“Have you ever suffered with binge/emotional eating?” is one of the most commonly asked questions. So here goes a long important answer to a simple question!
No. I have however, very openly talked about my struggles in my teens and twenties with debilitating perfectionism, stress, overwhelm and chronic IBS. I saw vulnerability as a major weakness. I was “confident” on the outside but it was an act. I wore a mask. My self worth was tied into being “productive” and “achieving”.
My coping mechanisms included exercise, being a MAJOR control freak with EVERYTHING (including tracking food although I never went as far as weighing my food in a restaurant), alcohol and shopping. Those were my “outlet” choices, not food. Even though back then I didn’t recognize my behavior. I sabotaged myself, relationships and I was fully engaged in my own bullshit stories holding back my life and business.
This sounds bad writing it down, but I was never fundamentally unhappy. I just wasn’t “happy” or content. In fact, in my quest for happiness and plugging the gap of “feeling like something is missing” I frequented the offices of several shrinks and ended up with a Sharman banging a drum near my head and asking what my sprit animal guide was. That was the close on my spiritual journey! But makes for a good story! lol
I am grateful for all those “shortcomings”. Its’ part of growing up and learning. I took ownership of my choices and my life and now, yes, I am exceptionally good at state/emotional management. I certainly practice what we preach. Integrity (do what I say I will do) remains one of my highest values.
However… the more interesting question is why you would ask a question like that in the first place.
If it’s purely from a place of curiosity, or wanting to get to know what David and I do at Chase Life a little better that’s fine.
But sometimes people ask questions like that from a place of “what gives you authority to talk about these things?”
What they’re really asking is “please prove to me that you can help me?”
And one of their unconscious rules for believing somebody can help them is “I will only listen to someone who has overcome exactly the same problems that I’m facing myself.”
That’s kind of like saying “I will only see an oncologist who has had cancer themselves!”
“I will only see a therapist who has had depression themselves.”
“I will only see a fat loss coach who was once fat”
Is it necessary for somebody to have suffered with that problem for them to know how to fix it? OF COURSE NOT!
Is it necessary for somebody to suffer with the same problem for them to sincerely empathise, and genuinely care about what you’re experiencing? OF COURSE NOT!
Ultimately the only thing that matters is somebody’s track record.
For example when I was looking for a specialist gastroenterologist to help with my IBS, I wasn’t looking for someone who suffered with IBS. I looked for the BEST in their field! Someone who had a track record, knows what they’re doing and can fix my problem! (Side note – Prof Peter Whorwell – changed my life!)
This is often tied into a much larger problem which is fundamentally the fear of “what if I try and fail, and I’m still not good enough?”
So rather than risk “proving” that fear to be true, they unconsciously come up with all kinds of ways to protect themselves from that fear, and never fully commit to going all in to fix the problem.
They procrastinate, they tell themselves it’s not even worth trying, they convince themselves nobody else understands, they convince themselves nobody can help them, they pretend they’ll get round to it later, they tell themselves “I’ve tried everything!”
I know, I have been there. And it didn’t serve me either!
You’re either more committed to your fear or your dream. If you’re committed to the fear you’ll look for and find evidence that it can’t be done, you can’t do it, you’re not good enough, nobody can help you etc.
If you’re committed to your dream you find a way whatever it takes. You find evidence that it can be done, you find people who have done it, and you find people who can help you. You also take massive action and see it through to the end, even if that journey is longer and harder than you thought it would be. Which, frankly, it usually is! That’s the difference between commitment and “trying”.
Hope this help you understand a lot of what goes on unconsciously for most people.
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