How to Overcome Food Addiction

This week’s Levelheaded Talk answers: HOW TO OVERCOME FOOD ADDICTION.

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min. 0:40 – I believe our primary addiction is the emotional addiction – our chronic and continuous overproduction of the chemicals in our body such as stress chemicals, and our labeling of them as fear, anger, hate/resentment, embarrassment, guilt, sadness, etc.
min 1:40 – Our primary, or emotional, addiction is what brings us to a point of needing to feel something different than we’re feeling now.
min. 2:00 – We look outside ourselves to fill us up…..anything that will create a new emotional/chemical state. We know it won’t last, and that we will sober up, chemically-speaking, but we aren’t sober emotionally-speaking. THIS IS THE PRIMARY PROBLEM.
min. 2:45 – #QUESTION: How can we overcome our Secondary Addictions?
min. 3:00 – Today’s topic: FOOD ADDICTION, or the use of excessive eating in order to feel something different than you’re always feeling.
min. 4:00 – why don’t we pull friends aside who are binge eating or gaining weight like we do with friends who have drinking or drugging problems?
min. 4:50 – The secondary addiction to food is not the primary addiction. You can overcome your addiction to eating too much food to feel something different by BECOMING EMOTIONALLY SOBER.
min. 5:00 – AHA! MOMENT – When you no longer have to fill your sense of emptiness with food, when you no longer have to change your hormonal state, which will change your biochemical state, or your emotional state, through eating, you won’t have an addiction to food.
min. 5:30 – Nervous System has 2 states…..parasympathetic (rest & digest…relax, softened, calmer) or sympathetic (fight or flight, engaged when threatened, rush of adrenaline, alert us when needed).
min. 7:30 – think about what we get when we eat…the rest & digest state…the parasympathetic state! We intuitively know that if I just eat I will feel more relaxed! Changes us out of our chronic sympathetic state and into parasympathetic.
min. 8:40 – If we can get you into a state of clarity, peace, and levelheadedness in your whole life…when we can intuitively know how to handle things through new wisdom, practice, through training…you won’t have a need to change your biochemistry…to force you into the parasympathetic state.

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Hi everybody, Dr. Andrea Vitz with levelheaded doc. Welcome.

Today, I want to discuss something that has come up a lot with my students in the workshops and also in my one on one coaching. And that is something called SECONDARY ADDICTIONS.

I call them secondary addictions because they are, in my opinion, secondary to a primary addiction. And that primary addiction to me, is our emotional addiction. Our chronic and continuous production of the biochemicals in our body, such as stress chemicals, and our interpretation of what these chemicals or our labeling of them as fear or anger. Hate embarrassment, guilt, resentment sadness. And so there are a lot of reasons that we have this emotional addiction.

I go over that in detail in my book, The you you’ve never met. And I also teach it in my foundations of emotional sobriety workshop, which I run every month. It’s a 21 day intensive. But this primary addiction or emotional addiction is what brings us to a point of needing to feel something different than we’re always feeling. Resentment anger, guilt embarrassment, fear and sadness.

So, we look outside of ourselves to fill us up. And that could be drugs, alcohol, a new romantic relationship. Anything that is going to place us in a new emotional chemical state and in most cases we know that it isn’t going to last. We know we’re going to come down off of that high. We know we’re going to sober up, chemically-speaking. But we aren’t sober, emotionally-speaking, and that is the problem. So how can we overcome our secondary addictions?

Well, I’m going to use one example today that isn’t talked about nearly as much as an addiction as something like drugs or alcohol. I want to talk about food addiction or the use of excessive eating. In order to feel something different than you’re always feeling. Now, a lot of us will see a friend and a friend who is really belligerently drunk on alcohol. We might pull them aside and say, “you know what you’ve been drinking a lot lately. I’m worried about your health.

Is there anything that I can do to help you, so you don’t feel that you have to drink all the time in order to cope, or in order to have a conversation when it’s uncomfortable?” But we don’t often look at our friends who are binge eating to the point of really harming themselves. Not to just mention putting on extra weight, but the damage that does to their body overall. Their pancreas and insulin sensitivity, etc. We don’t often pull them aside because of what it might make them feel. It may embarrass them to expose them for something that they may do in secret.

Drinking alcohol is something we do all the time in society, we do it together, we do it at barbecues! Yes, we eat at barbecues as well, but most people aren’t overeating, like they do when they’re alone when their a food addict, while at a barbecue. So, because it’s socially accepted to drink and do drugs in public, the emotional eater (or the food addict) has to do it alone, most of the time. And so, I want to bring this up because it’s really important.

The secondary addiction to food is not a primary addiction!

That means you can overcome your addiction to eating too much food in order to feel something different. And you can do that by becoming emotionally sober. When you no longer have to fill your sense of emptiness with food. When you no longer have to change your hormonal state, which will change your biochemical state or your emotional state through eating, you won’t have an addiction to food. But on that same note, I want you to think about your nervous system. There are two states that our nervous system sits within. And they don’t ever happen at the same time. There can only be one state, or the other. They don’t come together. And the first state is our parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is called your “rest and digest” state. It is the state of your nervous system which you can relax. You are softened. You are calmer, you’re maybe a little more tired. And you can digest your food.

That’s why we often get a little sleepy after we eat, because it forces us into that state of our nervous system. Now we have a second state. Our sympathetic nervous system. Our sympathetic nervous system is our “fight or flight” nervous system. It is engaged when we feel threatened. We will have a rush of adrenaline. It’s to alert us to make us able to run faster and farther than if we were in our parasympathetic nervous system.

So, the majority of the time we are in a state of a sympathetic nervous system. chronically as human beings, especially in this in this country. And when that happens, we don’t have an off switch for it. Because we are so addicted to making stress chemicals, our stress chemicals, of fear and sadness and resentment and anger and embarrassment and guilt that there’s nothing really we can do to stop it. Or so we think. Now, what if I wanted to change that? Intuitively, what might I do? Of course, somebody might grab a drink or take a drug or take medicine.

But on an intuitive level? Think about what happens when we eat. We go into the rest and digest state! The parasympathetic state. That is so brilliant! If you have a food addiction or you binge eat on your own in the middle of the night. You have to give yourself some credit because you intuitively know that if “I just eat I will feel more relaxed” because it forces you out of the sympathetic state of “fight or flight”, and immediately brings you into the parasympathetic state of “rest and digest”. Now, if we can get you to a place of emotional sobriety, of clarity, levelheadedness and overall peace in your whole life…When you can intuitively know how to handle things in your life, based on new perspective, new wisdom and practice through training (which is what I teach), you won’t have a need to change your biochemistry. You won’t have a need or any temptation to reach for something to put in your mouth to force you into the parasympathetic state of “rest and digest”, because you’ll already be in a state of peace.

I’m Dr. Andrea Vitz, if you ever need help, don’t hesitate to reach out, email me at DrAndrea@levelheadedDoc.com follow me on Instagram or Facebook @levelheadeddoc, and check out my website levelheadeddoc.com If you haven’t purchased the self- led training (the book and journal) they’re both sold on Amazon, Indiebound and Barnes and Noble. The You You’ve Never Met.

Thank you for hanging out with me today, and I’ll see you next time for another Levelheaded Talk.

Always here for you! Have a great day.

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