Why do I keep eating when I’m uncomfortably full?

Turn on bulb on green backgroundWe reach for more food when we’ve eaten so much that we feel physically uncomfortable.
We think that more food is what we want.

Does this sound familiar to you?
It comes up a lot in my coaching practice,
so I’m sharing my  email exchange with Jen* here.

Jen: I notice this week that when I am not feeling “good” in my body – and that means clothes feel tight, tummy feels bloated, etc – instead of feeling the uncomfortable feeling, I want to eat. It makes no sense if you feel bloated or chubby to eat- but maybe its about eating enough to numb out? am i right?

Me: I know! I do it too – makes no sense physically – but makes absolute sense if you’re trying to escape your feelings caused by what you’re telling yourself about your bloated stomach and tight clothes.
So….
What are you telling yourself?
You say you ‘want to eat’ but what do you really want?

Jen: What I really want (in that moment) is to not feel uncomfortable or fat or bloated, so obviously eating makes no sense! But I definitely want to!
So weird!!

Me: I think you do want to feel fat and bloated and uncomfortable.
Otherwise you wouldn’t want to eat more (:
So….
There’s something you would be feeling if you weren’t feeling uncomfortable and bloated that is scarier for you than bloated and uncomfortable.
I wonder what that would be?

Jen: bingo. i got it. it only took a year 🙂 lol.
thank you bev

lightbulb borderWe do things that make no sense to us.
That cause us discomfort.
And we can’t figure out why.

I have found that it’s almost always to avoid a feeling.

Jen was smart enough, and aware enough, to pause.
To not reach for the food in order to observe herself.
She gave herself the space to notice what she’s doing.
And ask “why?”.

Jen and I will need to explore further to discover exactly which feeling she’s trying to avoid by eating when she’s full.
And then we’ll look at why she’s scared of it, and what she’s thinking to bring on this feeling.

This is the pure magic of coaching.

A diet can teach you how to eat so you don’t ever get full.
For sure.
But only the type of coaching that we do and teach at The Life Coach School can help you find the reason you ever wanted to overeat in the first place.
And then extinguish that urge so you never need to use will power or discipline to stop eating.

It’s called causal coaching.

We find the cause of the urge.
And we look it straight in the eye, together.

We unravel it, together.
Often, it loses its power right then.
Other times, we need to play with it,
shift it a bit,
find another way to tell the story.

I am deeply honoured to bear witness to these ‘bingo moments’.
Each one lessens the hold that we have given food on our psyche
And glides us towards freedom.
One thought at a time.

Jen was so inspired by the work we did that she is going to become a Weight Coach herself! Weight Coach Training starts next week, and if you’re feeling called to join us, we have a few spots left – email me asap so we can get you signed up in time for Tuesdays’ class!

*Jen is not her real name, of course. My clients identities are highly classified and protected.

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About Forever Free with Bev Aron, Certified Weight Loss Coach

I work with emotional eaters who desperately want relief from emotional eating, but can't seem to do it on their own. They know they need to eat less and move more, but can't figure out why they aren't doing it. My specialty is showing them the why and the how. I also work with parents who are worried about their children's weight. I help those parents encourage their children to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.
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