I wrote this email to a client when she was struggling with her new food guidelines. We decided to remove some of her favorite go-to foods because they were causing inflammation in her body and keeping her from losing the weight she badly wanted to shed.
She mentioned how helpful it was for her to hear this message at that moment, and allowed me to share it with you just in case this is exactly what you need to hear.
You are not doing anything wrong. What's coming up to the surface without food as a bandage are the true feelings you have been having about your life that haven't been registering (or have been dulled) by the use of food as comfort.
I have been where you are, and I totally hear what you are going through. You are not crazy, you are not failing, you are just beginning to see with clarity all the ways in which your life needs to change in order for you to feel truly happy.
There are two important components of a happy life. Achievement (growth, creation, production); most people achieve this through school and work. And then there’s Fulfillment (spiritual growth, inner peace, nature, connection, self-exploration, helping others, giving of yourself, meditation, contemplation).
One without the other leaves someone miserable. Someone who creates a billion dollar company can buy whatever they want, but will still feel empty and depressed if they have no fulfillment. On the other hand, you can have someone doing deep exploration of themselves, but without achievement will feel a sense of loss and lack of purpose.
You might be missing one or both crucial components of a healthy and happy life. This is why food is taking on so much more power than you ever intended it to have.
I promise you that if you commit wholeheartedly to the process (and I'm not talking about eating perfectly, but rather committing to the growth, the exploration of yourself, the search for your life's purpose) that I can help you not only lose the weight permanently, but your entire life will change. This will come with lots of blood, sweat, many tears, and a ton of "failure" along the way. All I'm asking is that you continue to show up for yourself every day.
Please be easy on yourself. Get a good night's rest and reset tomorrow. If you need to go to the store and buy some chocolate popsicles so you have dessert every night, please do that. If you need to eat a snack right before bed, please do that as well. Buy some gluten-free crackers, or perhaps some gluten-free bread, so you can make a half of sandwich. Find the middle ground so you don't fall off the deep end.
There is no failure. There simply isn't. You are learning where you are in contrast to where you want to be, and contrast is the only thing that creates true desire for change. There is always chaos before true change.
Read this letter over and over again. When you feel the desire to eat, come back to this my friend. Take deep breaths. Ask yourself, what are you truly hungry for? What do you need at this moment? If it's comfort, how can you get that in a different way?
If you are going to eat something crappy, slow down. No manic eating, you must promise me. If you want to eat sugar from a spoon, do it slowly and intentionally. Feel the sugar in your mouth. Ask yourself if it's doing for you what you thought it would when you had the craving.
Stay the course. Each moment you can decide to reset. No self-judgment. It's the only way to heal.