All diets work. Why? Because our survival depends on food. The more interesting question is how each diet works, and if it works for the purpose you intend it to. Eating for pure pleasure, or emotional eating, almost every day, is something new to the times we live in.
Most of my clients admit that they are emotional eaters. It happens if they are irritated and there are always many irritants, internal (headaches, feeling tired, cramps, etc.) as well external (sounds, lighting, temperature, visual annoyances). Let’s say pain is a common one. If we break a bone or bruise our leg the injury is obvious and visible; the pain we experience is “real.” If we feel depressed this might show in our body language, (slouched shoulders, lowered head) but it is more of an attitude that we have. Sadness might show in the way we dress or pay attention to our hygiene. Although the true pain and the deeper symptoms are all but invisible to the eye.
Many people turn to food, a temporary relief of deep emotional depression or a long-term process of suppressing emotions that would have led to change: change to a new job, changing a relationship, changing the place where they live. To make any of these changes you have to face emotional pain and make an effort, do the work. Making a decision somehow moves us forward so we are no longer dwelling in the same irritation and hidden pain.
Delicious doesn’t exist. We’re attached to certain foods that soothe us, but these are habits from our past. For instance, the idea of eating an octopus is not very appetizing to me, but our friends surprised us with a beautiful dinner and the delicacy of octopus on a big platter. The question, “Anyone a tentacle?” made my stomach turn and twist. Jerzy would eat pierogis five times a day—they are his idea of delicious, but others would gladly turn them down. Delicious is subjective, but healthy is not. Healthy does exist as an absolute.
Sluggishness, lethargy, and depression are symptoms that a diet or eating pattern isn’t healthy. The body doesn’t lie; it expresses everything that’s inside us, emotionally and physically. Comfort foods seldom comfort in the end; instead, they perpetuate the bad feeling that caused the person to turn to them in the first place. They decrease immunity and disrupt hormonal balance. It all comes down to control – either food controls us or we control the food. Awareness of what we’re eating and how we’re eating it can break the cycle.
“Upgraded brain” millennials are coming to us in increasing numbers to learn a new, different kind of lifestyle. They’re looking for simplicity that they can afford; they don’t want to own machines or be tied to gym memberships. They adopt new behavior if it’s logical and practical.
We know that what we ask people to do in The Happy Body is to change. Not to fix, not to try and look for something that is hip now, but to embrace a permanent change to a new lifestyle that will work forever.
What kind of diet are you on? Do you ever think of how daily habits can shape the course of your life?
Think of one thing that you can change today, and if you like, tell us what it is below.