Using food to cope with emotions

As humans, we try to find easier ways to cope with our emotions and that is ok; we want comfort, nourishment, help to resolve our issues or just something to numb the uncomfortable feelings we don`t want to deal with. Some turn to alcohol, drugs or sex and others turn to food.

There is nothing more human than emotional eating, we are wired for survival.

The only problem is, food won`t fix any of our issues in the short term. In fact it can only makes us feel worse in the long run when we will need to, eventually, deal with the emotion anyway PLUS the discomfort of overeating PLUS other feelings like shame and guilt. I know, I have been there too, check my personal story

Eating can be one of the most emotionally laden experiences that we have in our lives.

The emotional rhythm around food is set from early age

When the baby is offered the breast to quiet his crying and each time a toddler is offered a cookie to soothe a scraped keep. Nearly every culture uses food as an important symbolic custom, this is ingrained in us.

Food is love, food is comfort, food is reward, food is a reliable friend.

And sometimes food becomes our only companion, this is how emotionally charged food can be.

I used to be emotionally unaware, I had a really hard time learning how to identify my own feelings. I used to overeat not just during my tough times but also as a main source of joy in my life.

Even after more than 8 years after my recovery, I still need to watch for subtle forms of emotional eating like boredom eating, nibbling to kill time in between tasks and eating for the hunger to come.

In fact, I still eat for emotional reasons every now and then, but now this is a very conscious choice.

I choose to be fully present in the moment, observe and experience every sensation going on inside me, without judgements.

The great thing about this is, I very rarely overeat and the uncontrollable binges disappeared. Now I`m fortunate to have food freedom and my life back!

Recovery from discorded eating/eating disorder is a inward journey, not a outward one. Approach it with curiosity instead of guilt, and watch the magic happens.

Have you been struggling to recognise your emotions? Let me coach you through it, get in touch

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Body acceptance, ED recovery and finding balance through yoga

I did my first ever yoga class when I was 17 years old and pregnant, my goal was to be able to open up my hips, and give birth naturally to my giant baby.

I wasn`t expecting to learn a lot more from it.

It was early in my the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy, the class wasn`t​ tailored to my needs ​and obviously,  my tree pose didn`t look as still as everybody else`s! Still, it felt very good in my body.

I went back home with this fluffy sensation in my stomach, I loved the yoga vibes and I was willing to give it another ago once things were more settled in my new motherhood adventure.

1 year later, there I was again. Very curious to learn more what yoga was all about

One of my biggest challenges when recovering from my Eating Disorder, was the disconnection I felt of my mind and my body.

Often, my thoughts, feelings, and actions were in direct conflict with one another. 

Back then, I wasn`t able to listen and respond to my own body’s hunger and satiety signals, and often had a very difficult time acknowledging my feelings and tolerating the discomfort of negative emotions. These were definitely the most difficult things I had to deal with, I am so glad I did, it changed my life!

Enter Yoga. Yoga means to yolk, or to connect.

Yoga offers an opportunity to reconnect the mind to the body through the breath.

Eating disorders are known for being very harmful to the body and to the mind, often, unintentionally, to those around us as well.

The practice of yoga is a practice of kindness, of peace, and of doing no harm. Including yourself.

Every time I restricted food when I was hungry, ate when I was are already full or had an out of control binge session, I harmed myself.

Purging, using laxatives, exercising to excess and other symptomatic ED behaviours are all very harmful to the body, and specially to the mind.

The physical practice of yoga, helped me to heal in many different ways:

By learning how to be PRESENT in the moment

Connecting the movement to the breath, made me become more mindful and more attuned to the present moment, without really noticing it. Soon, I was able to extend this practise to my real world, I became more present not just on the mat, but out of the mat as well; during work, while eating, with the people I loved and even during a bad day.

Because someone with an ED is often disconnected, dissociated, or not entirely present to what they are feeling or how much they might be eating, this capacity to tune into the present moment, also known as mindfulness, is a very important factor in recovery.

By accepting my BODY as it is

Yoga makes us become so in touch with our bodies, if we like it or not.

Sometimes we forget that we control that self judging voice in our heads. I truly believe we can change our mindset, if we want to. It`s an everyday, consistent practice, like any other habit you want to change.

Most of us have picked up our body shaming tendencies from society, and even our very own mothers who stood in full-length mirrors and made self-deprecating comments about their bodies.

Somehow, I learnt how to quite that internal nasty voice just by asking myself: “Would I say that to someone I care about?”

This made me gradually change my relationship with my body. I wanted to be kind to my body like I am be to my best friends.

Instead of body shaming every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I started to appreciate my body`s functionality, strength and flexibility. I also became more grateful for the things I used to take for granted, like my health, my family and my life in general.

Every time I had a though like “I hate my fat legs” I would rephrase that though with “I`m so lucky to have strong legs that allow me to do all the things I love, yoga, dancing, etc”  this was a simple, but very important shift for me.

By learning how to feel my uncomfortable FEELINGS and be OK with it

By holding the yoga postures, it allowed me to experience the tensions being released from my body.

The practice of staying with myself and feeling all my feelings, even when it was painful, was tough. But luckily, all I had to do was to show up for myself.

Just by showing up to what was there, all the emotions started to bubble away in the surface. I got to know what was true for me, even if it was messy and painful. Even if it meant dealing with rejection, loss and heartbreaks.

By now I knew that numbing my feelings with food wasn`t solving my problems, so I had to learn how to experience those feelings, and be OK with it. And feel them!

I stopped trying to find a way out, fix it quickly, or eat it away.

The one thing I learnt was the emotions don`t last forever, it is almost like a wave; they come, you acknowledge it, and they go. Sometimes is quickly, sometimes it takes longer, but no matter what happens, things move on! The natural impermanence of life.

This is what worked for me, but I believe that people can reconnect to their bodies is many other different ways. Meditating, going for walk, martial arts, bike riding, etc. Explore what works for you!

If you or someone you know is experiencing disordered eating or an eating disorder, know that you are not alone and that there is help. 

Get in touch

Why dieting is stopping you from being the best version of yourself

Things have changed around here, I changed.

As dietitian and I woman, dieting has being part of my life since — always.

I spent my whole life trying to lose weight and going from one diet to the next, things started when I was about 10 years old (yeah, you read it right, 10).

Since my graduation in 2013, I have being trying to help others find their “perfect body”, so then they could feel happy, accepted and fulfilled, exactly the way I wanted to feel.

I genuinely just wanted to help people and I still do, that`s why I live for, but let me tell you what I found out.

—- Dieting is stopping you from being the best version of  yourself —-

Food rules takes out mind space, and this makes you be disconnected from your body. 

It’s hard to notice your intuitive body messages when you’re mostly in your head thinking about food, eating, and/or your body weight. If you are new here and want to understand where I`m coming from, check Binge Eating Disorder – Personal Story and About Binge Eating Disorder

When you’re spending hours distracted, looking for paleo, keto, free-from, celery juice or whatever latest weight loss trend in the media, instead of doing the things that truly matters to you, those things that nurtures your unique gifts, talents and skills, something is off.

We, women, we are naturally intuitive beings, and we are able to connect to the wisdom we already have. This is our super power!


Intuitive eating is a way to open a doorway to intuitive living

I found out more about intuitive eating during my last trip to Sri Lanka last year, it was when I really took time to just be. And connect. And listen. To my own body and my own intuition. And, everything was already there!

Then, after that, back in the UK, and real research began. It was life changing.

If you are not familiar with Intuitive Eating, let me get you a short brief:

Intuitive eating asks that we begin listening to the hunger and fullness cues of our bodies. It is as simple as that. But that’s not all. It also offers ways to reject the diet mentality, connect to our bodies and let go of the obsession of thinness so grounded in our cultural and inherited conditioning.

If you’ve been chronically dieting (like me), or you’re, basically, in a semi-starved state, listening to and honouring your hunger and fullness can be difficult and complicated. This is where getting help from a non-diet practitioner can be of great value to re-nourish your body first so you can begin to receive and interpret those messages correctly.

Let me tell you something, from my own experience

It’s almost impossible to be deeply connected to your intuition while you’re still tracking macros like there’s no tomorrow, over-exercising, not eating enough, or you’re deadly afraid of carbs.

Getting a balanced, satisfying and adequate intake of food can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Mental health takes a dive when we’re in a state of semi-starvation as the body struggles to construct all the neurotransmitters it needs to remain healthy. Intellectual clarity and intuition is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment.

It’s time to stop wasting your energy on the obsession of weight loss or maintaining a “non-natural” low weight as if that’s the most important thing in life. Guess what? It’s not.

In the other hand, if weight loss is important to you (and only you), I have good news! Working on improving your health and connecting to your body hunger clues, will help you land on your natural and healthy body weight. Brilliant, right?

Hey sis, we need you on the other side. Stop comparing yourself to others, get rid of toxic influences, show some love to your body today, the way it is, restricting diets are only stopping you from reaching your full potential. The world needs you, and it needs it now.

Are you ready to improve your relationship around food? Get in touch here