It’s not about the food
By vegan naturopath Robyn Chuter.
Whenever I’m working on food cravings with either my private clients or participants in The LEAN Program, we ALWAYS reach a point where they realise it’s not about the food.
They start off completely wrapped up in the desire to eat chocolate, or lollies, or hot chips, or bread and butter, or whatever their “frug” – my portmanteau for food-drug which is what these so-called ‘hyperpalatable’ foods really are – happens to be. Then, as we apply the EFT or ‘tapping’ process to the sensory elements of the craving, such as the sight, smell, taste and texture of the food, the level of desire for it drops away.
It’s at this moment that they usually notice the emotions underlying the craving: sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, shame, guilt, regret, loneliness or any of the other human experiences commonly labelled ‘negative emotions’ – a term I heartily dislike! I prefer to see these so-called negative emotions as elaborate and sophisticated feedback from our unconscious minds, acting as a guidance system to nudge us back into alignment with our deepest purpose.
When we pay attention to our emotions, honour them and work respectfully with them through tapping, these emotions abate and make room for the feelings we prefer to have: hope, pride in our achievements, equanimity about our past mistakes and optimism for our future.
Two wonderful experiences with my clients epitomise this transformation. John* and Ashleigh* are both firmly committed to following a healthy diet and lifestyle plan, but both get derailed by food cravings from time to time.
John’s “frug” is freshly-baked white bread with butter, Swiss cheese and avocado. Due to health issues, he knows he shouldn’t indulge in this concoction except once in a blue moon, but he finds that whenever he gets anxious, the desire for it breaks through his rational commitment to eat healthfully. We tapped extensively on all the sensory elements of this craving:
- The visual aspect – contrast of the browned crust with the white bread inside, all the different colours;
- The olfactory aspect – smell of fresh-baked bread, sharp tang of the cheese;
- The gustatory aspect – sharpness of the cheese, mildness of the bread, butter and avocado;
- The kinasethetic aspect – contrasting texture of chewy crust and cheese with softness of the inner part of the bread, creaminess of the butter and avocado.
Then we tapped on the anxious feeling in John’s stomach that seemed to be soothed – for a short while! – when he’d eaten enough bread, butter, cheese and avocado. By the end of the tapping session, John felt neutral about his favourite concoction – no desire for it, and a sense that he could take it or leave it.
You can watch an excerpt of this tapping session, which John very kindly agreed to share, right here:
Ashleigh has experienced dramatic health benefits from adopting a wholefood, plant-based diet, but still suffers sugar cravings when she gets anxious. We started her tapping session by working on the anxiety, and then segued to a Matrix Reimprinting session on a key memory from her childhood: her father making an unkind remark to her mother and aunty about her having ‘bulging hips’, right in front of her. This deeply painful memory was seared into her consciousness, and held in place a deep conviction that she simply could not be good enough unless she was thin.
Like John, Ashleigh has been very kind and generous in agreeing to share the audio of her session.
The phenomenon of ‘borrowing benefits’ – experiencing relief from your own issues simply by tapping along with someone else while they do EFT on their issues – is well-established in EFT circles, and has even been studied by 3 separate research teams. I know you’ll benefit enormously from tapping along with both these sessions.