You reach for food to soothe yourself, to comfort yourself, to make everything better just for a moment.
But what happens when that moment is over?
The discomfort kicks in.
You feel over-full. You feel sick. You hate yourself.
What was intended to be comforting has to turned into a maelstrom of physical and emotional discomfort.
Why have I done this to myself yet again, you ask. Why?
Maybe you’re stressed, vulnerable, bored, lonely or frustrated. Perhaps you need downtime, reassurance, fun, connection to others or a chance to shine.
Why is it so difficult to meet those needs directly?
Because it feels uncomfortable.
Even if you’re able to identify what you’re feeling, any attempt to fulfil your emotional need collides with the belief that looking after yourself is selfish. This conflict causes you anxiety and you interpret your discomfort as a sign you’re doing something wrong. So you stop.
In reality, that discomfort is a sign that you’re doing something very, very right.
Changing how you relate to yourself is an uncomfortable process. You encounter resistance from long-held and deeply ingrained beliefs. I’m not worthy of comfort. I don’t deserve self-care. I’m simply not one of the precious few who gets to relax into themselves, embrace everything life has to offer and have a damn good time.
But you are. You absolutely are.
If it feels uncomfortable to speak to yourself with kindness, to offer yourself understanding, to care for and comfort yourself – good. That means you’re pushing back against the idea that you’re not allowed to consider your own needs.
Keep pushing until you arrive at a place that feels right for you. Where you balance your needs with the expectations of others.
A place where giving yourself comfort – real comfort, not the counterfeit comfort that comes with binge eating – is no longer uncomfortable.
To explore more about meeting your needs, click here to read my 2017 blog post “If It’s Not Food What Do You Really Need?”
In the interest of balancing my own needs with the expectations of others (and practising what I preach), I’ve decided I’m no longer going to publish my weekly blog post on Sundays. That way, I can unplug and have some proper downtime at the weekend.
From June, you can expect new posts every Monday instead (see how I make no apology for this? Self-care. Awesome).