Food is comfort. But is it? I’m going to say no and in this episode, I’m telling you why.
Yes there may be some chemical reactions in your brain that happen when you eat but, there’s more to the story. The comfort you experience is mostly coming from somewhere else. So the good news here is, you can create comfort without eating anything. Listen in to this episode to learn how you’re going to stop using food as your main source of comfort.
Hi! How are you? I’m so good because, next week is going to be such a fun week. Because, I’m going to spend 5 days with you in a free 5 day training!
I love doing these trainings so much, I love interacting with you all, I love teaching you all the things I can in those 5 days!
Every time I do a free training I come up with new ideas, new ways to explain things, you all ask new questions which provides you all with more answers, and it’s just never entirely the same.
So if you’ve done a free training before, and you’re still bingeing, do this one. Hear things in a new way, hear things you may have missed the first time, and hear what you need to hear again.
If you’ve never done one of my free trainings before, come join me! You have nothing to lose, only so much to gain.
We’re going to begin next Monday, December 13th 2021 and I’ll be going live on Zoom each day for 5 days to teach you as much as I can fit in about the essential things you need to be doing to stop binge eating.
You’re going to get homework so you can apply what you’re learning in the training and you’ll be able to ask me any question you have. All the questions!
I also set up a pop up community for the training so you can connect with other people who binge eat who are also going through the training.
Ultimately the goal is for you to start re-training yourself and re-training your brain so you can stop binge eating. I want you to be clear about what you need to be working on, what your next steps are, and where you need the most work.
So go to coachkir.com/training to register.
Even if you can’t make it live, there will be replays available for a limited time after the training is finished but, you must be registered to access them.
So go ahead and do that now so you don’t forget and I cannot wait to spend the next week with you.
Alright, now onto today. The topic, eating for comfort.
I think we’ve all heard the term “comfort food” before. We all have had different ideas of what we’d consider to be comfort food for ourselves.
Most of the time, it’s something that you used to love eating growing up, it’s something you associated with happy times in your childhood, or maybe it’s a food you started eating in recent years that you associate good feelings with.
And usually, they’re high in sugar, carbs, and/or fat.
When you want to feel comforted because you had a hard day or hard week, you’ve been stressed, sad, worried, lonely, some kind of feeling, you turn to the food to comfort you.
Food can be considered an easy source of comfort.
Except, that it’s not a source of comfort.
You may think it is because of how you feel when you’re eating that food but, the feeling you’re feeling isn’t coming from the food.
It’s coming from your thoughts about it or from whatever you’re thinking about when you’re eating that food.
We give food far too much credit for creating feelings we feel when actually you’re the who deserves the credit.
Now, is there activity in your brain’s reward centers that contributes to a sense of well-being and good feelings?
Yes. But, what really matters the most is your thoughts while eating the food.
Your thoughts have a bigger effect on how you feel when you’re eating than the biochemical effects of the food does.
And here’s how we know that’s true.
Sometimes you eat one of your comfort foods and you feel better. So much comfort.
Other times, you eat it and there is no comfort. Nothing changes. You still feel crappy.
Now, if the food itself was comforting, you would feel comforted every time you ate it.
But you don’t because you’re not thinking the same thoughts every time you eat it.
Sometimes you’re going to be eating the food while thinking about stressful work stuff, while thinking about how you shouldn’t be eating it, or while thinking about something in the future that you’re worried about.
If you are, you are not going to feel comforted. Those thoughts are going to over power any sort of chemical reaction that’s happening in your brain that could result in any pleasure and comfort.
But then sometimes you’re going to be eating that food, thinking about how wonderful the experience is, thinking about your memories with that food, or thinking about how you’re okay now that you’re eating.
And that’s when you’re going to feel comforted.
You feel comforted when you think comforting thoughts.
We’ve been taught that doing things creates comfort, things like eating, hugging, just being with someone, drinking warm beverages, curling up in bed but, they don’t.
You’re not going to feel comforted if you get a hug from someone you don’t want a hug from. Or if you just don’t want a hug. Hugs in themselves aren’t comforting. They will only be comforting if you are thinking comfortingly about the hug, the person giving you the hug, and about yourself.
Same goes for the other things.
You can have people around you without feeling comfort.
You can drink a warm beverage and not feel comforted. Especially if it’s a hot day.
And you can curl up and bed and still not feel comforted.
I want you to think about why you DO feel comforted when you do feel comforted doing those things.
What are you thinking?
I’d say a common thought that comes up for most people is, “I’m okay.”
Isn’t is comforting to know that you’re okay?
You eat the food, you get the hug, you’re with a person, and you think, “I’m okay,” or something to that effect.
And there’s your comfort.
You have a rough day, you sit down with the food and you think, “I’m okay,” and there’s your comfort.
As long as you’re eating that food, you think you’re okay and you feel okay.
That’s of course not the only comforting thought and I want you to notice which ones you’re thinking when you are feeling comforted.
It will probably depend on what the reason is that you’re looking for comfort.
If you’re stressed at work, a comforting thought could be that it will all work out.
If you’re feeling lonely, a comforting thought could be that you’re truly not alone.
If you’re disappointed about where you’re at in your life, a comforting thought could be that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be and you will take the next steps to get to where you want to be.
Basically, you can consider what you would want to hear from someone else, that would be comforting for you to hear, and tell it to yourself.
Now, this is all important for you to understand because if you are going to food for comfort and aren’t getting it, you might get frustrated and keep looking for it in food until you find it.
If the lasagna didn’t do it, maybe ice cream will. If that doesn’t, maybe it’s crackers. Still not feeling comforted? Let’s try the cookies.
And by the time you realize that none of that is providing you with the comfort you’re wanting, you’re uncomfortable after eating all that food and feeling stuffed.
No amount of food is going to make you feel comforted when you’re not shifting how you’re thinking.
So when you’re wanting comfort, stop looking outside of you.
Look into your mind. Look at how you’re feeling, what the feelings are that you’re wanting to not feel.
Then tell yourself what you want to hear.
Don’t wait around for someone else to tell you it.
Now you can of course partake in activities that will assist you in feeling comforted.
It’s like what I talked about in a recent episode, #172 about replacing binge eating.
Doing activities can assist in helping you to feel how you want to feel.
Take a warm bath if you want to. Wrap yourself up in a comfy blanket. Do something you enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But just remember that the main reason you’re feeling comforted is because of how you’re thinking when you’re doing those things.
So instead of running to food when you want comfort, create it yourself.
Tell yourself what you want to hear.
Alright, that’s all for today.
And don’t forget to register for the free 5 day training next week that’s starting on Monday December 13th2021. Let’s get you clear on exactly what you’re going to be focusing on to stop binge eating. Let’s re-train your brain. Let’s get you all set up to have an amazing 2022!
Go to coachkir.com/training to register and remember, there will be replays but you must be registered to access them.
I cannot wait to see you there!