In March, at the beginning of the pandemic, I noticed my food fear starting to come up again. It hadn’t been there for more than a decade—and then all of the sudden I recognized those feelings rising to the surface.
At the time, many people were in a panic mode…storing up supplies and hoarding food. My brother and sister-in-law were living with me and I started to get nervous that they were eating all the food. Everything was so unknown surrounding COVID-19. We didn’t know how long we’d be quarantined. I began to see those old fear patterns around not having enough food. And that was a clear indication of an unresolved core fear being brought to the surface—the feeling of being out of control with food (and out of control in general).
This fear all started shortly after I got sober. I turned to food as another way of numbing out. While I was eating healthy foods, I was overeating as a way of not feeling. And you can have an unhealthy habit with food, even when the food is good for you. I would eat way past feeling full … sometimes even eat two dinners.
Those meals were a way of avoiding feelings of sadness, pain and discomfort. Meal planning became a way to control those feelings. But when I got sober, I was no longer in control.
Deep down, I knew that it had always been an issue, but it only became clear to me when I was sober—because that made me more conscious of all of my behavior patterns. The drugs and alcohol were replaced by food. I would notice myself feeling sick from being so full and bloated all the time as a result of unconsciously eating.
Maybe you have noticed some of your own food issues rise up—that you’re turning to food as a way to cope with the stress in your life. Feeling fearful or out of control can spike old behavior patterns, like turning to food as a coping mechanism.
3 Ways To Start To Heal This Destructive Pattern
Step 1: Notice It
Become conscious of the unconscious. The only way we can change anything is if we bring it to the surface for healing. We can’t heal something unless it’s been revealed that healing needs to happen.
Step 2: Release Judgement
Instead of judging the behavior, be a compassionate witness. Be really loving and nonjudgmental when you notice it arise.
Step 3: Reframe the Negative Pattern
Do something spiritual in place of the negative pattern. Meditate before a meal, say a prayer before eating, or decide to chew 30 times per bite to have an anchor to replace the unconscious behavior. All of these tools will interrupt the addictive pattern.
These three steps are the beginning of undoing the pattern. But what you really need to do is get to the root cause. Ask yourself:
- What is it that I’m eating over?
- What is it that I’m not eating over?
- What are my feelings in this moment that are causing me to turn to food?
If you have issues around food, you’re not alone. Up to 70 million people (both male and female) suffer from disordered eating and food addiction. That means most people you know don’t eat in a healthy way.
In whatever way your food issues pop up in your life, and even if they seem at times to run your life, you can create a healthy spiritual relationship with food and yourself. If you are looking for some guidance at this time, join me for my digital workshop on spirituality and food—Finally Full.
This course will change the way you think about food. But more importantly, it will change how you think about yourself.
I talk openly about food addiction and body image issues of all kinds, including my own struggle with food addiction and the wisdom I’ve gained from my spiritual recovery. I’ll guide you to getting honest and open about your issues with food so that you can start healing them.
True healing of addiction is about getting to the root cause. I’ll help you awaken your connection to your inner guidance system so you can begin the process of making intuitive food choices. Expect a powerful shift that will show you a new freedom and peace.
Sign up for Finally Full here.