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If you’re drawn to food when you’re not hungry, something may be missing in your life. Or maybe more than some thing, but several somethings. You might be lacking:
Many dysregulated eaters are lonely and don’t realize it. They tell me, “I’m private and like to keep things to myself,” “I don’t want to be a burden,” or “I don’t trust people because I’ve been stabbed in the back too many times.” They believe that they should bear all of life’s hardships themselves and that they’re weak if they reach out for help. They engage in activities with people, but fear sharing authentic feelings. Some prefer the role of listening to others’ problems to opening up themselves. Some have lots of “friends” who are really only acquaintances and others don’t have even that. They yearn for intimacy but, fear it as well, and so remain disconnected, alone and lonely.
Both psychology and science tell us that we need purpose in life. People at every stage are happier when there’s meaning to their lives and they have a reason to get up in the morning. For many, purpose is having children or working. For others it’s about expressing their creativity or giving back to the world. Too many dysregulated eaters lack purpose, so they overfocus on food, weight or appearance. Being healthy is a worthy life goal, for certain, but having a great body is not. Meaningful purpose enhances your true worth and value to yourself and to others and makes you know the special part you play in this great big world.
I’m talking about peace of mind. Some poor souls never experience it. They never feel they’ve done enough, can’t quiet their over-active brains, and spend most of their time ruminating about the past or being anxious about the future. Their thoughts race and their pulse pounds. Rest and sleep elude them. Peace means being okay with who you are and where you are in life. In means accepting what didn’t work before and the enormous uncertainty about the future even when we plan well. It is a comforting quiet, a stillness that fills you up and makes life perfect in the moments you feel it. It’s a body-mind experience that shuts off external stimuli while making you feel deeply connected to yourself and the world, a sense that right now, in this moment, all is well.
If you lack the above, it’s time to switch your focus from food or weight to pursuing what you’re missing. Take a risk, expand your life, and set your sights on emotional growth.
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