I just posted in another thread asking if anyone had any resources on how to handle emotional eating, but I thought I might post my process as I understand it so that I can get some feedback on whether this is a process that others use and whether it works in the long run. For the past several months, I have not practiced IE. I have been eating to cope, always eating when I'm not physically hungry. So, now I want to get back to it, but it's hard! This is the process I was doing when IE was working for me, but the intensity of my emotional experience has magnified since this past winter, which is making this process difficult. Not sure if that makes sense?
When I want to eat:
1. I feel a sense of emptiness that I falsely assume is some kind of physical hunger. There might be some squirming sensation, akin to butterflies in my stomach.
2. When I drill down to the actual feeling and look at it head on, it sort of changes and shifts. I do not feel any emptiness in my stomach. What I feel is a stress in my head, a pressure, and a deep sadness. I feel trapped (and I realize that I am very unhappy in my job, etc. which I'm working on, but it's taking a long time.)
3. I realize that I'm not hungry, and then I panic because I know that means I ought not to eat, i.e. cope via using food.
4. I look at the panic head on, similar to the way that OCD patients are taught to look at their fear rather than away from it.
5. The pressure usually dissipates as I realize I will be okay. I practice self-compassion to help even further.
6. Time goes on, I haven't eaten, I feel a bit relieved. Eventually, possibly hours later, my stomach does start to get empty...it's a gentle sensation that I can ignore if I want to, not that same pressure I get when it's emotional.
Now, I find that when I haven't done IE for a long time, it takes about a week to get adapted to it. During that time, I feel a lot of pressure as I shift my coping mechanism to self-sufficiency.
Can anyone else detail their process to help me out? Thanks!