fatigue.

Then, we often want to eat. Whether hungry or not.

(Or smoke, drink, clean, work, gamble, etc).

Escape from the feelings! Change the channel!

But what if you’re treating these wild and moveable sensations in the body like their the enemy, or something you shouldn’t be experiencing?

Long ago, when I was first healing from truly dreadful off-balance eating, I discovered there were a few feelings on my list that I never wanted to feel. Ever.

Anger.

Fear.

Humiliation.

Aloneness or solitude I could handle. Sadness, that was OK. Anxiety was uncomfortable but not the end of the world. Excitement or nervous anticipation was partially fun. Disappointment I thought I could quickly recover from.

But deep anger, resentment, fury, rage–these I judged as horrible. Only mean people have those feelings. Bad people.

Fear was also too uncomfortable. I felt nauseated, couldn’t sleep, short of breath. I’d do anything to get away from fear! (Including eat when not hungry).

Humiliation was the worst of all. Feeling ashamed, or guilty that I did something wrong or someone disapproved of me. Ugh. It was the worst of all. Then I really wanted to hide in my house and eat sweet things, so I felt sweeter about the world. (It never worked for long term).

Something that helped immensely over time, was taking a look at feelings I disliked the most….the ones I considered ENEMIES….

….and judge them, using The Work of Byron Katie.

Is it true you’re a bad person if you experience fear, or anger, or shame?

YES.

Look at those other people over there, acting terrified, or rageful, or deeply self-effacing. Gross. So unpleasant, and unattractive.

Can you absolutely know it’s true it makes someone a BAD person if you experience these human feelings?

No. Reality includes all these feelings. It appears to be a part of the human condition.

How do you react when you believe something’s awful and bad?

I avoid it. I try to get away, stay away, and crush it within. I try not to be angry, fearful, or shameful….ever, ever, ever.

If I DO experience these feelings, I eat.

I don’t ask anyone for help (they’ll think I’m bad, too). I don’t have any other outlets. I try to control what can’t be controlled. Feelings.

It’s a ton of work. I have to stay home a lot, and not be exposed to other people.

But who would I be without this thought? Who would I be without this belief that having these uncomfortable feelings makes me BAD? (Or anyone bad)?

You can look at that other person who’s feeling big feelings you don’t like and see what you’d think of them without the belief they shouldn’t be expressing that feeling.

What would this be like?

Wow.

I’d be feeling these terrible feelings, like riding a roller coaster, and letting them run their course–even hearing their message. Honoring what they have to say. No getting over them.

Allowing the feeling to be here, and allowing me to be a human being feeling it, without judgment.

That feels like freedom.

Turning the thought around: feelings (anger, fear, humiliation) are GOOD to feel. Not bad. It’s only my thoughts about these feelings that are bad, not the feelings themselves.

When I began to live this way with my feelings, even just a little bit, guess what happened to the urge to eat? It relaxed.

It was no longer necessary to stuff in food aggressively with anger. It was no longer necessary to panic with ice cream in bed. It was no longer necessary to shamefully buy something I liked to eat, and eat too much of it in my car.

In the Eating Peace Process, we spend an entire module or segment of the program looking at how to work with feelings.

Especially the ones we resist or hate.

Who would we be without our stories about feelings?

Two live calls per week and many presentations you’ll listen to on your own, this course offers you a structure to thoroughly look at your relationship to food, eating and your body from every angle. To read more about it the Eating Peace Process please visit here.

Much love,

Grace

Eating Peace is everyone’s birthright

There is nothing wrong with you, if you eat off-balance.

It’s a message from some part of yourself to another. It’s a perfect storm of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, experiences, memories, trauma….all unquestioned and believed to be true.

Welcome to self-inquiry, to overcome compulsion, eating, body image issues, upset about food.