I am so looking forward to the “Big Change Starts Small” news to come from Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge this week.
Over and over again the people I work with who have turned to food to feel better rather than to people did so because of early experience with caregivers. Some of my clients did not even learn from caregivers how to identify and name their feelings.
Others learned not to express them because, rather than the interested, empathic or soothing response they sought, the caregiver was (often of necessity) pre-occupied or unequipped themselves (due to their upbringing) to regulate their own emotions let alone teach a child how to do it so.
Rather than continue to approach a caregiver for soothing and have the hope of getting the response they longed for repeatedly dashed to pieces on the rocks of disappointment, many of my clients gave up and sought the solace of food. The problem is, food not only doesn’t fill emotional emptiness, it leads to weight gain and, in our “lookist” Society to self-loathing (as one client described it) and self-esteem and body-esteem so low it is somewhere underground.
I look forward to the day when every child forms a secure attachment with caregivers and comfort eating, emotional eating, binge eating, whatever we call it, becomes a thing of the past as far as my counselling room is concerned.
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