Pigging Out: Self-Soothing or Self-Sabotage?

Since late May, when many state governments relaxed their health guidelines and re-opened to some degree or other, there’s been a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in more than 30 states. Let’s not kid ourselves. We are still living in very challenging times when incessant broadcasts of grim unemployment statistics and death tolls stoke intense fear and high anxiety.

After being cooped up at home virtually 24/7, deprived of so much we enjoy doing, it’s easy to abandon relaxation techniques such as self-hypnosis, deep breathing, physical exercise, and meditation in favor of a super quick-fix to feel better fast : self-soothing with junk food and alcohol.

Partying with others on July 4th may well be the first celebration you’ve had in months. It’s hard not to over-indulge surveying tables covered with so many “forbidden fruits” along with favorite wines, mixed drinks,  sodas and beer.  All that deliciousness right there for the taking and for free.

Initially, some of us may be able to fight the cravings. But sooner or later, if you’re like me, your resolve will crumble like that luscious topping on a Dutch apple pie. Rationalizing that no one could resist such overwhelming temptation, we give ourselves permission to fully indulge, because, after all, it’s Fourth of July! Time to party down!

 

Gastronomic Insanity

Not a “once and done,” scarfing to excess is triggered on other holidays throughout the year, at Labor Day picnics, Thanksgiving dinners, and New Year’s Eve parties; but also on “regular days” when mounting stresses with family, finances, health issues, and work life become overwhelming. And after the binge, most of us suffer feeling guilty, bloated, exhausted, and irritable.  Realizing how much we’ve consumed, we feel  shame and shame leads to self-loathing.

There’s a harsh, critical voice inside that takes over: “Oh, yeah! You’re gonna pay for this pig-out, BIG TIME, with unwanted pounds and tighter waistbands. Worsening your internal inflammation and clogged arteries. And what about the disturbed sleep, lack of energy, headaches, and brain fog. Not to mention loss of focus and concentration, lack of motivation and poor productivity at work. Come on. Was it really worth it?”

Chances are, this scenario has played out time and time again in your life or that of someone close to you. It has in mine.

It’s a form of gastronomic insanity: consuming the same junk foods and drinks to excess, time and time again, hoping, if not expecting, to get away with it.  Or not even considering the consequences.

Self-soothing with alcohol and junk food (euphemistically known as ‘comfort food’) is a form of self-sabotage: any behavior we choose, consciously or unconsciously, that undermines our goals and does us harm.

As a hypnotherapist and self-improvement coach, I specialize in helping people identify and overcome the various ways they sabotage themselves. Among them are those who abuse themselves with food and alcohol, damaging their health, intimate relationships, and professional endeavors.  Losses of self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem are common among self-saboteurs.

I must admit that my success with weight loss clients has been infrequent and partial at best.

Each of them came to me carrying extra pounds that I believe they truly wanted to lose. (Secondary gain from maintaining the weight was not at play.)  Each wanted to be healthier, feel better, think more clearly, and improve their self-image and self-worth.

Yet, they allowed their eating and drinking patterns, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, and other lifestyle choices to subvert rather than further their goals and dreams.

AND –this is an equally important point– they weren’t willing to do what was needed to develop and maintain a constructive mindset using the various tools I provided.  Instead, they wanted a silver bullet or magic pill.

Hypnotherapy does not provide a silver bullet or a magic pill.  The only “magic” is the power within each of us that we can access and utilize to effect the positive changes we desire.

“Hypnotherapist, Heal Thyself!”

For several years now I have excluded weight loss clients from my practice, even though I am certified in “The Ultimate Hypnosis Weight Loss” course offered by certified hypnotherapist and teacher Susie Kappas at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, CA.

Looking back, I honestly believe that my own issues with food, my weight, and body image interfered. While I have made considerable headway, having lost over 40 pounds and kept it off for at least 8 years, too often I find myself eating to excess to self-soothe. Or eating too much sugar and too many simple carbs too late at night.

I firmly believe that health and wellness practitioners with more in-depth knowledge, training, and certifications pertaining to nutrition, healing, eating psychology and weight management could better serve those clients, especially the ones who have fought their own battle of the bulge.

Nutrition by Terri

Terri Crystal is a prime example. Motivated by her own struggles with sugar binges and late night eating that resulted in mid-section bulge, poor sleep, sluggishness, and digestive issues, Terri first enrolled in a certification program from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition back in 2009.

The in-depth knowledge she gained about the healing power of eating right complemented her lifelong pursuit of alternative therapies for health and natural healing, such as Yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, meditation, herbal remedies and chiropractic. At a crossroads in her life personally and professionally, she decided to apply what she had learned to helping others on their journey to wellness.

But Terri didn’t stop there. It became clear to her that food intake and exercise were not the whole story. She wanted to find out what other factors drive people to eat, stress, and gain weight. That’s when she became certified in mind-body nutrition from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Not one to simply treat symptoms, Terri also studied at the Functional Nutrition Alliance for over 2 years so she could address symptoms from the root cause.

If you want to release excess weight without trying very hard…and fall in love with the way your body looks and feels, give Nutrition by Terri a call and ask for her free consultation.. She is a deeply caring, gifted healer who is passionate about natural healing and healthy eating for mind/body wellness.

Terri’s Profile: linkedin.com/in/terricrystal-nutrition

Website: terricrystal.com  

Mobile Phone:  626-532-3980 (Mobile)