Charlotte Howard, a therapist at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy in Austin, TX, talks about overeating and how using a mindfulness practice can help one really savor and enjoy their food again.
Numbing Your Feelings by Overeating
A lot of people use food, or substances, or TV to numb what’s going on inside, to numb their feelings and to numb their pain.
Exploring Repression and Self-Hatred in Therapy
Overeating usually has to do with stuffing it all down and trying not to feel. It’s not an enjoyable experience. It’s not like, “I love food” (or even if it starts that way it quickly becomes a mindless way to numb instead of a continued enjoyment of that food). Overeating is more about repression and self-hatred.
Mindfulness and Non-Judgemental Awareness
Working on self-hatred helps heal the over-eating. Being more mindful, which is just about noticing and staying present, is the other key factor. Mindfulness is a practice that is a non-judgmental awareness of what is. You can apply it to eating so that every bite is really savored and you notice what it’s like for you to be eating that bite.
It’s Okay to Eat
Non-judgmental means that you are feeling: it’s okay to eat. You are present with the sensations of eating so that you enjoy it and also hear it when your body tells you it doesn’t want to eat anymore. If you’re paying attention to your body you are likely to eat a healthy amount for you. Overeating happens more when you’re not present.
Starting Therapy in Austin, TX
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