Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Part 1: Protect the Liver, Feed the Gut: Based on the book “Metabolical”

Part 1: Protect the Liver, Feed the Gut: Based on the book “Metabolical”

Essentially, all you need to know are two precepts, six words total: 1) protect the liver, 2) feed the gut. That being said, science concluded that not all calories are created equal; and it’s the food quality, not the quantity, that matters. The first key is the one the medical establishment doesn’t want you to know—that their drugs can’t and don’t treat chronic disease; they only treat the symptoms. Ever gone to a doctor who told you that you have high blood pressure and then proceeded to put you on medication that you will have to take for the rest of your life? High blood pressure is a symptom, not a condition. We have to look at the whole body to figure out the root cause behind the symptom to alleviate it. There are eight subcellular pathologies that underlie all chronic conditions—and all of them are nutrient-sensing, meaning that they respond positively or negatively to specific components in food; yet none of these are considered diseases themselves. The second key is the one that the food industry doesn’t want you to know—all food is inherently good; it’s what’s been done to the food that’s bad. The problem is that in the course of food processing, poisons are either added (stuffing the liver) or antidotes have been removed (starving the gut), or both. Minimally processed food (e.g., white rice, fruit juice) interferes with one or the other; while ultra-processed food (e.g., Cheetos) interferes with both. Now our livers are stuffed (from the sugar our bodies turn into fat) and we’ve literally turned ourselves into foie gras. Our guts used to be full of beneficial intestinal bacteria that munched on fiber and kept everything in our bodies copacetic. Now, that food has been stripped of its fiber, and those bacteria get so hungry they eat the mucin barrier off our intestinal cells, setting us up for inflammation and leaky gut. In this book, the author will provide evidence for three separate, yet related immoral hazards perpetrated by Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Government. As people get sicker, Big Pharma benefits from complicity, the food industry is protected from the costs of its actions, and the government profits from tariffs on processed food shipped to other unsuspecting countries. We’ve accepted this as normal. It’s not, and we have the power to change it, for ourselves and for society at large—for health and healthcare, for economics, and for the environment. It’s time to expose the maneuvers of the food industry and the pharma industry, and their influence on Congress to make us all fat, sick, and broke. You have to work upstream of the problem if you’re going to fix the cause. Working downstream only fixes the result. The cause of most havoc on your body is called metabolic syndrome. The simple fact is that anyone can get metabolic syndrome—even those who are normal weight. Everyone is at risk—both ways. Insulin resistance is the primary defect in metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance manifests itself in a myriad of tissues and ways, which may vary from person to person. You may be overweight, or not. You might have high cholesterol, but maybe it’s normal. You might have high blood pressure, although it could be low. All of these are tissue-specific symptoms of metabolic dysfunction. Previously, doctors only diagnosed metabolic syndrome if you were obese. Now we know better. Even people who aren’t overweight develop metabolic syndrome. The issue is that doctors are still targeting obesity, which they think is the disease. Rather, it’s just another symptom. Everyone thinks that first you gain weight, and then you get sick. Yet, 80 percent of the time, it’s actually the other way around. First you get sick, then you gain weight. How do we know this? Because only 80 percent of obese people are metabolically ill. The other 20 percent of obese people are metabolically healthy. We even have a name for them—metabolically healthy obese (MHO). They will live a completely normal life, die at a completely normal age, have normal-length telomeres (the ends of the chromosomes that determine how sick you are and when you’ll die), and they won’t have exorbitant health insurance claims. The key is that these people have lots of subcutaneous fat, very little ectopic fat (fat in cells that shouldn’t have fat), normal metabolic function, and low insulin levels. Metabolic syndrome is the inappropriate storage of energy in the wrong form in cells that shouldn’t store it. There are only three types of cells in body that should store energy: subcutaneous (i.e., stored in the butt) and visceral (i.e., stored in the belly) adipose tissue is supposed to store excess energy as fat; muscle tissue and liver tissue are supposed to store excess energy as glycogen (starch). That’s it. Fat stored anywhere else in the body is called ectopic fat. If the muscle or liver or any other body tissue stores any amount of ectopic fat, then that tissue will develop metabolic dysfunction, and promote some clinical manifestation of metabolic syndrome. How about the other 80 percent who are overweight and sick? They were sick first—they had metabolic syndrome—and that caused insulin resistance, which led to high insulin levels. But because their fat cells still responded to insulin, that extra insulin allowed the fat cells to accumulate more energy, so they got bigger. Therefore, their weight is a biomarker for their metabolic dysfunction. When you look at the normal weight population, approximately 40 percent of those people also have metabolic syndrome—meaning they have metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance, and high insulin levels. But for whatever reason, they’re just not obese. In some of them, their fat cells are insulin resistant, too, so energy doesn’t accumulate in the subcutaneous tissue. Instead they put it in other organs that shouldn’t have fat, such as muscle and the liver. This has spawned a new medical term with 1,500 citations in the literature called TOFI, or thin on the outside, fat on the inside. WHat can we do to help reverse metabolic syndrome? A change in your eating habits. Stanford nutritionist Christopher Gardner showed in his A to Z study that all dietary interventions regress to the mean—meaning by two months on any specific diet, the subject will return to eating the same way they were before the intervention. Dieting is hard, and rarely works in the long term. You can alter your health, but you have to know why; your doctor does, too. They need to be able to explain the “why” back to you. If you don’t understand and tell people why something will work, they won’t do it. You really can’t blame the public for their nutritional whiplash. We are exposed to a daily barrage of contradictory statements and straw man arguments about basic science (one day “fat is bad,” the next day “fat is good”) coming from physicians and dietitians, while nutritional biochemistry is ignored (i.e., how metabolism works versus calorie counting and body weight). The physicians don’t understand it themselves. If there’s no science or understanding, there’s no imperative to change. Another reason that patients can’t or won’t alter their diets is that they’re abusing sugar—the food additive that’s most addictive, induces metabolic disease, and reduces longevity.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Part 9: Respecting Your Body

Part 9: Respecting Your Body: Based on the book "Intuitive Eating Workbook"

Remember, respecting your body means treating it with loving care, independent of your size or weight. Unfortunately, people often continue checking their bodies in other ways in order to measure if they’re “good enough”: Some people, for example, keep a pair of pants in the closet that are pulled out to “measure” if weight has changed. If the pants are tighter, it can engender the same negative feelings that they would experience if they saw the number on the scale go up. You can combat this kind of measuring by wearing different clothes each day, so that you don’t create a muscle memory of how any particular pair of pants feels. Some people check out mirrors in elevators, dressing rooms, and gyms, and just about anywhere else a mirror can be found. This mirror checking only perpetuates the judgment people hold about how they measure up to the illusion of a perfect ideal body. Putting that much attention on your appearance only skews your broader sense of yourself and the whole spectrum of your attributes. Another healing experience is to box up the clothes that are associated with dieting and that no longer fit. If you’re not ready to throw them out or give them away (especially if they have sentimental value), you can put the box in the back of your closet or in the garage. Later, when you feel ready, you can get rid of them. Since you bought the clothes when you were trying to lose weight, they will likely not fit your normal body size, which is maintained through eating intuitively and healthy activity. Remember, part of your commitment to this process is to rid yourself of the diet mentality. Holding on to these clothes keeps you stuck in the fantasy that comes with every new diet. Letting go of these clothes will be liberating. When you open your closet door, you won’t feel that pang of despair that you feel when you see clothes there that you know don’t fit. The flip side of throwing out your old diet-tainted clothes is to keep, wear, and occasionally buy only clothes that fit well and are flattering. Wearing clothes that are too tight only makes you uncomfortable and doesn’t show respect to your body. This goes for underwear as well. Tight underwear may feel as if you’re wearing a straightjacket. Tight clothing makes you feel closed in and trapped, and sometimes you can’t even take a deep breath. Begin by packing away any clothing that doesn’t make you smile when you look at it; that you know fit you only when you were at an unreasonably low weight from dieting or illness; and that may fit but is either unflattering, stained, or ripped. Now that you have removed your uncomfortable clothing from your closet, it may be time to buy some new clothes. There are some steps that will help make this experience a success: Choose a day of shopping when your emotions are either neutral or positive. Start by taking some clothes off the rack—some jeans, for example—in a range of sizes. In the dressing room, turn your back toward the mirror, so that you’re not looking at it. Try on one of the pairs of jeans you have chosen. Stretch, contort, wiggle, and sit in them. If these jeans don’t feel comfortable, take them off, without looking at the mirror, and try on another brand or size. If—and only if—they feel comfortable, turn and look in the mirror to see if they pass your style test. If you find a pair that feels great and passes your style test, then go right up to the register and buy them. The point is to buy clothes based on how they feel. If they fit well, you won’t go around tugging at yourself and feeling uncomfortable with something you think looks good but doesn’t feel good. A powerful sign of self-esteem is the ability to maintain an autonomous sense of one’s self-worth. Appreciate the myriad of values that are truly yours—the gifts with which you were born. Practicing and refining your talents, and acknowledging the work you have already done to learn and grow, all show a sense of self-respect. Comparing yourself to others leads to unnecessary suffering, which engenders feelings of superiority or envy. Rather than comparing, start appreciating your unique qualities that have nothing to do with appearance. The problem of comparing yourself to your friends and peers extends to the focus on the body. Who has the best hair, the smoothest skin, the strongest muscles, the longest legs, or the smallest waist? We make these judgments about our bodies by regularly checking out friends, relatives, actors, models, and just about anyone you see on the street. This attention on others is the surest way to remove you from your own special qualities. It also keeps the focus on the external, and pulls you away from your true meaning in life. Observing another’s body also makes an assumption about how that person achieved that body. If one is looking at thinness, there’s no way to know if that person has a physical disease that causes weight loss, has an eating disorder, or simply has a hyper-fast metabolism. Concluding that you could achieve that same body precludes these unknowns, as well as the science of your genetic blueprint. All in all, comparing yourself to others is the surest way of making you feel bad about yourself. This practice acknowledges that you might be feeling truly uncomfortable in your physical body. But rather than staying stuck in this sensation or identity, it’s important to remind yourself of some of your other qualities that you value that have nothing to do with appearance. Use a neutral, nonjudgmental description of how you are physically feeling in your body. Don’t use loaded words like puffy or flabby, which can impose a moral judgment on you. Instead, use words such as uncomfortable or challenging, which acknowledge the physical sensations without playing into the hand of societal expectations. For example, I am having a difficult body day, or I feel physically uneasy in my body today. Add and to the above description, and then add three things you admire about yourself (refer to your list of personal qualities above, if you need to). For example, I am having a challenging body day, AND I am a good listener, a great teacher, and a hard worker. Envy is a normal human emotion. It arises when you see someone who has something that you perceive you don’t have. You believe that if you had it, your life would be much better. It’s likely one of the most difficult emotions to bear. Often when people choose to compare themselves with others, they do this in the hope of finding something they can criticize in the other person. This gives them a temporary sense of superiority as they put the other person down, while elevating themselves in comparison. Thus, the feeling of envy is momentarily avoided. Paradoxically, a switch quickly happens, and they begin to focus on some quality that the other person has that they covet. Envy immediately emerges, and it’s likely that they feel even worse despair when they conclude that the other person is actually “better” than they are or has more than they do. Regardless of how you feel, remind yourself that envy is a normal emotion. When you become comfortable accepting this feeling, your desire to act out against it—by putting someone else down in order to bring yourself up—will diminish. You won’t get the immediate rush of superior feelings that emerge, but you’ll avoid the potential to crash afterward. Again, direct yourself to feelings of gratitude for your own personal gifts and values. One of the most disrespectful behaviors in which you can engage is negative body talk or body bashing. It is painful and sad to hear someone tearing down her or his looks, physique, weight, size, or height. People who would never say anything nasty to a child or a friend or acquaintance—even someone who is not close to you— will say horrific things to themselves. (Side note—we have heard some frightening tales of people who have been degraded, criticized, and judged by their parents, siblings, or partners. These are instances of emotional abuse and need to be addressed with a trauma therapist). All in all, practice and respect yourself. It is the most important practice for your self worth and your mental health.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Part 8 Emotions, Food, and the Modern World

Part 8 Emotions, Food, and the Modern World: Based on the book "Intuitive Eating Workbook"

One of the keys to becoming an Intuitive Eater is being willing to take the time to try to figure out your emotional triggers, so that eating is connected to hunger and satisfaction rather than your feelings. It’s important to pause—to take a time-out—to tune in to these feelings. Even if you eventually choose to eat when you’re not hungry or to continue to eat when you’re full, a five-minute time-out changes a distracted eating experience into one that is mindful. Remember, it’s important to come from a place of curiosity, not judgment. Be curious about your needs and feelings; don’t judge your behaviors. Have patience with this process. Any new behavior takes time to develop and set in. If you end up eating to a point of feeling uncomfortable, be gentle with yourself. Just as the emotions will diminish, so will the physical discomfort. Remember that your body will need food when your hunger returns. Honor your hunger and your body, and feed yourself in a way that is satisfying. As you continue to do these practices, your emotional muscles will grow; you will be able to stay with your feelings for longer periods of time, and, eventually, your need to turn to food when you’re not hungry will diminish and disappear. As you continue practicing taking a time-out, you’ll become more adept at being able to wait until you are hungry again to have something else to eat—or to stop eating when you’re satisfied and comfortably full. But don’t be surprised if sadness emerges when you choose not to eat at these times. It’s common to feel sad when you have to set a limit to any enjoyable experience. If you allow yourself to experience the sadness, it will pass in just a few moments—especially if you remember that you can eat whatever you wish when your hunger reemerges. If you spend time with this feeling of sadness and acknowledge it, it won’t hold power over you. One of the most powerful triggers to overeating is the feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious when life’s demands seem to multiply exponentially. There are the demands of work or school, emails to answer, phone calls to make, papers to file, as well as bills, household chores, and all of the commitments of your personal life. The best coping mechanism when this occurs is to commit to picking just one task to do in the moment, while letting go of the worry about everything else. Pick just one paper to file or one article to read or one phone call to return. When this one task is finished, you can pick the next. You might find it odd to see the word distraction in the context of learning to cope with your feelings without using food. You’ve seen that learning to nurture yourself is a prerequisite to being able to have the strength and fortitude to manage the difficult feelings you encounter in your life’s journey. You’ve also practiced the skills of sitting with your feelings as you develop your emotional muscles. So why should we ever consider distraction as an option? The answer is that we need to be practical and realistic. Sometimes we simply just need a respite from the pain. We need to find a nondestructive activity that can give us an alternative to difficult feelings and that might give us some satisfaction, joy, laughter, or a way to rest. Just as you need to have rest days from physical exercise so your sore muscles can heal, sometimes you may need to have a time-out from your emotions so that your emotional muscles can heal. There are many activities that can offer distraction when you need it, including going to a movie or watching one at home; putting on some music and dancing; working on a crossword or jigsaw puzzle, or Sudoku; reading an absorbing book; flipping through the pages in a magazine; and playing a game on the computer. The tendency to eat emotionally could provide you with a strange gift. Any time that you find that you’re craving food when you’re not hungry (or wanting to restrict eating when your body needs nourishment)—stop for a moment to appreciate that this urge is actually a voice from within. It’s letting you know that there is an emotion or a need that requires your attention. Contemplate what this might be and tap into that well of wisdom from within—you will find the appropriate fit for this emotion or need. The dictionary definition for respect includes words like honor, regard, admiration, reverence, esteem, politeness, courtesy, civility, deference, and dignity. Sadly, we rarely hear people describe their bodies in this manner. We live in a culture of body bashing and body shame, thanks to the proliferation of crash-diet programs, social media, and abusive television shows bullying people under the guise of health. It’s all too common for the chronic dieter to have disdain for his or her current body. But it is important to remember that this body is your home for the rest of your life; it can move you from place to place, can comfort a loved one with a hug, and can give pleasure. Often, it can birth a child and can carry and care for it. Respecting your body means treating it with dignity and kindness, as well as meeting its basic needs. Each of us is born with a genetic blueprint that determines our potential height, weight, and health, as well as a myriad of other details, from foot length to eye color. When you are attuned to your hunger and fullness signals and maintain regular movement and activity, you will be able to maintain and preserve the greater potential of your body. We know, however, that environmental factors can influence our ability to reach this potential or can actually destroy it. Starvation in early childhood can permanently affect bone and tooth growth; malnutrition can damage all organs and increase the risk of infection, communicable disease, and even death. Most cases of starvation and malnutrition are caused by poverty, war, and abuse, but their damaging results can also be brought on by one’s attempt to fool Mother Nature. The power of culture can also wreak havoc on logic. In our modern world, we live with a culturally thin ideal. Whether it comes from images in the media, the fashion and beauty industry, or family pressure, we see the relentless drive to lose weight, to change how the body looks, and to create an image that is impossible to attain or maintain. Combine these cultural issues with the purported health implications of obesity, and you get a perfect storm for body dissatisfaction. The first step in respecting your body is to accept that your body is destined to maintain its genetic blueprint. The few who give up on dieting fairly soon after they begin this futile behavior may be fortunate enough to have a resilient body that returns to its initial blueprint. The majority of dieters, however, attempt one diet after another throughout life, risking a slowed metabolism, an increased fat-to-muscle ratio, and a weight that doesn’t resemble that which was originally programmed for their body. Surrender to the body you were meant to have. Treat it with love, respect, self-care, healthful living, and joy. The freedom you will achieve as a result will allow you to place your focus on life goals that are truly achievable and maintainable. Even if you are not fully ready to accept your body’s genetic blueprint, and even if you don’t like your body, you can still cultivate habits that are kind and respectful toward it. For those who have shown little respect for their bodies for many years, the idea of showing gratitude for a body that they deem to be inferior may sound ludicrous. Yet, if gratitude can be approached with an open mind, most people can find something about their body that they appreciate: the ability to walk, the ability to engage in sports or leisure activities, the gift of receiving pleasure, whether from massage, sex, or even scratching an itch for a woman, the ability to carry and deliver a healthy baby, and the ability to pick up and play with a baby or toddler. The concept of self-care is a thread that runs through many of the Intuitive Eating principles. You can show respect by routinely caring for your body in simple and straightforward ways: regularly showering, washing your face and hair, brushing and flossing your teeth, moving your body through pleasurable physical activity, including some nutritious foods in your daily food intake, and getting enough restorative sleep. One of the most immediate ways to show respect to your body is to stop weighing yourself. Stepping on the scale has the power to ruin your day—or give you a temporary high, which is quickly deflated. The scale is a meaningless measure of what is truly important—eating foods that are satisfying, honoring your hunger, and consistently stopping when you’re comfortably full. The number that appears on the scale may bring you back to the worship of thinness and the delusion that you can actually permanently change your size, with all the fantasies of life that will magically arrive with a lowered weight. It completely disconnects you from the important and real and meaningful aspects of your life. Many people experience both exhilaration and dread when they contemplate and ultimately follow through with the task of throwing out the scale. This proactive act asserts your commitment to taking your focus off weight and putting it on attunement to the signals from your inner body wisdom. It may feel scary at first, but it will ultimately feel liberating. Another assertive action you can take is to decline to be weighed at your doctor’s office. Unfortunately, many people avoid doctor visits, even when sick, because of their anxiety about being weighed. They fear their doctor’s judgment, as well as their own. You have a right to speak up and refuse to get on the scale. There are very few circumstances in which your actual weight can make a difference in a health assessment. Those might include pregnancy, the calculation for certain medications, and congestive heart failure. In those instances, it is helpful to speak with your doctor about your feelings in order to elicit support. Under those circumstances, you can request not to be shown the number on the scale.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Part 7 Eating and Your Needs and Emotions

Part 7 Eating and Your Needs and Emotions: Based on the book "Intuitive Eating Workbook"

Many people believe that they are compulsive overeaters or binge eaters because they watch themselves eat excessively. In fact, many of these people are misdiagnosing themselves. Before you can explore the emotional connections you may have with eating, it’s first imperative to determine whether your non-attuned eating is actually based on difficulties you are having handling emotions. Or, rather, is it a consequence of lacking self-care or of the deprivation you feel from a lingering diet mentality? If self-care is lacking, it’s hard to be attuned and accurately hear the inner cues of hunger and fullness. Under these circumstances, food can become more rewarding. Self care also includes sleep which for an adult, is seven to nine hours. If you are not consistently getting adequate sleep, it’s likely that you’re walking around feeling lethargic, with low energy. Many people who are sleep deprived believe that their lack of energy can be corrected by eating more. And while it’s true that digested food releases physical energy from calories to keep the body functioning and to perform daily tasks, extra food doesn’t compensate for a lack of sleep. Eating doesn’t wake you up—in fact, it can actually make you feel more sluggish and drowsy. Sometimes it feels like an impossible task to keep all the balls rolling in your life. Often this is a problem of abundance. There may be many aspects of your life that appeal to you, but you may not have the time for them all. Or it could be an abundance of life’s problems. In either case, make it an important goal to be realistic about how much time you can spend in any one area of your life. When you eat consistently and adequately, you’ll avoid entering a state of primal hunger, which often results in overeating when your brain senses semi-starvation. Many aspects of life can cause stress—work or school deadlines, moving, separation or divorce, a health crisis for yourself or a family member, or the death of someone close—and stress can have a serious impact on your eating and your health. Looking at your life fully and finding the problems that may be affecting your eating—and their solutions—is essential for moving forward in your quest to attune to your body’s signals of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction in eating. Without this examination of your life, you may be making the wrong assumption that your eating is purely emotionally based. When you are stealth deprived, the habits and patterns of the diet mentality are still rooted in the back of your mind, even though you have tried to eradicate them. Feeling deprived of food (either in the variety or in the amount of food) puts you at risk for overeating, and overeating, of course, often initiates a vicious cycle: food restriction as compensation, rebounding in more overeating, and so forth. If you are still struggling with the automatic thought that some foods are good or bad, remember that this is a cognitive distortion that has been reinforced by years of diet mentality and by our culture. If you have discovered that some of your disconnected eating is associated with issues of self-care or deprivation from a lingering dieting mentality, there is more work to be done in these areas. Remember, it takes patience and practice. It is best to address these issues before trying to tackle any problems you have with emotional eating. It’s much easier to navigate the ups and downs in life when your self-care is in place and the dieting mentality is behind you. It is important to remember that eating does not occur in a void. Much of the time, food has emotional associations. We often forget how deeply food is tied to the need for comfort and safety. This association deepens when food is offered to soothe aches, celebrate events, and show love—when food becomes a comfort, a reward, and a reliable friend. Emotional eating covers a wide spectrum of emotions. It can be as positive as pleasure when eating a slice of wedding cake or as destructive as eating to numb difficult feelings or even to punish yourself as a result of negative self-talk. It is important to acknowledge how emotional eating has served you. This is the first step toward healing the negative feelings you have about yourself in relation to eating. If you appreciate that you were actually trying to take care of yourself by using or restricting food, when you know no other way, it will help you to mourn the loss of the behavior as you give it up. And at the same time, it will help you to develop a sense of compassion for your struggle. There are many emotional triggers for eating, and it’s likely that most people eat emotionally from time to time: anxiety—using food to calm yourself boredom—eating as something to do bribery—“finish this task, and you can have a treat” celebration—food accompanies most events emptiness—eating from a lack of spiritual meaning, excitement—using food as something fun feeling lonely or unloved—using food as a friend frustration, anger, rage—eating as a release loosening the reins—eating as an outlet from a self-imposed militaristic or perfectionist life mild depression—carbohydrates can increase serotonin—the “feel better” neuro- transmitter self-soothing when upset—eating as a comforting or consoling activity procrastination—“I’ll do that task after I eat something” reward—“I just closed that deal—now I deserve that big piece of chocolate cake” stress—food for relief. Part of getting to know your emotional feelings is familiarizing yourself with how these feelings are experienced in your body. There are three main paths to learning to cope with your feelings without using food: learning to sit with your feelings, helpful distraction, self-care, nurturance, and compassion are fundamental to being able to cope with your emotions without using food—they must be established before moving on. They require a belief that not only do you have emotional needs but also that your needs are important and that you have a right to have them met. Without this belief, and without cultivating selfcare, nurturance, and compassion, you are likely to continue or return to using food—your original source of comfort and nurturance. There are many basic human needs that people often deny, but they are essential for selfcare: enough sleep and rest, sensual pleasure, expression of feelings, in order to be heard, understood, and accepted intellectual and creative stimulation comfort and warmth reminds you that you should not expect progress to move in a straight line. You will sometimes experience a return to earlier types of behavior, but you should not consider these to be setbacks. When your forward progress loops around into one of these old patterns, look at that movement with curiosity. Use these loops—with their returns to old behavior—to reexamine your beliefs and self-talk and to look again at what you need for self-care. Having an outlook of self-compassion is an essential part of this path to healing emotional eating. When you practice self-care, feel nurtured in the ways that are unique to your life, and speak to yourself with compassion, you will find that eating may no longer serve as your primary source of nurturance. It will become just a way to meet your hunger needs, while providing you pleasure and satisfaction. Along with the types of self-nurturance listed above, you can create a nurturing experience at any moment by imagining a location where you have felt completely calm. This might be at the beach or hiking on a beautiful mountain path. Maybe you’re sitting on your couch, wrapped in a soft blanket and listening to music. Or maybe you’re at a theater, watching a play or movie. For some people, it can be an overwhelming task to figure out what you’re feeling when you aren’t hungry, yet you want to eat, or when you are in the middle of a meal and have had enough to satisfy your physical hunger, but you want to eat more of the delicious food. For some people, however, this situation can be a challenge that offers them a window into their inner world.