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The Master Cleanse Express
by Zoebess

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  • Emotional Eating   RRR   by  Zoebess     16 y     10,490       5 Messages Shown       Blog: The Master Cleanse Express

    One of the major challenges of the Master Cleanse is to develop
    a new relationship with food and to become aware of how we use
    food in our daily lives. We need food to live so it is something
    which is readily available and only limited by our resources and
    willingness to obtain it.

    Most of us at one time or another have turned to food in an effort to
    assuage feelings or emotions which consume our lives. The Master
    Cleanse offers an opportunity to examine this relationship and to heal
    it. It calls for honesty and in many cases, erasing of the self-talk
    tapes we play in our minds which give us permission to indulge our

    Below is an article which addresses a way to identify food craving
    triggers. With practice one can become an expert at identifying when
    one is emotionally eating.


    Food Cravings
    by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.

    Some people's food cravings remain constant; for example, they
    always crave ice cream. Other people go through "food kicks,"
    craving peanut butter one week, blue cheese dressing the next
    week, and chocolate bars the following week. Neither situation
    is accidental nor coincidental.

    If your emotional issues remain unaddressed, your food craving
    will remain constant. If your emotional issues change, so will
    your food cravings. The only parallel between both the constant
    and the changing food cravings is this: There is some underlying
    emotional issue crying out for your attention.

    By "emotional issues" I don't necessarily mean deep psychological
    matters requiring therapy. Food cravings often stem from basic
    unmet needs for fun, excitement, or love — issues most would
    consider "normal" and within our power to self-heal.

    Emotional issues connected to food cravings usually fall into
    one of these categories:

    ~Stress, tension, anxiety, fear, or impatience

    ~Depression or feeling blue

    ~Feeling tired, having low energy levels

    ~Unmet needs for fun, play, excitement, or recreation; too much
    work and not enough play

    ~A desire for love, selection, appreciation, romance, or sexual

    ~Anger, resentment, bitterness, or frustration

    ~Emptiness, insecurity, or a desire for comfort

    Four emotions form the core of emotional overeating: (fear,
    anger, tension, and shame (FATS). Fear is the root emotion in
    the FATS feelings. Anger, tension, and shame are all extensions
    of fear. We feel angry because we fear losing love in the form of
    something or someone valuable to us; we feel tension because we
    are afraid of trusting or because we've walked away from our
    Divine path; we feel shame because we fear we are inadequate.

    These "FATS feelings" are the primary triggers for emotional
    overeating. Overwhelming desires to eat stem from one of these
    four emotions.

    As a psychotherapist, I feel it's important to be honest with
    ourselves about our emotions. We need to face the emotion and
    then move on. I never recommend overanalyzing one's life or viewing
    oneself as a victim. Yet, the source of so much needless emotional
    pain is the unwillingness to face an unpleasant feeling. No one
    enjoys admitting, "Oh, yes, I feel insecure." But the alternative
    — not admitting it — is so much worse!

    When we deny our strong emotions, they grow even stronger. As
    they gain strength, they also seek outlets. Denied emotions
    manifest themselves in many unpleasant ways, including food
    cravings, physical aches or illnesses, depression, anxiety,
    phobias, and sleep disorders.

    The bottom line is this: As unpleasant as it is to face a negative
    emotion, the alternative is even more unpleasant. Everyone gets
    angry, upset, or jealous at some time — there's no question about
    it. Sometimes life circumstances or our personal choices make it
    tough to stay centered in peace of mind. In fact, the only question
    about these emotions is whether we choose to deal with them now or



    Insecurity, walking on eggshells, generalized fears, abandonment
    fears, existential fears, control issues, sexua| fears, worry,
    anxiety, depression, intimacy fears.


    At another person, toward an injustice, toward self, feeling
    betrayed, feeling ripped off, feeling abused.


    Stress, frustration, old anger turned into bitterness, old
    anger turned into resentment, jealousy, impatience, overwork
    without an emotional release such as fun.


    Self-blame, low self-esteem, self-loathing, lack of trust in
    one's own competence or goodness, assuming other people won't
    ike you, feeling less than other, feeling like you don't
    deserve good.

    When we bottle up our strong emotions, it's akin to putting
    a cork on a vinegar-and-baking soda combination. The ignored
    emotion doesn't go away — it intensifies. The more we try to
    ignore a feeling, the stronger it grows. It's so much easier
    to face the music while the emotion is still in a "fixable"

    That's why I really like food-craving analysis. You start by
    identifying the food you crave and work backward, like a detective.
    Once you've identified the food you crave, say, rocky road ice
    cream, the underlying emotion stares you plainly in the face:
    "Resentment toward others and self. Feeling used or pressured,
    and desiring fun and comfort. Depression."

    The truth of that underlying emotion, following a food-craving
    interpretation, hits most of us between the eyes. We instantly
    recognize, "Yes, that is the emotional issue I've been struggling
    with." This recognition may propel you to investigate further and
    take the healthy second step of asking yourself, "What makes me
    so frustrated or angry?" "What do I feel I'm missing out on?" and
    "Why am I taking my anger out on myself? " Usually the answers
    appear right away.

    Our denial system is incredibly effective in shielding us from
    honestly facing ourselves. Denial stems from a fear of admitting,
    "Yes, this bothers me." The consequences of this admission are
    even scarier "Now I must take responsibility for making changes
    to correct the situation." Change is frightening, because we fear
    that our situation might worsen instead of improve.

    Inertia and fears keep us from looking at underlying issues that
    create food cravings. Since this denial keeps us from seeing
    these seemingly obvious underlying issues, we often need to have
    them pointed out to us. It's relatively easy to see other people's
    issues; it's much tougher to be objective with ourselves. By
    learning to interpret your food cravings, you will be able to
    more readily discover these issues yourself.

    Just honestly admitting to ourselves, "Yes, this is the emotion
    underneath my food craving" is such a tremendous relief! It feels
    so good to come clean with yourself, doesn't it? That emotional
    relief then reduces, or even eliminates, the urge to overeat.

    Physically Based Cravings

    Sometimes, we'll crave a food because our body is screaming out
    for nutrients, such as vitamins or protein. Our body is depleted,
    and cravings ensure that its needs are met. These are physically
    based cravings.

    Yet, on close examination, even these cravings are rooted in
    emotions. Tension, the fourth Fats feelings, is the physical
    manifestation of stress in our lives. Stress leads to lifestyle
    choices that in turn lead to nutritional deprivation. Three of
    my clients discovered how stress-filled lifestyles robbed their
    body of energy and nutrients, which in turn triggered food cravings:

    ~Dianna's hectic schedule convinced her that she had "no time to
    exercise". Without regular physical activity, Dianna always felt
    sluggish and tired. Instead of solving the problem with a brisk
    walk or a bike ride, Dianna would eat foods to feel "peppier".

    ~Marcia's high-pressure job contributed to her overall feeling
    of tension and inability to relax. Marcia craved and ate bags
    of potato chips and pretzels to gnaw away her anxiety and tension.
    Junk foods rob our bodies of B vitamins, because empty calories
    require nutrients for digestion. When you use nutrients for
    digestion, without replacing them, you become nutrient deficient.
    Marcia was continually vitamin deficient and, therefore,
    continually hungry!

    ~Brenda used alcohol to calm her nerves. Excessive alcohol
    consumption contributes to lowered levels of the brain chemical
    serotonin. When serotonin is low, the usual result is carbohydrate
    cravings which are exactly what Brenda struggled with. Her appetite
    for breads and pasta was out of control, and Brenda was very
    unhappy with her weight.

    Yes, Dianna, Marcia, and Brenda all suffered from physically
    based food cravings. But the root of their nutrient deficiency
    was the FATS feeling, tension.

    Tension also increases brain chemicals that lead to overeating.
    Dr. Sarah Leibowitz of Rockefeller University found that the
    hormone cortisol stimulates production of a brain chemical called
    "neuropeptide Y". This brain chemical is a chief factor in turning
    our carbohydrate cravings on and off. Here's the tension link:
    We produce more cortisol when we are tense!

    Even worse, Leibowitz also reports that neuropeptide Y also makes
    the body hang on to the new body fat we produce (apparently this
    is some ancient biological throwback to the cave days). In other
    words, tension not only triggers carbohydrate cravings, it also
    makes it more difficult to lose any additional weight.


    I wish you well on your path to healing your relationship with food.
    My main lesson learned by doing the Master Cleanse is that I eat to
    live, I do not live to eat. My food choices will not always be perfect,
    but I am not striving for perfection. Rather, I seek balance and
    control. If I want to eat a banana split, that will be my choice and
    I will be comfortable with it. I have no fear of food, however, I
    now have a greater awareness of how I use food to numb myself to
    feelings I would rather not deal with. I plan to use that awareness
    to develop a relationship with food I can live with for the rest
    of my life.

    be happy, be well,

    Reply   FCK   TinyMCE  
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    • Wow, that is so true about changing food cravings!   by  Germanflower     16 y     1,891
      I hadn't even realized why, for weeks, I was on a german brown bread kick. Then I switched to pita chips, then sometimes full-blown sugar-foods (natural ones but still sugar!) and I couldn't get enough of the food I craved and then one day I'd forget about it and move on to something else...for the longest time I ate nothing but salad because I was craving wild maine blueberry dressing, then it was white balsamic gorgonzolla...and then it simply changed and I had no interest in the old craving. That is really an amazing revelation to me because it helps to understand why it's emotional eating and not eating to satisfy hunger. From now on, I'll know what's what!
      Reply   FCK   TinyMCE  
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      • Re: Wow, that is so true about changing food cravings!   by  Zoebess     16 y     1,738

        I am so glad you now have added awareness of what was directing your hunger.
        I plan on using this simple technique. It will help me since I can then reach for water instead of food if it is just emotional. I have been slowly incorporating lots of things to do or ways to cope with emotional eating. So much has to do with our personal comfort level and so giving it fun or company or a hot bath is very helpful.

        I hope this helps you much post-cleanse!


        Reply   FCK   TinyMCE  
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    • wow!   by  #64844     16 y     1,737
      I never heard it put that way before! The FATS acronym is SO right on. I am actually excited about facing food when i come off the cleanse. I think i've let go of the fear and with the cleanse my body has rid itself of the damage I was doing when on the downward path of overeating and eating to numb pain. I know that I can't always eat perfect, but I know that if i make a good decisions most of the time i'll have nothing to fear or be ashamed of. Thank you so much for this post. I wish you well on your journey!
      Reply   FCK   TinyMCE  
      • Re: wow!   by  Zoebess     16 y     1,592
        I am very glad this article has helped you make a breakthrough to your emotional eating. It really helped me too. I already memorized the F-A-T-S acronym!

        I wish you well post-fast and on your Master Cleanse. May this help you get to where you want to go with your relationship with food!


        Reply   FCK   TinyMCE  
        This is my avatar. Click here to see my profile.
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