If you’re struggling with food addiction, binge eating or emotional eating, at some point you may have come to realize that there’s something deeper to your food and body image issues. If you ask yourself what the cause is of most of your suffering about your food obsessions and body hatred, you may realize that it is because of these problems you have not allowed yourself to express who you truly are. You may have held yourself back in your career, in relationships, as a parent and in other roles you play in life because of your size. The ultimate goal of recovery from binge eating, food addiction or emotional eating is to find soul satisfaction and to bring it into all areas of your life, including your relationship with food and how you feel about your body.
In this episode, you will learn:
1. What is soul satisfaction?
2. What does soul satisfaction have to do with my binge eating, food addiction or emotional eating?
3. Why is soul satisfaction not about religion or even spirituality?
4. How can food and body image issues be metaphors for what is missing in your life?
- List foods you tend to crave or binge on or crave and the emotions you feel when you eat them: When I eat (specific food), I feel (emotion). (Example: When I eat strawberry shortcake, I feel comforted. It reminds me of my grandmother, and she was the person who I thought cared for me the most growing up. I usually crave this food when I am feeling stressed or lonely.)
- What is your soul’s need that you are trying to satisfy with each food? (Example: My soul need for strawberry shortcake is a need for love or companionship, a need to feel like someone really cares about me.)
- My soul need for (specific food)
- Is a need for (fill in the blank).
3. Take a moment to recollect the dreams you had when you were younger and thought anything was possible. Remembering that your soul-self can accom- plish anything that it truly desires, what are those deeper urges of your soul, the dreams you had when you knew anything was possible that you want to bring Example: I want to travel. I haven’t allowed myself to travel because of my size, but I don’t want to let that stop me.
MENTIONED IN PODCAST:
Don’t make yet another New Year’s Resolution that you won’t be able to keep!! Next Anchor Program starting right after the holidays. Schedule a free consult to see if you’d be a good fit for the program right away!
Get a free copy of my book: “The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook” (I pay for the book, you pay for postage) – https://www.foodaddictionrecoveryworkbook.com/free?utm_source=crpodcast
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Hi everyone and welcome to the show. Today I’m bringing you Episode Number 102, Five Steps to Recovery and this is the final step, which is finding soul satisfaction. Stay tuned.
In the past four podcasts you’ve learned about how your behaviors, emotions core beliefs and body sensations relate to your food and body image struggles. Now, each of these previous levels has prepared you for what I’m going to discuss now, which is how to reach that final step in the five steps to recovery, which is finding soul satisfaction. Now, this isn’t about religion. It’s not even about spirituality. But at some point, if you struggle from food addiction binge-eating or compulsive overeating or emotional eating, you may have come to realize that changing how you look is not what it’s all about and it’s not about dieting. It’s not about even matching Western cultures, ideal of what you should look like, but rather who you are on the inside and being able to express your true and authentic self, no matter what your size or shape. That’s the only thing that’s going to really lead to true satisfaction. And after all, isn’t that what we all want to be happy in life to end the food obsessions, to stop hating our bodies. Well, the only way to do that is following these five steps to recovery and really latching on to the fifth step, which is finding self satisfaction. So if you ask yourself what the cause is of most of your suffering about food obsessions and body hatred, you may realize it’s because these problems you’ve allowed these problems that you have with food and with your body to stop you from expressing who you truly are. You know, I’ve talked about this before. You may have put on hold things you’ve always wanted to do. You may have kept yourself from applying for that next career spot or trying to enter into a relationship and so much more, you may have put your life on hold because of your food and body image issues. But when you find soul satisfaction, you’ll be able to bring that into all areas of your life including your relationship with food and how you feel about your body. So no longer will your emotions and core beliefs be the only things that dictate your behaviors. And most of the time, these emotions and core beliefs and even body sensations are related to past. We’ve talked about that past negative experiences, childhood traumas, other adversity in your life. When you find soul satisfaction, all of that flips and then your soul satisfaction then begins to influence your emotions and how you express them, your core beliefs and how you connect to your body.
Okay. Here’s an example from one of my previous patients, Erica. Now Erica’s father was a larger than life person who did everything to extremes, including drinking in excess. When he was drinking, he was often violent or threatening to her mother. And sometimes towards her. When she came home from school, she never knew what her evenings would be like. Which she feels safe or feel the need to hide in her room to avoid her father. This insecurity followed her into her adult life. Her fear was that she was not good enough to pursue the job she dreamed of as an ICU nurse. When she joined the anchor program, though, she was able to recognize that the insecurity and fear came from her childhood by reconnecting to her unrealized, passion, her soul satisfaction. She found other areas of her life falling into place, including being able to conquer her food and body image issues, or make peace with food and her body.
So what is soul satisfaction? Well, the, soul or spirit if you want to call it, or the essence of you is the part of you that is unchanging and separate, separate now from all the thoughts, judgments, and experiences of our day-to-day lives. This part of ourselves and our true self or authentic self is what makes us the individuals we are because it’s expressed differently in different people. No matter what you go through in life, this part of yourself is the part of you that remains unchanged, unblemished, and not tarnished by life struggles, disappointments, betrayals, or pain. Satisfying your soul is about living from who you truly are being anchored by your essential nature.
So what does it mean to be anchored? This is the heart of why I named my program. The anchor program being anchored is about being true to yourself and accessing your inner strength. Sometimes life struggles can change you and don’t, we all know that over the past two years has been a lot of struggle and strife and loss and pain and fear. But sometimes those struggles can change you and take you off your path or make you lose focus in life. They can actually hijack your life potential even. But when you find your true anchoring life, you tap into this vast reservoir of intuitive, natural knowledge that can help you shift your beliefs. Use your body sensations and body wisdom as cues regulate your emotions and manage your behavior. Without this deep well of knowledge in which body, mind, and spirit are all connected, you can continue to operate on those superficial levels that I talked about in the first key to recovery, repeating past mistakes, reenacting all traumas and living your life based on beliefs that no longer serve you.
Now I’ve mentioned previously that food can often represents something that is missing in your life and body dissatisfaction or the desire to be thin, or the focus on body image can be the same way when the deeper urges of your soul or your spirit are not being met it can feel as if you have a huge hole inside of you. Now you may have unconsciously tried to fill that void with food or distract yourself from that hole. By focusing on your dissatisfaction or body hatred. You may feel that your food and body image issues or your troubling life experiences have type cast you in a life role that doesn’t really suit you. But when you are able to live more from your authentic self, you’ll feel like a storm tossed sailor who has found a safe harbor in which to drop anchor. You’ll feel like you come home to yourself and that’s important and I think that’s what we all want. Isn’t it? If you anchor to your authentic self, nothing can ever truly shake you, finding your anchor, maybe about work or relationships or any area of your life in which you’re not truly being fully authentic. But when you find your anchor, you live from who you truly are and as a result, your relationship with food and your body will be more satisfying.
Now, how do you find soul satisfaction? It sounds good, but he may have no idea what I’m talking about. How do you find this? Where do you, is there a soul satisfaction store? Can you buy it online? Well, it’s not so simple, but if you’ve struggled with food and body image issues for most of your life, you know that your self-worth may be inextricably tied to the number on the scale or whether you’ve had a good food day or a bad food day, whether you ate what you thought you should eat and didn’t eat the foods you thought were bad. You may have decided at some point that the only way to have your needs for provable attention, affection, recognition or success met is to be a certain size or to look a certain way. Think about how much of you time, energy and focus and money has been spent on the pursuit of changing your size, obsessing about food, perhaps sometimes at the expense of your relationships and other important goals. And you may have, like many of the people I work with in the anchor program, you may have gotten to the point of really recognizing and acknowledging and accepting that self-worth can’t come from how you look or what your size is. True self-worth comes from your essence, your true self. You can tell the difference between true self-worth and superficial self-worth by paying attention to your feelings. When your life is a reflection of what you value most, what you love, you are more likely to be living a life of self-satisfaction.
So let’s talk about how to access these deeper urges of your spirit or your soul. When you shift your focus from the number on the scale to fulfilling your soul’s needs, it shapes everything you do in life. For example, if you’re focused in your careers, only on making money, you may pick jobs or a career that you don’t really love just for the money. And that can make you miserable, which as we know, can lead to overeating or binge eating or body image issues. Perhaps you’ve forgotten or left behind parts of your true self? Well, if so, now is the time to reclaim that true essence and to begin the process of reclaiming the parts of yourself that have been ignored, forgotten, or left behind.
Erika, for example had, as I said, in the beginning of the podcast had put aside her desire to be an ICU nurse. For you it may be that you never felt that you could handle having children, either out of fear that they might be harmed as you were as a child, or because you felt that you would not be able to find the right partner unless you had a perfect body. Whatever parts of the deeper urges of your soul, you put aside, now is the time to revisit those urges and listen to your soul’s needs. It’s time to come home to yourself.
Okay. So I’m going to put some homework in the show notes, but just go through that with you now. So the first thing that I recommend that you do in your search for soul satisfaction is make a list of the foods that you tend to crave or binge on, and then ask yourself what emotions you feel when you eat them. So here’s an example from my own life. When I eat strawberry shortcake, I feel comforted. It reminds me of my grandmother. And she was the one who I thought cared for me the most growing up. I usually crave this food when I’m feeling depressed or stressed or lonely. So make that list of the foods, the emotions you feel and any memories that may be associated with it, or any situations in which you may crave that particular food.
The second question is what is your soul’s need that you are trying to satisfy with each of those foods? So this is looking at soul satisfaction as a metaphor for that emptiness or that hole or that void that many of us feel. So what is your soul’s need that you’re trying to satisfy with each food? So here’s my example. My soul need for strawberry shortcake is a need for love or companionship, a need to feel like someone really cares about me. So again, The question is my soul need for a specific foods and put in that food is a need for, and then fill in what you think is so true. What’s the underlying need.
Number three, take a moment to recollect the dreams you had when you were younger and thought anything was possible remembering that your soul self can accomplish anything and truly desires. What are those deeper urges of your soul, the dreams you had when you were younger maybe that you want to bring back? So my example is I want to travel and I always have loved travel, but I haven’t allowed myself to travel because of my size, but I don’t want to let that stop me.
Okay, well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of the five steps to recovery. I’m going to ask you also, you know, with the new year coming up, many people are starting to think about making new year’s resolutions. Take a moment and ask yourself what your true, authentic self would want in this new year. Do you want to keep chasing the thin ideal, or are you ready to make peace with food and your body? Have you finally realized that all the diets in the world won’t solve the underlying root issue of your food and body image issues? If so, I congratulate you because this is the most important first step towards true healing. And if you’re ready to take the next step. Let me tell you about the anchor program. Now you can go to the anchor website at anchorprogram.com and you can see testimonials from previous participants in the program. You can also go to my podcasts site carolynrossinthe.com/podcast and search for interviews or graduates because I have posts done three podcasts with graduates of the anchor program a year after they finished the program. And I found them very interesting. And I think you will too, because there are three different people from all walks of life, different ages, different, you know, one has children, the other has grown children, et cetera, et cetera, different careers and they talk about their experience of being in the anchor program. So if you’re thinking at all that you might be interested in the anchor program, do a little due diligence and check out both of those things that I just mentioned, the anchorprogram.com, testimonials, and then carolynrossmd.com/podcast and search for interviews or graduates.
So the anchor program starts with a 12 week intensive, which is the purpose of which is to help you identify the root cause of why you’re struggling. And then after that, you would go into a six month program, which helps you to stay accountable and to maintain the gains that you’ve had. Subsequent to the six-month program is the alumni group. Now the 12 week program is an intensive because it meets once a week on zoom. The six month program meets every two weeks and then the alumni group meets once a month. So we’ve structured the program so that you have all of the support and resources. You need to make the changes you want to make. I work with a team of experts. Who have a combined, probably close to 60 plus years of experience specializing in treating eating disorders, such as food addiction, binge eating and emotional eating. So it’s not just someone who’s gone on a diet and lost weight, we are non diet program that helps you connect the dots and helps you go through these five steps to recovery. If you’re interested, look in the show notes and there’s a link to sign up for a free consult. In that free consult you’ll be able to discuss your own individual issues with food and body image and get some very clear advice about number one, whether the anchor program is a fit for you or not and number two, if not, what other resources we can provide to help you. So I hope this is helpful. Stay tuned for the upcoming podcasts, where we will be talking about breaking free from the foods that hold you hostage. So join us for the next podcast coming up soon.
Thanks so much again for listening if you like the podcast and you know, someone who might benefit from it, please feel free to share it. And again, I ask that you give us five stars or whatever you think is warranted on apple podcasts so that we can get the word out to people who are struggling with binge-eating food addiction and emotional eating. I want to remind you that we still have the free book promotion going on. You can get a free, hard copy of my book, the food addiction, recovery workbook. I paid for the book you pay for the postage, or you can get a free copy of the ebook of the food addiction recovery workbook. There is a small handling fee with that, but I pay for the ebook. You pay that small handling fee.
For those of you who have been sitting on the fence, I know it’s getting uncomfortable there. Maybe this is the time for you to consider taking a leap of faith and scheduling that free consult to talk about your individual food and body image issues. This isn’t a sales call. I have many people that I turn away from the program who aren’t ready or for whom the program is not a good fit. So the purpose of this call is to give you the benefit of expert advice on what might help you with your food and body image issues. So you can see in the show notes, a link to set up that free consult.
Okay. I look forward to talking with you next time, Dr. Carolyn signing off.