Non-Hunger Eating and Change

Eve Lahijani,, RD
Nutritionist for the Susan B. Krevoy Eating Disorder Program

Every few months I buy a pot of orchids from Trader Joe’s to decorate my home/office.  However, on this trip to the market, I could not find the exact shade or orchids I usually select.  In turn, I chose a slightly pinker shade of purple.

When I brought my orchids home I tuned into my irritation at the fact that the potted flowers did not match the decor on my table – and tuned into my frustration thatthings will not be the same.  What a dramatic reaction to orchids! Then I realized, my reaction was not about orchids at all.  My feelings were about change, letting go and embracing something new.  Exactly what can trigger emotional/non-hunger eating.

How about you?  Are you using food to numb, avoid and/or disregard the present reality?  Where in your life are you having a hard time letting go and embracing something new?  Where are you resisting change?

  • Finances
  • Relationship Status
  • Evolving Body
  • Environmental Issues
  • Other

Note the ‘cost’ of your resistance:

  • Numbness
  • Eating to Cope
  • Irritability or Anger
  • Lack of Energy or Enthusiasm
  • Dissatisfaction & Ineffectiveness

Now take a breath and decide if you are willing to have a new relationship to this aspect of your life.  If you are ready to move forward, here are some steps to help you back into reality:

Grieve the Loss. Say goodbye to your orchids or whichever personal loss on which you are choosing to focus (financial past, relationship status, past body, etc).  Allow yourself to fully acknowledge what you once had and the goodness associated with it, such as the perfect color orchids to match the table (financial abundance, the freedom of being single, unwrinkled skin, etc).  Also, be sure to recall and acknowledge what about the situation was not ideal – all of my flowers were withered (pestering co-workers, loneliness of singledom, inexperience of youth, etc.).

Embrace the Present. Tap into a feeling of gratitude for surviving these changes, and remind yourself that change is a natural and inevitable part of living.  Tap into the potential of newness of un-blossosmed flowers (new career path, depth and intimacy with a partner, the joy & insight with each laugh-line, etc).

Choose an Adventure Mindset. Expect your life to surprise you with the blessings that come with new situations.  Allow yourself to learn, play and grow as you practice the art of letting go and fearless acceptance.  Ask yourself what steps you must take,internally and externally, to accommodate what you are choosing to embrace.  In my case, I used new table mats to match my orchids (additional training may help with a new career, moving from a me mindset to a we mindset may help with relationship, begin to examine cultural definitions of beauty, etc).

Now give yourself a high five for going through the above process.  It takes energy, time and patience – but you will get more out of life by living it than mindlessly eating Cheese-its in hopes for it to be something that it is not.

Happy Eating!

Eve Lahijani,, RD, Nutritionist for the Susan B. Krevoy Eating Disorder Program

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