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Weight and Emotional Eating

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>> Hello, today we're talking about weight. But before we begin, I want to jump on this word right away by having you write down your reactions to it. Grab your journal. First, write a stream of consciousness on the word weight. Pause the video now and try that. Next, think about the role of this word in your own life. What have been your challenges and successes with regard to your own weight? Pause the video now and jot down your thoughts. Finally, put on your Health Coach hat and spend a few minutes thinking about past challenges, current concerns, and questions you have about how to coach weight with clients. Pause the video now and write down your thoughts. You know, I could have opened this lecture with an inspirational quote or the bottom line that your job as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach is to help clients move beyond weight and develop more positive relationships with their bodies. But the truth of the matter is weight matters. Therefore you have to create a coaching space for it. I don't mean that being a particular weight matters. I mean that weight matters to most if not all of your clients. Now I don't like to speak in absolutes, but suffice it to say that most of your clients who struggle with emotional eating are not going to come to you saying I need help with emotional eating. They'll be showing up saying that they want or need to lose weight, and they will bring all kinds of weight concerns and challenges to the table. If their emotional eating didn't have physical consequences, such as weight gain or lack of weight loss, they might not care too much about it. But it impacts them physically, which impacts them emotionally. To put it in another way, I didn't mean to gain weight, it just happened by snackcident. In short, weight is the golden answer to their problems. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can help them finally lose the weight for good and feel better in their own skin because once that happens, their lives will transform and they will finally be happier or so they think. But you already know this isn't the case. You understand the ongoing obsessions and struggles with weight that permeate culture. To use an analogy here, the internal weight voice is like that annoying co-worker whose voice you can't stand but that you can't seem to escape from no matter how hard you try. It seeps into the space just when you're starting to feel relief by focusing on something else. It makes you feel crazy because no one else seems bothered by it, and because you can't move past it, it's relentless. In other words, I'm not going to spend today spouting statistics about weight because you and I both know that the struggle is real. We also know that clients want help with it and that supporting them with weight requires the same approach as supporting them with emotions. You can't go around it, you have to go through it. And it's complicated. Weight is much more complicated than the number on the scale. For example, clients might struggle with weight for legitimate reasons that aren't rooted in emotional eating but that could be a layer of emotional eating. As we've discussed in this course, emotional eating can happen in eating disorders because food is often inextricably linked with emotions. However, emotional eating and eating disorders are different. The same goes for emotional eating and weight. In this brief lecture, we'll review some emotional and psychological key players. These two go hand in hand and they're often the most difficult to move beyond. Emotional eating cycles are clear examples of this. First, depression and anxiety. If you search for studies connecting depression and anxiety with weight, you'll end up with a lot of material. There are clearly ties between symptoms of depression and weight gain, though some of them point more to the role of socio-economic status. Either way, it's the kind of chicken or egg situation. Does depression lead to weight gain or does higher weight lead to depression? Nonetheless, there seems to be a link there, and of course, it's bio-individual. Some people tend to gain weight when they're depressed, and some people tend to lose weight. The same goes for anxiety. Anxiety can increase cortisol, which can lead to increased fat over time. However, some people who struggle with anxiety lose weight. Either way, anxiety and stress can clearly impact weight. And at the same time, the results are often mixed and often inconclusive overall. What about other emotions and psychological factors? Shame and guilt are two common culprits for weight struggles, and these can play into emotional eating habits and cycles, as well as negative stress cycles. Guilt is the feeling that you've done something bad or wrong. Shame goes deeper. It's the sense that there's something wrong with you. Guilt focuses on behavior, while shame focuses on the self. One common relationship technique is saying something like, you're not a bad person but I don't like what you did. In other words, it helps curb feelings of shame. There's often deeply-rooted shame around weight, which can contribute to both emotional and physical weight. In her book, "A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever," Marianne Williamson discusses the role of fear and how we can end up literally carrying our unprocessed thoughts and feelings on our physical bodies. She suggests that while shame and guilt create dense energy, physical weight and movement create a light body. Now this framework might resonate with clients or it might not. Either way, it's an interesting concept, right? It speaks to the mind-body connection, as well as the connection between the stress cycle. In this case, stress caused by shame and weight in which emotional eating can play a key role. Humans are probably wired to experience guilt in order to motivate us to take responsibility and work toward positive changes, but it can also be unhelpful. For example, we might hold unrealistically high standards and emphasize self-punishment over behavior change, which can leave us feeling trapped. Shame is a more internalized sense of self as unworthy, which is even more difficult to resolve. It leads to self-policing, stuckness, and hopelessness. Finally, negative body image and low self-esteem factor into both emotional eating and weight. And all three can influence the other two, plus all three are often intricately linked to either feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, guilt, shame, or any or all of these emotions. Which other emotional and psychological factors intersect with weight and emotional eating? Grab your journal, pause the video, and spend a few minutes thinking about this. The bottom line, there are many emotional and psychological factors that can contribute to weight, including depression, anxiety, stress, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, and negative body image. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, one of your goals is to help clients move beyond weight and develop more positive relationships with their bodies. However, you also help clients move through weight by creating coaching space for it. After all, many of them will seek you out for help with this area. Weight is much more complicated than the number on the scale and though it can be linked with emotional eating, there are many potential factors at play. We'll continue to explore some of these factors, so stay tuned. After all, as a coach, simplifying information, making connections, and continually refocusing on the bigger picture, all help you support your clients effectively. This week, we included an exercise in your Learning Center called visualizing weight, so take a look at that and share your thoughts in the Facebook group. That's all for today. Goodbye for now.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Weight and Emotional Eating

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