Are you overeating because something’s eating you? Are you losing hope that you can conquer your emotional issues and finally lose the weight that you have been holding on to for years?
A recent online article at the Mayo Clinic website says you are an emotional eater if you are “eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness and loneliness”. With nearly two-thirds of Americans being overweight, obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. At any given time, about 45% of women and 25% of men are on a diet. The diet industry is a 40 billion dollar a year industry and it is estimated that 95% of dieters will gain their weight back within 5 years.
Weight loss gurus like Dr. Phil McGraw and Oprah have put the term “emotional eating” on the map for dieters. Are you spending your time and energy with interventions like talk therapy, journaling, and keeping a food/mood diary … in addition to counting calories, carbs, and fat? Is it all working for you or do you end up eating more because you just can’t seem to get a handle on your emotional stuff?
“This personal work is a step in the right direction as it gets people to tune into their reasons for overeating”, says Gary Craig, founder of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Craig agrees that emotional overeating is at the root of failed attempts to lose weight, “but there is something more subtle at the root of emotional eating.”
Craig explains, “unresolved emotional issues or traumas create blocks or disruptions in the body’s subtle energy systems. These energy disruptions create a type of “anxiety short circuit” in the body that, in turn, causes someone to overeat. This overeating serves to calm the anxiety, but at the expense of consuming unnecessary calories. EFT is very relaxing and usually removes the anxiety. And with the anxiety gone, the drive for emotional overeating disappears. Further, EFT helps to reprogram your energy system so that you eat for nutrition rather than to tranquilize emotions.”
EFT is an easy to learn self-help tool to help people resolve their emotional issues. It works because it addresses the energy imbalance as well as the unresolved negative emotions that are creating the energy imbalance. It is a form of acupuncture … but without needles and you simply tap on a series of acupuncture points while considering your emotional food craving.
When you resolve your emotional issues at a deep energetic level using EFT, your self destructive overeating behavior is likely to subside or disappear, usually permanently. This freedom from food cravings happens without the need to exercise willpower, or consciously change emotional responses. The tendency to respond to emotional issues by consuming food often fades. However, EFT is not perfect and emotional overeating can be a complex issue. But when used persistently and correctly most people have a success rate of about 70 to 80 percent.
EFT Master Dr. Carol Look met Jane* at a recent Energy Psychology Conference where Dr. Look was teaching a class on Attracting Abundance with EFT. Jane reported, “I have been tapping along with your DVD from Gary Craig’s Specialty Series 1, and the pounds just flew off!” Jane lost 51 pounds and has kept it off for a year.
Jane told Dr. Look that her childhood had been abusive and she protected herself by becoming the ‘perfect child’. She had to say, do and wear the right thing or suffer her parents’ rage, anger and violence. Finally, at 30 years old, Jane began her rebellion against her parents. Overeating gave Jane a sense of control and a feeling of relief from her lifelong pressure of having to be perfect.
In Jane’s words: “By the time I was 30 I had a great job; but I couldn’t understand why friendships and relationships never worked out for me. I was so tired of the “perfect” role it was actually a relief to gain an enormous amount of weight, because it would be obvious to anyone looking at me that I wasn’t perfect. It was the “perfect” excuse for me to bow out of life and to isolate myself. I used food to sedate myself and I sleepwalked through life for sixteen years. I would lose weight and then gain it all back plus 10 more pounds. I would sabotage myself at every turn. My sister gave me Gary Craig’s manual on EFT and his website information, and I learned to tap and I ordered your weight loss DVD from the specialty series. I tapped along with the DVD just for practice and suddenly I started losing weight. I lost 50 pounds in six months and kept it off for a year.”
Jane never actually dieted while doing the EFT tapping. Says Dr. Look, “Please note that this was not magic: Jane tapped and tapped over and over again for her issues and for her feelings. This is why “the pounds came flying off.””
Jane’s case illustrates the importance of identifying and tapping on underlying emotional issues that contribute to overeating. Gary Craig explains, “conventional emotional overeating exercises and therapies may help you to identify your unresolved emotional issues about food. But EFT is one of the only techniques available that helps you to collapse those emotional drivers without the need for lengthy psychotherapy. Every weight loss program should start with EFT.”
While a complete description of EFT is beyond the scope of this article, you can learn all the basics from the free EFT Get Started Package on the EFT website. This includes a free download of the 79 page EFT Manual. Those wishing to save time and dive right in can get the affordable 5 star training DVDs
*Name changed to protect privacy