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  • Kris Barling

Changing your emotional attachment to Food


I was so happy to be back, doing my thing yesterday, speaking about Nutrition and Mindset. I haven’t done a seminar for a while, life has been pretty busy but also I wasn’t as mobile over the last five months and I like to be very dynamic when I present. I’m not one to stand still and talk in monotone. I like to move around, get everyone involved, crack some bad jokes, swear a bit and just generally have a great time. Because to me, this stuff is fun! Learning how to take control of your life and improve your health and happiness is one of the most fun things to do in my honest opinion.

The main thing I talked about in my seminar was the fact that so many people have massive emotional attachments to nutrition. I truly believe that the emotional attachment that people have to Nutrition is the number one thing that holds them back. Think about it for a moment. When you are emotional about something, how much control do you really have over the situation? Have you ever been angry and broken something that you really didn’t want to break? Have you ever said something in a moment of emotion that you really didn’t mean? Emotion is something that should not be underestimated because it has so much power! You know, deep down what you should and shouldn’t be doing, but when emotion strikes, that all goes out the window!

So, why are we so emotional about food??

It all started when we were wee little bubbas. What did we do when we were hungry? We cried! That is how we communicated our hunger to our mummy…..but then, we learnt how to talk. We could ask for food and drink. But somehow, this emotional attachment remained. It remained because we were rewarded with food, we were encouraged to behave with the promises of sweets, we were taken to Birthday parties at Fast Food joints, we were told that we weren’t allowed to have dessert (the yummy stuff), until we ate all of our vegetables (the yukky stuff), we witnessed people around us on diets etc etc etc…… As we grew up, this emotional attachment was reinforced, again and again and again and again.

Then we grew up, and for some, possibly grew outward. Then our focus turned to ‘weight loss’. Which I believe is the worst possible thing out there in terms of our emotional attachment with Nutrition. All of these people advertising weight loss, magazines, diet pills etc etc contribute to our emotional attachment with food and therefore a lack of control and I am about to tell you why…..

I love to watch a bit of trash tv from time to time. Like a bit of Vanderpump Rules. If you don’t know what I am talking about- you’re missing out!! I find it to be extremely entertaining and at times rather educational. Case in point: Jax and Britney. If you don’t know what I am talking about then don’t panic. It will make sense I promise. Here’s the scenario: Boy meets girl, they fall in love, they decide that they want to be together forever and ever. Oh how sweet! Boy meets another girl, boy has meaningless sex with said girl. Girl who is love of his life and vice versa decides to ‘forgive’ boy for his wrongdoings and off they go into the sunset all sunshine and lollipops! Every part of that story is true, EXCEPT the last part. In fact, they stay together, but there are constant reminders of what he did wrong. He forgets to do something or says that wrong thing and cops “but you cheated”. He talks to another girl and there are questions about his intentions. He feels that he constantly has to try and make up for what he did wrong so he does all the nice things, but that shit gets exhausting…… I get it, you’re probably sitting here thinking, what the hell is Kris talking about??? Trash tv has nothing to do with Nutrition and weight loss. Yes, it does.

When your goal to change your Nutrition is fueled by weight loss, the motivation is coming from righting all of your wrongdoings in the past when it comes to the food you have eaten. Your Nutrition is effectively, punishment for having done the wrong things in the past. Add to this, we often have photographic reminders. Those before and after photos can sometimes serve as great motivation, but they actually further serve our emotional attachment to Nutrition. When things get exhausting, we go back to our old ways. Even if we do achieve our weight loss goals, sometimes we go way too far, and there is always that fear in the back of our minds that we will return back to where we once were. Sometimes we do revert back to old habits. Then we punish ourselves all over again. This makes Nutrition an ongoing battle.

Think about it further……We add in “cheat” meals….. In what relationship is cheating once a week ok? Yet you do it with your Nutrition…. I could go on, but I think I have made my point. If I haven’t, feel free to message me, I have so many more examples!!

The first step to understanding the emotional attachment you have with food is to go back and remember all of the situations where this attachment was reinforced. Where you were punished or rewarded with food, maybe you were called fat, maybe your mum was on a diet. This will help you to understand why this emotional attachment is so strong. When you do this, it is important to resist the urge to blame someone else or yourself. If you are focused on whose fault it is or was, then you remain in victim mode and are powerless to make the changes that you need to. Then stand up and take responsibility for what happens next. It’s not about blaming. It’s about understanding that you are a grown up and you do have the power to make the changes happen!

Then it’s time to start cultivating a beautiful new relationship with food. Understanding why we actually eat in the first place. I have written about this quite a bit and talk about it often with my clients. In a nutshell, we eat so that we don’t die. We eat for energy (carbs), repair (proteins), function (fats) and immunity and wellbeing (vegetables and water). The reality is, thousands of years ago, all of the foods that ticked these boxes were put on this earth for us to eat. Then, we went and fucked with them. We added preservatives, additives, sugars etc etc and we turned them into addictive drugs!! Then those addictive drugs started to replace a great deal of the real foods. Then we eventually ended up where we are now.

In order to change your emotional attachment with Nutrition, you have to go back to the basics. You have to learn why we eat what we eat and the purpose that it serves to your body. Learning this stuff is taking responsibility for your own body, for your own life. It’s your body, that’s your job to look after it! This is all of the stuff that I cover when working with my clients. Then, you have to reinforce the shit out of it. These emotional attachments haven’t formed overnight. They have formed as a result of years and years of reinforcement. But! They can be changed. That is the amazing thing about the human brain and the subconscious. We can mould it with enough work. In the process though, you have to be kind to yourself. You will slip up, that’s perfectly normal. But dust yourself off and get back to it without the blame and self-loathing thoughts.

That is the concept behind my Six Week Goddess Coaching Program. There is a great deal of education, Mindset videos and activities three times a week and daily accountability where I strive to change your emotional relationship with food. As a prime example, my participants are banned from stepping on the scales for the entire duration of the program. My goal is to keep them thinking about Nutrition and health, not about weight loss. It’s about changing the emotional attachment people have with Nutrition (and in some cases Movement) so that they can take back the control for themselves for the rest of their lives. Over the six weeks, they learn about Nutrition, but in a way that it isn’t rammed down their throats (excuse the pun). Because if we can change the negative emotional attachment to food and begin to appreciate and love it, we will nurture our bodies with is and become healthier and happier. I’ll be completely honest, yes, you’ll more than likely lose weight and look better in the process, but this will be a by-product. Changing your emotional relationship with food will give you back the power and you will end up feeling amazing as a result.

My next Six week Goddess Coaching Program begins on Sunday May 20th with Sunday 13th May being the cut off to enroll. It is only $250 which includes the entire program, including daily accountability with myself. I only accept a maximum of five people per round because I want to ensure that I give the best possible attention to every single participant. Contact me for more details.

In the meantime, start to do the activities that I have mentioned in this article. Take responsibility and learn about your Nutrition and work towards being a happier and healthier version of yourself.

Until next time!

Kris J


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Goddess Coaching with Kris Barling

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