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Food Cravings: Taking Back the Power

continued...

And that's what happened. Over time, the therapy I received helped me gain confidence in my natural self and my abilities, so my self-esteem improved. I began to feel more comfortable with other people, and I found I was spending less time craving -- and eating -- food I didn't need.

"Feeling more comfortable with other people." I can say that here a lot more easily than I could do it, at least at first. I took my first step toward becoming more comfortable with myself in relationships with others by joining a group of other women who were seeking to understand and change their emotional eating. They were wonderful! I also began accepting party invitations and actually going to the parties, instead of excusing myself at the last minute as I'd usually done. Simple steps, yes -- but big ones for me.

That was a couple of years ago. As I continued to work on replacing the false comfort of my emotional eating with the joy of making friends and pursuing new interests, my food cravings and the "void" came less and less often.

Most important, I was no longer at their mercy. When a craving loomed, I could see it as a signal to think rather than a command to eat. It was a signal that the newly empowered person I'd become could still feel vulnerable and unsure of herself at times. When that happened, my cravings and "void" came racing to the rescue, as they had done so many, many times before.

Only now I no longer needed them. I could choose to think instead of eat when a craving came along. I learned to say to myself then, "What part of the Whole Me, the part that still is scared sometimes but that I've been able to bring out into the open, can I visit now, and comfort, and reassure?" These days, just stopping to think like this is usually enough to help me see that I really can handle whatever situation I'm in. And it reminds me that emotional eating doesn't handle anything.

I like the thought that every time I do this -- for I still have occasional thoughts about overeating, and probably always will -- I'm saying goodbye again, with love and thanks, to my emotional eating.

It was there when I needed it. But now I'm here, all of me.

And that's enough.

Diana

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