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The 3 Things You Need To Know About Emotions And Food

I rarely take you behind the scenes of my business because well…it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with food! (Which is why you’re here, I’m assuming 🙂 To gain insight into the whole food mess)

But these past few weeks my business has actually had a lot to do with food…

Let me explain.

emotions and food

This past month and a half was spent marketing Healing From Within.

And it was A LOT of work. Lots of filming videos, creating Facebook ads and content, writing emails, answering questions, monitoring and tracking engagement/analytics, and other tedious tasks (in addition to all of my 1:1 coaching clients).  I spent a ton of time on the computer (not one of my favorite things) and a lot of time strategizing and planning.

Plus, it was a lot of waiting. Waiting to see if my strategy worked, wondering how many people would enroll, and keeping myself sane while the marketing ran it’s course.

And in that waiting period my mind went a little crazy; I was plagued with self-doubt, insecurity, and fear. I questioned my methods and tools, I wondered if anyone would enroll, I wavered on the “am I really meant to do this? What if it doesn’t work out?!”

I put so much time, heart, energy, money and passion into the course. I believe 150% in what the course teaches and know in my bones it can change the way woman are around food.

But it did NOT turn out in any way I expected. 

I’ve built my community (That’s you! Thanks for reading 🙂 ) quite significantly since the last time I ran the course. I’ve worked really hard to attract the women I can help the most into my world. And I’ve spent time learning what people need and want. I’ve also become a better marketer and know much more about the online business world than I did last year when I launched the program.

Statistically (yes, there’s a formula in online business!), I “should” have done A LOT better with my program.

Taking into account numbers, website visitors, page clicks, email open rates, and other metrics, I “should” have had at least 25 women in the course. And I have 5 (all of whom I adore and am so happy they are a part of the course!).

And to be brutally honest, I was heartbroken and disappointed.

I began questioning whether or not I was cut out for this (you’ve gotta have thick skin in business…which I don’t). I wondered if this wasn’t “meant to be”. I went over different scenarios in my head, trying to figure out what I did wrong.  I was angry. I had put SO MUCH WORK into this and was furious it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

And because I had such intense feelings before/during/after the launch, some of my old patterns reared their ugly heads. I wanted to eat, dammit! 

I would find myself wanting chocolate at night, searching in my pantry for something to nibble on. I was wanting more greasy foods like fries and pizza. I kept thinking about making cookies and going to Whole Foods for some bulk bin candies. I wanted to just numb out and not feel.

I hadn’t felt like this in a LONG time.

But instead of turning to food, I let myself feel.

And you know what? It wasn’t pretty. I spent a lot of time in tears. I journaled. I meditated. I asked for guidance. I took a drive into the mountains. I hiked. I called my business pals. I talked to my business coach. I read inspirational books. I cried some more.

It wasn’t fun or comfortable. And it definitely wasn’t easy.

But I did it.

Because as tempting as it was to eat 17 cookies and soothe myself with food, I know by now that food doesn’t do what I want it to do. Food doesn’t take away the disappointment, the uncertainty, the exhaustion.

As much as I sometimes wish food was the easy solution, I know deep down, it isn’t. I wish it was easier because for me, emotions have always been hard. I feel things intensely. I’m very sensitive. I take things to heart. I’m hard on myself. 

But you know what? Each and every time I feel my emotions, I’m proud of myself. Because it’s not that normal in our society to deal with your emotions in a healthy way. Most people medicate with alcohol or overworking or shopping or the million other ways we numb out.

It’s HARD to feel.

Which is why I wanted to share this behind the scenes story. So you know that you’re not alone and that although this path is difficult at times, it’s worth doing the hard work so that you CAN both deal with emotions AND eat in a way that serves you.

The 3 things to remember about emotions and food: 

  1. It’s okay for this to be messy.

I tell every single one of my clients that the faster they can get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, the faster they will stop using food as a coping mechanism.

When you can be okay with discomfort, with allowing the anger or jealously or sadness be there without having to do anything, you will fast-track your progress. Because so much of using food is not wanting to feel whatever is there.

And when you’re first learning how to use food “normally”, it may not be pretty. You may lash out at someone in anger and later have to apologize. You may be sobbing in your bed at night in sadness over a breakup. You may tell your mom something that upset you and get in a fight. That’s okay.

It’s part of the process of learning how to process and deal with your emotions in a healthy way. You’re re-learning how to deal with your emotions…so of course it’ll be messy at first!

  1. Having emotions doesn’t make you a “bad” person.

I used to think something was wrong with me when I felt sad, angry, depressed, lonely, or any other “negative” emotion. When I realized that as a human being, it’s okay and natural be feel ups and downs, it was very freeing.

If you feel unsettled or anxious about something, even if you have a great life and things are going well, it’s okay. Allow yourself to feel it. You can feel mad, glad, down, lonely, excited, happy and anxious all in a span of a few hours. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel. And know that whatever it is, it’s completely normal 🙂

  1. What you resist, persists.

The more you resist feeling, the farther away you run from your emotions, and the longer you go without dealing with your feelings, the more it’ll persist inside of you. Remember that emotions are just energy. Without the mental story behind it (“My boss is an a-hole. He shouldn’t have said that to me. I deserve respect and appreciation. No one at work appreciates me, etc”), the emotion is pure energy.

When you can let the energy pass through you and be released, it will no longer plague you. When you stop fighting it, it’s much easier to let go of! It’s often in the fighting of it that it ends up getting us “stuck” (and wanting to eat!).

 It can sometimes be terrifying to feel your feelings. Especially at first when you aren’t used to dealing with emotions. So be easy on yourself as you learn to navigate the emotional world! I promise it gets easier as you do it 😉

It’s your turn! Tell me what YOU can do this week to begin to feel your emotions more. Comment below, I’d love to hear 🙂

 

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5 comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Jenny. It is EXACTLY where I am at just now. I am still comfort eating at the moment but most days I am writing, most days I am trying to give myself a chance to feel what’s going on and every few days I seem to get a break through in what’s going on inside of me. Some evenings I am meditating and I am finding it to be an absolute necessity in bringing clarity. I struggle with wanting more time to just be with myself. Wanting to get time off work. Needing time to process. And yes.. I am still numbing my feelings for a lot of the time. I know it’s not the answer but in not ready to go it alone, without the food! And I’m trying to forgive myself for that and just let it be, trusting that all the help and support and time I need will come! Thanks for your honesty and encouragement in sharing this story. It gives me hope and strength to keep going, to keep feeling ????????

  • You are most welcome 🙂 Yes, keep feeling…it does get easier! At first, it’s like when you pop the champagne bottle and all the fizz and bubbles explode out of it. You were using the cork (food) to hold everything down and when you take it off (put the food down), it alllll comes up! So in that sense it does get easier 🙂 Know that this journey takes courage…so I’m proud of you for looking at the tough emotions and asking the hard questions 🙂 XO

  • There is a quote that says “It helps to view loving our bodies as a process rather than a goal”. I think part of this process involves the ups and downs. Jenn, your website is one of the few that shows both the triumphs and the failures. Thank you for your contribution to my journey (and many others) who are on the long and dynamic path to finding freedom around food.

  • You are so welcome and I’m so glad it helps 🙂 That quote is spot on. It truly is a journey and it’s hard to remember that many times in our instant gratification society. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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