Jewish Journal

Disconnection from Our Appetite

by Rebecca Cooper

September 26, 2011 | 10:51 am

Some of us are so disconnected from our appetite, our Self, and feelings that we are getting caught up in mindless habitual eating or yo-yo dieting. Some of us don’t know when we are hungry or full. We may confuse an emotion or feeling with being hungry. We may use food to comfort ourselves or as a way of relieving stress. We may feel hungry when we are actually bored or lonely. We zone-out on food or compulsive thoughts about food, weight or body image. We push all this down with a mountain of food. We don’t pay attention to our appetite.

We don’t access that internal control—our appetite. We just want to eat. It’s not about physical hunger. Food becomes our best friend, our companion, and our comfort. We reach for food to fill that empty hole that food cannot touch.
We have to learn to identify the feeling, thought or trigger behind the reaching for food. Many of us mistake hunger for many other feelings. We can not fix something we are not aware of. If we do not know what we are feeling, we can not take appropriate action to deal with that feeling. Food does not work for emotional reasons.

For example, a lot of eating is triggered by stress. Food does not fix stress. A few quiet moments to relax, meditation, connecting with a higher power or observing nature are tools that can help. Food has become a substitute for dealing with the stress in our life, but it creates more problems, health and self-esteem issues, and more stress. In the upcoming blog posts I will talk about some tips on coping with stress and to free your mind for healthy mind and body!

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Rebecca Cooper is a California licensed therapist, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and the Founder of Rebecca’s House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs™. She is the...

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