I used to sometimes think how wonderful it was that there was an endless supply of inspirational teachers speaking without pause on the internet, Facebook Live, and You tube. I thought it would help us to find peace faster. Maybe this is true, but for many people, surfing the internet for inspiration has become a new form of distraction, even a new form of entertainment. Both of these things can be helpful at times, but it is important to recognize the difference between being engaged transformational work and being entertained.
There are few things more all-consuming than obsessive thinking about food, health and the weight and appearance of the body. With both women and men this pre-occupation often over-shadows all other goals, enjoyments and experiences in life.
The focus on food and the body fills the same need that alcohol, drugs, gambling and compulsive shopping do: It is a strategy to shut down the inner experience of emptiness, aloneness, disconnection and lack. All of these strategies create in initial feeling of excitement and satisfaction, but this is very short-lived. You can’t get enough of what you don’t really want, so you keep repeating the same behaviour, in progressively more extreme ways, hoping for a different result.
"Compulsive eating was a way to distance myself from the way things were when they weren't how I wanted them to be. I didn't want to sit in the centre of my own life. To ask myself what was actually going on when I wanted to eat even when I wasn't hungry. Crazed with self-loathing and shame I vacillated between wanting to destroy myself and wanting to fix myself with the next best promise of losing thirty pounds in thirty days."
- Geneen Roth
If you have issues around food and eating, the above experience may be familiar to you. When I teach people about Intuitive Eating, this is one of the key ways in which I see them transform: Moving away from I don't want to sit in the centre of my own life and into: I AM the centre of my own life - right where I've always longed to be. I'm strong, able, joyful and at peace....and here I am, nested right in the centre of my own heart.