Get It in Writing

on October 23, 2006

by Geneen Roth

The next time you tell yourself that you eat because you are sad or frustrated or angry, stop. Instead, start writing an ongoing “Curiosity Dialogue.” Open with simple, declarative statements. What do you believe will happen if you let yourself feel these feelings? Where did you learn that?

Emotional eating is not about lack of willpower, and it won’t be solved by dieting. While overeating (as well as undereating) can become a life-threatening health concern, the roots of the problem are rarely physical. We eat when we are lonely. We eat when we are sad. We eat when we are bored, angry, grieving, frustrated, frightened. We eat because we don’t know that our feelings won’t destroy us–and because food is everywhere, as is the message that it will fix whatever’s wrong.

Your job is to ask questions, not manufacture answers. The answers are already there, but since you haven’t looked, you don’t know that yet. Assume that you are extraordinarily wise and incredibly sane. Because you are.

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