Freedom from Emotional Eating
What is Emotional eating?
Simply, it is the habitual use food to soothe or numb your feelings and/ or sensations in the body, often without any real conscious awareness.
It sounds simple, but what that sentence doesn't tell you is the cost of this behaviour over the years. It doesn't even hint at the guilt, the shame, the self loathing that tends to walk hand in hand with it.
It also doesn't talk of the fight to control; the food, the feelings, the thoughts or the actions.
Or the pervading sense of powerlessness.
Nor does it mention the secrecy around the behaviours and how isolated you feel with this.
Indeed, nor does it speak to the constant self doubt that has led, most probably to a lifetime of dieting; searching for the answers, so that you can have the body you want, because surely, what the diet gurus say is true; "eat less, move more". And so the perpetual thought "what's wrong with me" lodges in your mind.
The thing is, if it were that simple, if dieting were the way to deal with this, then first diet any of us ever went on would have given lasting results and none of us would be living this life 10, 20, 30+ years on.
Instead, we'd have a healthy and relaxed relationship with food, rather this secretive, fearful and controlling one.
And the sabotaging behaviours wouldn't kick in at the first sign of restriction.
We would be able to navigate life's challenges and celebrations in an entirely different way.
And that, there, is the key.
It's not the food that's really the issue; it's our relationship with food.
With what we've made food mean.
As individuals, as families, as communities and as cultures.
When we begin a journey to stop emotionally eating we are asking ourselves to change, at the very heart, our relationship with food.
We are asking ourselves to shift how we react to the stresses and 'triggers' around us and to find better and healthier ways to respond.
We are asking ourselves to connect with what's REALLY needed, re-learning how to listen to ourselves deeply, so that we can care for ourselves fully in a way that doesn't use food.
What underpins Emotional Eating is many and varied. Because of this, it is not a simple thing to stop. Willpower alone will get you about 1% of the way, so clearly something else is at play.
What causes Emotional Eating?
As I said above, many things contribute to Emotional Eating. But one thing I have come to understand from my own journey and from working with clients, is that it isn't really about the food.
It's mostly about what we made the food mean.
If you grew up in a house that was busy or undemonstrative with regard to love, yet mealtimes were about sitting together as a family, sharing your days and
maybe your mum put dinner on the table saying "I made your favourite".
And so, you begin to link love and food from a very early age. You may also
equate food to connection, a sense of belonging and feeling special.
When you were very small and full of life and loved to chatter away and you were
told to be quiet alot, then to keep you quiet, you were given a biscuit or chocolate, you will begin to learn to soothe unmet needs (attention, love, play) with the food.
Over time you would begin to notice those feelings of lack (of attention, of
connection) almost as soon as they come up and go straight for the food instead,
this then becomes a habit where you wouldn't even necessarily notice what was happening, but instead find yourself in front of the fridge/ cupboard, reaching for food and eating it, most likely, mindlessly.
Another common issue is plate clearing. As you were growing up, how often did
you hear that you can't have dessert until you'd finished all of your dinner?
Or that there were starving children in Africa?
What happens here is that you have learned to over-ride your natural feelings of fullness and satiation in order to get to the food you enjoyed or do as you're told to avoid the nagging voice. Learning to notice these feelings of satiation is a process of learning to trust yourself again.
Perhaps when you were born or were a baby or very young child, you were 'sent' away from your mother to be looked after elsewhere. This can set up a sense of abandonment and a deep sense of 'being wrong', which no amount of food will soothe. The food you had with mum would, most likely, have been an avenue to closeness, cuddles and love. Leading to a sense of relaxation and ease, connection and being seen.
Not having that = not having what it meant. Your body holds the memory of having it and also the memory of not having it. And it's a deep need that will be pursued at all costs.
As you can see, just from the few examples above, food can become a means to soothe complex needs. And many of them.
This is why we can find it so very hard to deal with on our own. It takes alot of care, compassion and a felt sense of safety, to start to pick apart all that contributes to our own emotional eating story. This way a new way of being can be created and a new felt sense can grow; one of deep self acceptance, trust and love.
All of that, coupled with the pressure we put on ourselves to be a certain way, creates stress. Add in a hefty dose of life and this becomes the recipe for Emotional Eating.
But, we also fight the urges and so we are in conflict with ourselves too. This becomes even more emotionally troubling which activates the central nervous system (fight/ flight/ freeze response) and the need to soothe ourselves becomes overwhelming. For some it can be to smoke, drink alcohol, go shopping etc. but for many of us it's all about Emotional Eating.
I know this from my own experience.
Since my late teens, I had used food to soothe, to treat and to bring connection into my life.
A crunch point came for me in 2013.
I was overweight, felt lost and was desperate to find a new way to be. I had left a job that I was unhappy in and I wanted to help others, but this new avenue was a slow 'burn' and I often felt as if I had no real purpose.
I'd been on many diets, lost the weight and put it back on again, but that wasn't working for me anymore.
My head was full of judgements about my lack of control, about my food choices (on bad days), my weight, my shape. I never came up to scratch unless I'd been 'good' all day and felt slim etc etc.
My self worth was through the floor; I looked outside of myself to know if I was worthy.
It was a mostly secret, silent and painful battle.
I didn't trust myself to know what was right for me anymore and I often felt an overwhelming panicky misery.
I felt powerless to change anything.
"What's wrong with me?" trampled its way through my brain on a too-regular basis.
Despite all of this, I just could not face another diet.
Inside I KNEW there had to be another way, a healthy way, a way that felt natural and easier, that was NOT another diet, more restriction, more will power that I didn't seem to have.
I had a deep sense that I needed to begin to move towards myself again; by that I mean, put faith in myself to know what's right for me, and to not be swayed by another diet, another person's view of what I needed. I KNEW the answers were inside of me.
Today, I am so very thankful for that deep pull to look in another direction.
It led me to care for, and make peace with, my old emotional pain, change my relationship with myself and with food and then to help other women do the same.
Along the way I trained in many healing modalities that connect the psychology and the energy. I learned to notice my feelings and to be aware of what was being triggered and then to care for it. I got back in touch with my body's signals and learned to love, accept and respect my body.
I regularly move my body in a way that supports it and not just because it'll burn calories!
I learned how to take care of me in a way that supports the person that I want to be, have compassion for myself and to value who I am.
And when I recognise that I am finding things a bit tougher, I seek support and work through what is coming up for me.
Along the way, I recognised that a new way of looking at food issues was needed by many.
That diets aren't the real fix;
The real fix remains an internal journey, where we come home to ourselves.
Does my story resonate with you in any way?
If so, read on and you'll start to get an idea of how I might be able to help you become free; free from emotional eating and free within yourself.
The Healing Journey
Firstly, it's important to know that the work that we will do together will transform your relationship with yourself; you will begin grow in self trust and put your self care as a high priority.
You will value who you are and what you offer the world.
The internal chatter will diminish and you will connect with your true self.
However, it is a tender journey, that will bring up old beliefs and emotional pain, so that they may be resolved. This is the purpose of our sessions together; to follow the threads of information that your subconscious and energy offer out, that lead us to places that need the healing.
We do this together and in a way that feels safe for you.
You will be supported and guided, compassionately, with no judgement, and constantly cared for, as we explore what comes up for you.
This takes time; healing is not an overnight journey; particularly when we have habitual actions paired with emotional pain.
It takes a great deal of care to soothe those pained areas and start to disentangle what it's all been made to mean, and bring awareness to what is likely to be presently cloaked in numbness or oblivion.
Remember, my role is to help you with this. I guide you with care, tenderness and compassion and occasionally a gentle and loving push to get you moving again.
"Claire has a friendly, caring and non-judgemental approach to her practice which makes the process of healing very gentle and feel fully supportive"
Lauren - Essex
And it's not always heavy! Or difficult! Or upsetting!
My clients often find themselves laughing with new awareness and inspired by what they learn about themselves.
It 'lightens' them up inside and out!
It's truly beautiful to experience and to see. And so freeing.
By working this way it will be possible for you to actually hear what it is that you really need, and then to respond to that appropriately and without judgement.
By following the energy we will unpack why you really sabotage your goals, what drives you to eat emotionally and we will invite healing into this space.
Along the way there will be self care 'homework' for you to practice between our sessions; this helps integrate and build upon the great work that we do in our sessions together.
The spaces between our Freedom from Emotional Eating sessions allow you to:
to notice when you are triggered
practice the tools that I teach you
so that you feel empowered, capable and able to self-soothe without food. This is the beginning of you, learning about you and learning to really take care of you
This then means that you will learn to feel what you need, holistically and have greater connection with your body and what it needs.
Along the way I will also help you learn to connect with something greater than yourself so that you can release the sense of failure and responsibility to try to be better; with the support of a higher power you will naturally be better, without trying; you will feel more held, more supported and so, relax more.
It's hard work to try and do everything by ourselves, and so some support from an energy force that requires nothing from us in return, is pure nourishment.
What will we be looking to transform?
We thoroughly look at what holds the behaviour in place for you, with the aim of caring for and healing those areas. We will work with your needs, but the list below gives you an overview of the areas that can tend to be problematic in some way:
negative self talk
emotional wounds particularly from childhood
womb and birth issues
protective & sabotaging behaviours
connecting with what the body really wants
learning to identify the REAL need underneath the habit of Emotional Eating
connecting with the true feelings and learning to be with them and then to release them
taking the energy and power back from food, people, places and situations
creating a sense of safety and empowerment within
shifting towards a new identity
the need for connection, fulfilment and play
strategies for real self nourishment
Together we understand what holds the emotional eating in place, so that we can move towards who you really want to be.
And it bears stating again; it is not always emotional or hard; sometimes what comes up is funny, inspiring or heartening. But always, you are letting go of the old ways while learning about you.
Bespoke; just for you
As I have said before, this programme is bespoke, which means it is designed to care for your needs as they arise, always guiding you towards the aim of freedom around food, with a sense of empowerment, self worth, resourcefulness, self awareness and self love; so that food is not your place for soothing or resolution, instead you have will choice.
I share many different practices along the way that can help you to help yourself when away from our time together, we will discover which ones work well with you and incorporate those into a regular self care practice.
Who is this for?
I work best with:
women who are between 30 and 60 years old,
women who have struggled with their weight and are now realising that there is likely to be more behind this than an 'inability' to stick to a diet.
those who are open to a greater power (Universe, Source, Angels etc), even if you have no spiritual connections at this time
(but mostly) those who are ready to commit to their future free-feeling life, where food has no control over them anymore.
If you resonated with my story and want to change things, then you're already more than enough to do this work; never doubt this!
Who this programme is not for:
Teenagers (there are complex needs at this time of your life and your brain is not yet fully developed; specialist help is recommended, available through GP referral or here
Those who aren't ready to learn be present to themselves and take care of their needs
Cannot commit to regular (weekly or monthly depending on the journey) sessions.
Logistics of the Freedom from Emotional eating Programme
This programme is currently available only as a one-to-one session programme.
Included in this programme are up to 15 sessions, each lasting 2 hours (apart from the first which requires a consultation).
The sessions can be booked and used over the space of 18 months.
We allow this much time due to the complex nature of food issues and to allow each client to have time to process, work through small issues at home, and then to come back to me when a rough patch or block is hit upon.
The sessions are booked at a mutually convenient time, and can be conducted over zoom if you are unable to come to my clinic in Halstead, North Essex. My hours of work can be found here.
For between session times, there is email / text support available during standard working hours, Mon-Fri.
You'll have access to supportive videos, mp3s and written materials, in a private area of my website, for use between session times, which can act as a helpful reminder and also inspiration.
As a bonus, if you pay for the whole programme upfront, you will receive the Sweet-Tooth Breakthrough session absolutely free; this is particularly worthwhile if you wish to break the sugar habit! Click on the pink text above to find out more information.
What a session looks like:
In my experience, the most effective outcomes come from working in segmenting each session into 2 parts.
This means that, for the first part, we work with the subconscious, (the psychology and emotions) following the energy. This will constitute the larger part of each session.
Then we finish the session with some soothing, and naturally resetting Energy Healing, leaving you feeling relaxed and empowered.
Please do not underestimate this need for this space to relax and rest; we do deep work in the first part of the session and it is very common, particularly for newer clients, to feel rather tired by this point. The Energy healing allows space for you to rest and just 'be', while I take care of the energetics. All my clients love this part of the treatment, even if they were sceptical to begin with, it quickly becomes their favourite part; many think of it as a quick nap time!
I use a very effective (and thorough) tool box of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT, Matrix Reimprinting, Birth Reimprinting), NLP, Hypnotherapy, Visualisations, Meditations, Energy Clearing practices and Energy Healing (such as Reiki, Light Codes, Quantum Touch with crystals too, if so desired).
The price is £2222. There are payment plans available, so please don't let the finances get in the way; you deserve this shift.
And remember, if you pay upfront, you get the Sweet-Tooth Breakthrough session (worth £350) as a huge value bonus completely free!
Money back guarantee
My way of working isn't for everyone, but if you've checked out the section on who this programme is for and find it's a fit, then there's an excellent chance that we will be a match.
However, If you find by the end of our 3rd session together that the programme is not for you, then I will refund the fee minus £450 (the cost of the three sessions).
I ask that you commit to giving the programme at least 3 sessions before deciding if it's working for you. Please always discuss any concerns with me; there might be something simple that needs addressing to make things feel right for you.
But if it isn't, then I will transfer the remaining payment back to you within 1 week. Please note, refunds after this point will not be entered into.
What's the cost of staying the same?
It can be hard to prioritise your own healing when you struggle with how you feel on the inside, outside and have negative self talk telling you that you're not worth it.
So if you are pondering if this is for you, first think about the cost Emotional Eating has had on your life so far; your self esteem, mental health and emotional wellbeing; your weight, your intimate relationships, your activities and your finances.
Do you let yourself be the person you want to be?
Even in monetary terms; the cost of diet classes and diet products, plus the sugary / savoury treat foods that you end up craving, all add up quickly.
Maybe your weight is problematic for your long term health. maybe you're worried about being around for your kids.
or maybe it means you have no boundaries with anyone and feel like you get walked over.
At what point will enough be enough for you?
I know I was desperate for meaningful help, that meant an end to this secret, painful cycle, that would mean I could finally relax around and about food; just being the me that I felt sure was inside.
I couldn't find it, so I created it, for myself and for you.
Will you let me guide you to a calmer, softer, easier place with food?
If you chose this for yourself please know that clients learn alot about themselves as they go on this 'journey' and it always leads a lasting sense of self love, appreciation and compassion, which spreads into all areas of their lives, allowing them to be a greater version of themselves. And that is the truly beautiful gift within. And you deserve that too.
If you wish to connect with me about this programme, discuss suitability, ask any questions about it, then please do get in touch via my contact me page.
sending you blessings