Stress Eating ~Part I: Psychological|Emotional Stuff


April 18, 2017
STRESS EATING






We had what I hope was an insightful broadcast on Stress Eating  April 18, 2017. One of the concepts that was mentioned is the concept of EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABILITY, which we have discussed as a separate topic on prior broadcasts. I would like to pause just for a moment to  clarify this concept.  I  am saying that every person with chronic weight challenges  is emotionally unavailable. But before we can truly understand the connection between Stress Eating and Emotional Unavailability, we must first  understand what the term EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABLE truly means.






The term Emotional Unavailability, in my humble but accurate opinion is  rooted in Stage 6 of the theory put forth by Erik Erikson;  a world renowned psychologist who put forth the theory of the  8 Stages of PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

While Erikson was targeting between 18- 35-40 year olds, he is saying that many of us get stuck in one of these stages. An  "Emotionally Unavailable" person  is stuck at stage 6. This is why many of our team members can recall their coach asking the following question during the intake interview: How much did you weigh when you were age 18? Now while this question may seem innocent and almost amusing (because 99.9999% of you recall exactly what you weighed at that time) , notice it is also the beginning of stage 6. It is also the age group where the weight gain demon  grabs hold with a vengeance and seems not to let loose. I am suggesting that this is why. Study the chart and familiarize yourself with the components of stage 6.




Now with this foundation, let's return to our primary term as it relates to Stress eating.

So, how does it feel to be in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable?

You will feel this vague pain  of not being able to get close to that person whom you say you love.  They’re evasive, make excuses, or just inept when it comes to talking about feelings or the relationship. Some use anger, criticism, or activities to create distance. You end up feeling alone, depressed, unimportant, or rejected. Usually women complain about emotionally unavailable men. The problem is, many women  aren’t aware they’re emotionally unavailable too. Getting hooked on someone unavailable  disguises your problem, keeping you in denial of your own unavailability.

There are several types of unavailability – both temporary and chronic. Some people have always been unavailable due to mental illness and/or a troubled childhood. Others temporarily make something a higher priority than a relationship, such as a family obligation, education,  project, or a health concern. People recently divorced or widowed may temporarily not be ready to get involved with someone new. As a widow myself, I am aware that I made myself temporarily emotionally unavailable., even amidst pressure to do otherwise and to remain "social".   In the middle, are those who are too afraid to risk falling in love because they’ve been hurt by one or more relationships, which may include being hurt by a parent when they were a child. Often these different reasons for unavailability overlap, and it’s difficult to ascertain whether the problem is chronic or will pass.

If you’re looking for a close, committed relationship, a person living in another state, or who is married or still in love with someone else is not going to be there for you. Similarly, ALL addicts, including workaholics and foodies are unavailable because their addiction is the priority and it controls them.

Some people give the appearance of availability and speak openly about their feelings and their past. You don’t realize until you’re already in a relationship that they’re unable to really connect emotionally or make a commitment.

Here’s a list of more subtle red flags that may signal unavailability.  They apply to both genders. Following them are questions to ask yourself to find out whether you’re ready for a committed relationship.

1. Flirting with flattery.
People who are too flattering. Like snake charmers, these wooers may also be adept listeners and communicators. Often good at short-term intimacy, some allure with self-disclosure and vulnerability, but they prefer the chase to the catch.

2. Control. 
Someone who won’t be inconvenienced to modify his or her routine. Typically, commitment phobics are inflexible and loathe compromises.
Relationships revolve around them.

3. Listen 
Your date may hint or even admit that he or she isn’t good at relationship or doesn’t believe in or isn’t ready for marriage. Listen to these negative facts and believe them. Ignore vulnerability, bragging, and compliments.

4. The Past 
Find out if the person has had a long-term relationship and why it ended. You may learn that prior relationships ended at the stage when intimacy normally develops.

5. Perfection Seekers
These people look for and find a fatal flaw in the opposite sex and then move on.  The problem is that they’re scared of intimacy. When they can’t find imperfection, their anxiety rises. Given time, they will find an excuse to end the relationship.  Don’t be tempted to believe you’re better than their past partners.

6. Anger 
Notice rudeness to waiters and others, revealing pent-up rage. This type of person is demanding and probably emotionally abusive.

7. Arrogance 
Avoid someone who brags and acts cocky, signaling low self-esteem. It takes confidence to be intimate and committed.

8. Lateness 
Chronic lateness is inconsiderate, and can also indicate the person is avoiding relationship, but don’t assume that punctuality means he or she’s a catch


9. Invasiveness or Evasiveness 
Secrecy, evasiveness, or inappropriate questions too soon about money or sex, for example, indicate a hidden agenda and unwillingness to allow a relationship to unfold. Conversely, someone may conceal his or her past due to shame, which may create an obstacle to getting close.

10. Seduction 
Beware of sexual cues given too early. Seducers avoid authenticity because they don’t believe they’re enough to keep a partner. Once the relationship gets real, they’ll sabotage it. Seduction is a power-play and about conquest.
Most people reveal their emotional availability early on. Pay attention to the facts, especially if there’s mutual attraction. Even if the person seems to be Mr. or Mrs. Right, yet is emotionally unavailable, you’re left with nothing but pain. If you overlook, deny, or rationalize to avoid short-term disappointment, you run the risk of enduring long-term misery.

Be honest with yourself about your own availability.

1. Are you angry at the opposite sex? Do you like jokes at their expense? If so, you may need to heal from past wounds before you’re comfortable getting close to someone.
2. Do you make excuses to avoid getting together?
3. Do you think you’re so independent you don’t need anyone?
4. Do you fear falling in love because you may get hurt?
5. Are you always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Although people complain about their problems, many have even more difficulty accepting the good.
6. Are you distrustful? Maybe you’ve been betrayed or lied to in the past and now look for it in everyone.
7. Do you avoid intimacy by filling quiet times with distractions?
8.  Are you uncomfortable talking about yourself and your feelings? Do you have secrets you’re ashamed of that make you feel undesirable or unlovable?
9. Do you usually like to keep your options open in case someone better comes along?
10. Do you fear a relationship may place too many expectations on you, that you’d give up your independence or lose your autonomy?


If you answered yes to some of these questions, then you are emotionally unavailable yourself and/or already involve with or married to an emotionally unavailable partner.

 If you’re involved with someone emotionally unavailable, pressuring him or her to be more intimate is counterproductive.



So then, WHAT IS PHENOMENON
that we are calling stress eating??



#1 LACK of SELF-LOVE  -remember conceit or vanity as shown is cell-phone selfies is NOT NECESSARILY self-love. Because we have mastered the art of faking it, even if we don’t make it


#2 FEAR|ANGER (Emotionally Unavailable)
So now we have one more dimension to examine. The FAT itself serves a purpose,. What purpose you might say/ FAT is protection. WE are going to call it your snow suit. A person literally has to stand further away from you the bigger you are. They must stand further away from your heart .Conversely, as you release the weight, your heart is more exposes. In other words, when someone hugs you they can  get closer to your heart, the LESS  fat that is on your body. The more fat, the further away  they  must stand from you literally. Why else would you suddenly bump up in weight as soon as people start to notice how good you look? Or, as soon as people start asking  you to give victory shares.

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To recap:
FAT is a substance used to protect our hearts. The release of FAT makes us vulnerable. If you do not wish to be emotionally AVAILABLE then you keep the fat on.....you hold on to it sub consciously and it has nothing to do with nutrition, because you are refusing (I mean forgetting) to take that too.

Self love is the underlying dynamic. Thus, you are saying, "I will deny myself nutrition and right food". 

"It is not a mineral deficiency per se, it is a denial of the self; the raw materials it needs to thrive and when you deny your body those things, you are expressing a lack of self love". 

I ask again:  Why would a Serenity team member have lots of wonderful vitamins and minerals and not take them? What explanation could a person possibly have for not drinking  water that the body requires?








Remember the Serenity  motto :



"Move the PHYSICAL POOP first and the   EMOTIONAL POOP will  follow! "

AS funny as that may sound, I stand by this advice.  Otherwise, you feel has though you are sinking in quicksand and remember, I am a therapist giving you this advice. This is a truth: The psychotherapeutic approach as a sole effort is NOT effective. It must be paired with RIGHT ACTION. Also remember, women and men can be emotionally unavailable to each other as well; in fact this is why so many women feel they can't be friends with other women either.  They may appear ever so loving , even said "I love you" a million times but when it come right down to it, the overall message is:  "Don't touch" ......"Don't get too close...... "Stay away"...."Get back". Much love to you in your healing journey. Poop first!  lol


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