How often do you give yourself a treat - either as a reward for something well done or to console yourself for enduring a bad situation?

Do you tell yourself that you deserve __________ (fill in your favorite food) because __________
(fill in your favorite reason)?

When we justify eating in this manner, we deprive ourselves the experience of living, of truly experiencing our emotions. If we are eating to console ourselves we create tension in our bodies and minds because guilt and/or shame usually accompany the eating. In this case we've now compounded the problem - actually I think it's exponential growth because there is the original problem, which is not experienced and gets buried under guilt and shame where it festers. Then there's the layer of "beating up" for eating something you "shouldn't have" and then there's trying to make up for it. Whew, I'm exhausted just writing that!

If you sometimes eat cookies to make up for a crummy day at work, for example, what would happen if, instead, you took five minutes to really experience the crumminess of work? What if you really let yourself feel the ugliness, the dissatisfaction, the waste of your talent, the uselessness of it all? What if you literally set a timer, let yourself feel all that, and then let it go?

When we learn to experience our emotions, we don't need to pacify them. When we learn that emotions come and go - that they flow like the tides if we allow them - then we are no longer controlled by them and we have greater free-will in our lives. We can eat because we choose to nourish our bodies, not because we are trying to assuage our emotions. When we eat to nourish our bodies instead of our feelings, we naturally make better choices.

When we learn to experience our emotions we also get to experience immense joy. Eating ice cream to celebrate a job well done actually diminishes the positive emotions. Suddenly our attention is on ice cream rather than our accomplishment or how we feel about the accomplishment.

Next time you're at a celebration, notice how much time and energy is spent on organizing the food and plates, cutting cake or dishing ice cream, eating and socializing and cleaning up. If this is a celebration for you, notice how much time you spend in your heart feeling satisfaction.

What would happen if you just experienced the situation for what it was?

Author's Bio: 

Diagnosed with a tumor and arthritis so severe her spine might fuse together, Sharon changed her lifestyle to bring about health. She became Board Certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a Healing Touch Practitioner and a certified yoga teacher. She reversed her chronic disease and lost nearly 55 lbs! Sharon has authored several books and is a national speaker at the Raw Spirit Festivals, Mother Earth News Fair; DC Green Festival; North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest; and Natural Health and Food Conference. Sharon offers individual holistic nutritional coaching to people who are serious about making changes in their lives. Visit her site: Call her at 301-816-0752 and invite Wild Success® into your life today!