Hidden Connections That Drive Your Food Use

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You'll be surprised at the number of hidden connections that you probably never realized could influence your eating and weight. Many life events can contribute to ongoing struggles with your weight and even to the development of eating disorders. These include death of a loved one, loss of a career, miscarriage, divorce, incapacity due to an accident or illness, abuse, childhood bullying, financial insecurity, lost dreams and many other life experiences. Even the chemical reactions within your body can be hidden messengers that contribute to weight issues.

Here's some more things that directly effect your weight

  • Food can be used to meet specific emotional needs on a surface level, but after awhile using food can also reinforce negative feelings about yourself until you learn powerful, more effective replacements.
  • Fear of conflict and confusion between rage and anger can keep you from using assertiveness and can push you to turn to food instead of expressing your needs.
  • Residue from long ago trauma interferes with your self-image, flooding you with feelings and can drive you to use food. Fear, anxiety and negative internal messages can continue to trap you.
  • Loss that you thought you had dealt with can have a lingering effect on your life, resulting in your eating or missing meals to cope with the emotional aftereffects.
  • Growing up in a troubled home can contribute to your learning to dissociate (or get away from pain) with food, either by not eating or eating too much.
  • Emotional, physical or sexual trauma can create feelings flashbacks that pull you toward food for comfort or control, or away from it for a sense of control or power.
  • Family relationships and misperceptions are often connected to the use of food as a coping mechanism or as a means to reduce anger, rebel, or gain control and power.
  • Loneliness and guilt and taking on too much responsibility for others can lead to using food.
  • Loving people who are emotionally not there for you and destructive relationships contribute to your weight issues, and ongoing sense of unhappiness.
  • Your control battles with people and food impact your weight.
  • Addictions relate to problems with weight and food.
  • Painful losses contribute to your use of food, whether you are eating too much, restricting or purging. These may include death, dreams, loss of a normal childhood, love and others.
  • You may be trying to eat anger in an effort to try and keep the peace, or control outcomes.
  • Your body’s chemical make-up is directly tied to how you feel about yourself and how that effects your desire to use food.
  • Hypoglycemia and food allergies can contribute to your using and reacting to certain foods.
  • An unresolved emotional issue can keep you stuck, unable to lose anymore pounds once you reach a certain weight.
  • Years of negative self talk prevent you from having energy to make yourself a priority, thereby reinforcing unhealthy patterns of using food.
  • Unmet expectations and distorted perceptions affect your use of food.
  • Allowing diets that could never work long-term make you feel as if you have failed
    (The above is excerpted from the book Body Sense: Balancing Your Weight and Emotions.)

    As you read these, is it easier to understand why diets alone seldom work long-term? Weight concerns go far beyond whether or not you have willpower, or whether or not you are willing to put up with a low-fat, no-carb, nothing-that-tastes-good diet indefinitely. When you analyze how these different life components may have affected you and gain the specific tools you need not only to maintain a healthy weight long term, you'll also gain emotional energy.

    Why commit to a lifetime of restricting what you eat and suffering through yet another diet? Begin today to do the things beyond dieting that will change your life, because losing weight is only a temporary fix. That's why most folks inevitably go back to eating or restricting, or even purging to get away from those hidden connections. Working through these will give you power to move on with your life. As you do, the scales will become less important. With time and focused work, you'll be able to get to a healthy weight for you and your lifestyle.

    You can find help with local therapists. You can also utilize Body Sense as a comprehensive workbook to help you achieve long-lasting changes within. You may want to enroll in our online course Forget About Diets at the same time to reinforce this transformation. After reading this book, you'll have resources to examine the pieces of your unique life puzzle and make empowering changes. Take a moment and consider how many have affected your life, not just in the areas of weight.

    If you'd like to purchase a copy of Body Sense, click here. If you'd like to enroll in our online course Forget About Diets, click here.

©Copyright 2000 by Brenda Crawford-Clark