“I just love to eat.” Does this statement ring true for you? You may, indeed, greatly enjoy the fabulous taste sensations of rich, sweet, delicious foods. Food is one of the pleasures of life and if you enjoy the foods you eat—but eat only enough food to satisfy your physical hunger while staying active—you are not likely to have an issue with your weight. However, if you’re like so many people who come to me for help losing extra pounds, chances are you are eating more food than your body can use. The extra food is then stored in your body as fat, leaving you feeling unhappy and uncomfortable.

The irony is that if you look at the truth about why you are eating more food than your body is burning off, there’s more to it than simply the fact that you enjoy eating or that food tastes good. Most likely, you are eating as a way to satisfy your emotional needs. Food was never meant to be used as a substitute for feeling your emotions and honoring your own needs. When you turn to food to meet your deeper needs, you end up feeling dissatisfied and frustrated—and are left with a much greater problem on your hands. Now, not only do you have the initial emotional discomfort that you were reluctant to face, but you now have to deal with a weight condition that may be causing you deep emotional and/or physical pain.

If you then turn your focus to the new “problem” of your weight gain, by addressing it only on a physical level, it actually gives you an excuse to continue to avoid the original situation in your life that you were not wanting to face. Perhaps you turned to food as a way to avoid feeling lonely, angry, sad, bored, anxious, frustrated or unhappy. Rather than turning to food to suppress or console these emotions (and ending up with a much bigger challenge) you can instead choose to be a warrior, go inward, and face what you are feeling head on.

Now the reason you didn’t do that in the first place is because strong emotions can feel very scary and unmanageable. In fact, they can be so overwhelming, many people will choose to numb themselves with food, alcohol, constant activity, or drugs as a way to avoid being left to deal with their intense emotions. This can work only in the short run. Over the long term, coping this way creates a deeper sense of despair, and takes us further from the happiness and peace we are truly longing for.

Here are five ways to help you make friends with your emotions—stop turning to food to quell them—and begin to use your emotions as a way to step into your higher potential.

Stop Judging Yourself

Don’t judge yourself or your emotions and stop labeling them as “good” or “bad”. We are made up of energy and some emotions we experience carry a higher frequency than others. Some emotions are definitely more painful, but they are not inherently good or bad. Increase your ability to tolerate the difficult ones and know that they, too, will pass just like the weather. Judging yourself and what you are feeling in any given moment ONLY INCREASES IT—as does justifying your thoughts and feelings. This is a difficult concept to grasp as our tendency is to judge, thinking that what we condemn will go away. It doesn’t. It’s only what we accept without justifying, give space to, listen to and offer compassion to, that then has the ability to transform into a higher vibration—and a more loving expression of itself. Given space, time, love, acknowledgment and positive intention, anger turns into genuine strength and power. Sadness becomes an open-hearted vulnerability and gentleness. Fear turns into courage and hope, withholding turns into generosity, and constriction turns into expansion. It’s only by surrounding your emotions with compassion and embracing yourself in the midst of your emotional pain that you can avoid causing greater harm to yourself or others. The key is to look for the underlying need that is behind the unpleasant feeling. Negative emotions aren’t “bad” – they just need space to express themselves, be heard and be given the opportunity to evolve into something greater.

What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

Often we are reluctant to face our emotions because we dread what they might be telling us. Are we being asked to relocate, leave a marriage, or put a pet to sleep? It can be helpful to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Sometimes we fear that we couldn’t handle it if the worst case scenario did come to fruition. But the truth is that we are never given more than we can ultimately handle. The impending situation may not be your preference—but most likely some good will indeed come out of it, even if it’s just finding your own strength, resilience and connection to your own greater abilities. Look back at your life up until this point. It’s amazing everything you have been through and here you are. You had and do have all the resources you need to live your life. Acknowledge yourself for your bravery, tenacity and love—look for the good that you have in your life now, and forgive yourself for the mistakes you made. Life without mistakes is impossible. The key now is to look at those missteps and make a decision to make a new choice beginning today, with the strength that is available to you now.

The Fact That You Overeat Doesn’t Mean Anything About You . . .

Don’t come to any conclusions about the discovery that you reach for food to soothe your soul. Who you are at the deepest level has nothing to do with how much you eat, or any other fact about how you live your life. Your essence doesn’t change regardless of your outer circumstances. Allow that Truth to bring you peace. The important understanding for you to absorb is that overeating leads to feeling bad—either sooner or later, or both. Eating more food than your body can use causes you to feel uncomfortable, guilty and possibly even diseased and sick. It doesn’t mean anything about your character. It is just an indicator that you are choosing to hurt yourself on a daily basis. Your intention, of course, is to give yourself pleasure. But just as the jailed bank robber ultimately gets no pleasure from the large sums of money he stole—even though he may have had a moment’s pleasure counting the money—you are not getting any return on your investment of overeating or eating the wrong foods. The number on the scale doesn’t make you good or bad, but it does affect how you feel—physically and emotionally. Choose to start treating yourself well by eating right without assigning meaning to the choices you regret making in the past.

Are You Eating to Get Even?

It’s not uncommon for people to gain weight as a means to getting even with a spouse or even a parent. This may be conscious or unconscious. Look within to see if this is true for you. Sometimes we use food to get even since our food intake is one area of our life that we can control. We may be inwardly saying to our spouse, “If you can’t give me what I need, I’ll show you! I’ll embarrass and upset you by getting fat!” It’s true that you may be hurting your parent or partner by gaining weight, but there’s no-one who your weight problem brings greater suffering to than you. Being overweight can plague you and rob you of your self-esteem and so many other pleasures in your life, including deeper and richer relationships. Find the courage to go within and explore the real issue. Write a letter to the person you are wanting to get even with and be honest about your feelings. Use “I” statements rather than blaming ones. Check in with your intuition to determine if it’s safe to send the letter. Either way, continue to write your feelings down in a journal. To avoid over-identifying with your difficult feelings, always follow up by writing a letter filled with wisdom and compassion for yourself by setting an intention to write a second letter, not from the place of pain and emotional wounding, but from your soul’s strength. You can imagine that the letter is coming from a wise teacher, if that feels easier to do. The key is to remember that your wounded place does exist and needs to be honored, but you are so much more than that place of pain. Don’t identify with painful thoughts and feelings. Accept them, allow them to be and at the same time, always acknowledge that who you are is so much greater than whatever feeling is up for you in this moment.

Turn to the Vast Power in Your Subconscious

How can you stop identifying with the inherent weakness in your thoughts and emotions? By making a conscious choice to make contact with your wise, powerful, subconscious mind. Bring your awareness to your breathing and begin to connect with the power that is breathing you, beyond your thoughts. Use self-hypnosis to transcend the limitations of your conscious thought—because it’s your thoughts that lead to the emotions you experience. Connect with the Presence of the Life Force that breathes you, fills you and surrounds you. From this perspective, your emotions will have less power over you.

Remember that any behavior repeated more than once is likely to create a habit. A habit impacts how you feel about yourself, your identity and your future choices. Your perceived identity affects your destiny. Regardless of the past, you have the rest of your life to live. Think of your life as a blank canvas—it can be created into anything you’d like it to be. Don’t let your transient emotions stop you from living as the greatest expression of yourself. Use your imagination . . . dare to vision yourself strong, beautiful, happy, laughing, smiling, grateful, contributing fully . .. in control of your life and your eating habits . . . your emotions moving through you letting you know that you are alive!

-Rena Greenberg

Weight Loss Hypnosis Articles

Read some of our articles about how hypnosis can help you reach your ideal weight without going hungry. Rena Greenberg Health, Wellness and Weight loss expert, rated best hypnotherapist for gastric band hypnosis, has helped over 200,000 people lose thousands of pounds, without dieting. Hypnotherapy benefits are recognized by the world of medicine, and renowned hypnotherapist Rena Greenberg has developed advanced self-hypnosis programs that deliver outstanding results. Her clients’ testimonials speak for themselves. If you are interested in starting your weight loss journey and need somem help, contact Rena today to learn more.