“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if only we can come to our senses and feel it”. – Elizabeth A. Behnke
How could someone allow themselves to put on so much weight? Why can’t they just come to their senses? This – and much worse – is often what people who aren’t thin fear others are thinking about them. To be fair, it sometimes is what people think if they’ve never had any kind of overeating issue themselves.
I know from personal experience how easy it is to put on a lot of weight without even knowing. Hard as it might be for some people to believe, it’s not difficult to put on 5 stone or more without really noticing.
Because in order to notice, we need to have a connection to our bodies. And this is what people whose eating is emotion-driven typically lack.
For a very good reason.
Or, more accurately, because we experience feelings in our bodies.
At some point in our lives, we’ve experienced feelings so challenging they threatened to overwhelm or destroy us. Something in us said “I can’t handle all that I’m feeling. It’s too much. I can’t cope. I need a way out”. It’s then that we disconnect and turn to food to help us detach.
In essence, it’s our very senses we’re attempting to escape from.
It can be one big thing like a trauma or an accumulation of negative experiences that makes us disconnect, but it happens. In order to survive emotionally, we have no choice but to cut ourselves off not only from our feelings but the receptacle for those feelings – our bodies.
But Elizabeth Behnke is right – there’s an enormous amount of wisdom in our bodies. A vital part of recovering from emotion-driven overeating is feeling safe enough to reconnect, to allow ourselves to feel again, to find the courage to inhabit our bodies once more.
And it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been away.
Like a faithful dog waiting patiently for his owner’s return, our bodies wait for our arrival. When we do reconnect, there’s no prejudice, bitterness or resentment.
They’re just happy we’ve been able to come back to our senses and can feel again.