Gentle Reminder: Paying Attention to Pleasure

“I hate food.”

“I wish I didn’t have to eat.”

These are some of the things new clients say when we start working together.

Years of dieting and dysfunction with food have left them desperate about what to eat. Food has become the enemy and, understandably, they feel it would be simpler if they just didn’t have to eat at all.

Meals are often such a minefield that eating has no pleasure.

One of the best things about normalising your relationship with food is you get to enjoy eating again (or perhaps for the first time). As you learn to give yourself absolute permission to have exactly what you want, the sense of deprivation that contributes to binge eating begins to fade away.

As you understand and respect your hunger and preferences, the secret binges naturally come to an end and, instead, you learn to savour what you eat. Food is no longer scarce or forbidden so you’re less inclined to turn to it to soothe yourself.

Rather than eating how someone else says you should, you find your autonomy and eat in a way that’s truly enjoyable for you. Without stress. Without guilt.

Then food becomes what it should be – a pleasure.

Fellow blogger Chris from CP, Papagni Pages left a really interesting comment on one of my recent posts on exactly this topic – he talks about how he works with his feelings to make sure food remains a pleasure for him. In case you missed it, you can click here to read it.

There should be many things in life that bring you pleasure and there’s no reason why food shouldn’t be one of them. For more on the importance of pleasure, you can read this 2018 post “What’s Your Pleasure?”.

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This post wraps up this month’s theme of “self-soothing”. By happy coincidence, my blogging chum Karen Lowry published a thought-provoking post recently on the difference between self-care and self-soothing – you can read it here.

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I’m aware I haven’t put any additional questions on the News page yet for this month’s eatonomy group session. I promise I’ll do that this week!

 

Expert Insight: What Makes You Truly Happy

“The more you know about what makes you truly happy, the better you will be at finding it. Pleasure, joy, contentment and satisfaction may be sitting on your doorstep, but they’re not going to reach up and ring your bell!”

Karen R. Koenig, “The Food & Feelings Workbook”

Ironically, pleasure, joy, contentment and satisfaction will be ringing my doorbell this afternoon in the shape of two of my best women friends.  We’ve known each other for decades and, although we only get to see each other once or twice a year, we always seem to pick up where we left off.

I have no doubt that during the two days we’ll be together we won’t stop talking unless we’re asleep.  We’ll cry, we’ll talk utter nonsense and we’ll laugh until it hurts which, for three 50-something women, is – let’s face it – a risky endeavour.

In short, we’ll have an Utterly Good Time.

Continue reading “Expert Insight: What Makes You Truly Happy”

What’s Your Pleasure?

We reach for food when we’re not hungry in order to detach from our emotions. The problem is that in doing so we cut ourselves off from all our emotions, even the enjoyable ones.

The struggle to understand and acknowledge what you’re feeling is an essential part of resolving your issues with food, so working out what brings you pleasure can be a lovely way to start.

Continue reading “What’s Your Pleasure?”