Emotional Intelligence is where you learn to understand yourself and your reaction to emotions in a way that helps you avoid binge-eating and binge-drinking.
Am I addicted to food? Why can’t I stop eating when I really want to be slim and healthy? Many of you reading this will empathize with these questions and have asked yourself similar questions over the years:
- Why do I do this to myself over and over again?
- Why are there 2 voices inside my head, one wanting me to eat all the time and the other telling me to stop and making healthier choices?
It is frustrating. However have you stopped to think and tried to figure yourself out?
A few years ago I bought this book, “Emotional Intelligence” by Gill Hasson, at an airport on the outward leg of a holiday. I was in a job I was not enjoying at the time and it was really useful in helping me understand work colleagues. The book had me question my emotional needs.
There are 4 categories of emotional needs:
- the need to feel safe and secure
- the need to feel a sense of control and to have choices
- the need for love, fun, friendships, intimacy with significant people
- the need to feel you have a purpose, that you can achieve and that opportunities exist for you
Number 4, my need to achieve, now manifests itself through clients’ achievements. Very often I meet clients at a time in their life when the kids are raised and are in the process of leaving home and suddenly there may be a void. What is their new purpose?
I form an emotional tie with clients and this allows me to motivate them, to keep their thoughts positive and get them to believe that they can and will lose weight. I check what are my clients goals, what is satisfying and fulfilling them.
Analysing this helps you to understand yourself better, so that you can work at changing your emotional reaction to disappointment, frustration and sadness etc. We all have to feel these emotions otherwise we would not be human. However if food is our crutch, we need to be careful at how we respond to the emotions.
If friends let you down, if work is frustrating, if you feel you are climbing a hill and are never going to reach the top. Stop. Think. What are you feeling? Why?
What need are you not meeting? Coldly assess it. Don’t numb it with food or drink.
I also find that when I am eating well and exercising I feel more in control which is number 2 in the emotional needs list above. Many clients report feeling so much better mentally and physically when they choose a healthy lifestyle.
My emotional need to achieve and to have a purpose, remains the same. I have had to learn that if a client is not successful first time, it’s disappointing both for me and my client, but it’s not the end of the world. If they return to me with all the weight back on them, then we can start afresh, learning from past experiences and trying even harder to weight-proof the future.
Never give up.
If you would like help losing weight, contact me.
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