Comfort food is a term used to describe anything that we reach for in times of stress or anxiety. We eat it because it reminds us of when were kids, often its food that our mother made for us; macaroni and cheese, ice cream sundaes, cakes, biscuits, anything that is a little bit naughty but feels sooo good! We know we shouldn’t eat it but we crave the comfort that the food brings.
I have a friend who is an alcoholic and he had been sober for  the past two years, right up until he had a very stressful experience which drove him straight to the liquor store to grab a bottle. Now you might think that his situation is entirely different from your own.
The truth is a bit different though. Often we are triggered by an emotional situation right before we develop an overwhelming urge to eat a cupcake or buy a chocolate bar – we just don’t associate the emotional situation with the urge.
What’s your drug of choice?
You see we are all addicted to something; coffee, chocolate, alcohol, cake. In fact researchers are now saying that sugar is just as addictive, if not more so , than cocaine. Yes, you read that right sugar is more addictive than cocaine.   

And just like any addict we reach for our drug of choice whenever our emotional buttons get pushed. We might not do it straight away but sometime over the next couple of hours our addiction will kick in and we will feel compelled to satisfy our craving.. This is why we don’t connect it to the argument we had with our boss or the fight we had with our spouse or the way that we yelled at the kids.
I have another friend who is gluten intolerant, whenever she eats it she feels terrible; her body aches, she starts yawning and wanting to sleep and her nose runs so you think she would avoid it like the plague… but she doesn’t. Sure she can go days or even weeks without eating any, she will only buy gluten free options when she is doing the shopping and everything is fine. Then something will push her buttons and she will give in to temptation and have a cupcake or other non gluten free treat and then she will feel like crap and berate herself for her lack of willpower. The truth is it has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with how she was feeling on an emotional level.
When any of us give in to our craving for something that we know we shouldn’t be eating or drinking, what we are trying to achieve is to quiet down the emotional storm that is raging inside us. It might be raging away deep, deep down, so deep that we are not even consciously aware of it, but it will be there.
Self-sabotage is misguided self-love

 I listened to a webinar recently and the person being interviewed made the statement that self-sabotage is misguided self-love. We are trying to keep ourselves safe and the means we do that (like eating gluten when you know it is not good for you, or  drinking alcohol when you are an alcoholic) might seem crazy to someone on the outside but at the time they make perfect sense to us,
The trouble is when we sedate our emotions we are numbing out part of ourselves and life starts to become a bland, beige kind of world. Our emotions are signposts to what is going on deep inside us and by tuning them out we miss the messages and the lessons that they have for us.
How do we know if we are sedating an emotion? How can we avoid it?

(1)   Overwhelming cravings: You may have been able to go weeks or even months without reaching for a piece of cake and suddenly all you can think of is cake ( or whatever your drug of choice is). You might argue with yourself or endeavor to side-track yourself from indulging but that nagging craving just won’t leave you alone
(2)   Scroll backwards: Do a mental run through of your day and see if you can pinpoint the moment that your craving started and then scroll back further to what happened just before that. Chances are that you had an argument or an encounter with someone that pushed some button and flooded you with emotions. Shortly after that came the craving
(3)   See the pattern: While we are unaware of the pattern we can’t take any steps to avoid it and complain about our lack of will power or our weakness. Everything shifts once you see the connection between the emotions and the craving. We can’t change anything until we are aware of what needs to be changed.
(4)   Choose differently: This is the hardest part. Acknowledging the pattern is the first real step in changing the pattern and the next step into wholeness is to make a different choice. Often the easiest way to do this is with the help and guidance of an experienced therapist as confronting deeply buried emotions and memories is not an easy task which is why we opt for the easy solution – like eating cake, right up until that doesn’t work for our highest interests any more.
This is one of the beauties of EFT ( tapping) as you don’t have to relive old memories in order to clear and release them.
So next time you are hit by an overwhelming urge to indulge in your drug of choice ask yourself: “What emotion am I trying to put to sleep?” The answer might surprise you.

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