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When Comfort Food Becomes Uncomfortable

Written by: Bethany Perry, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Comfort food! Yum! Most of us can conjure up some clear pictures in our minds strong enough to provoke our salivary glands to ‘desire’ those foods by making our mouths water. Perhaps it’s ice cream with ooey gooey toppings or sweets, chips, pizza, pasta, or french fries…the list of comfort foods can go on and on! But before you head to the fridge or the store to have that beloved comfort food, I’d love to ask you something: What exactly does comfort food do for you? Besides the obvious “It tastes good and I love it!”

When I ask my clients this question, some are stumped, and some can tell me right away. Most often, the answer is pretty straightforward; - something simple like “It makes me feel better!” My response is usually “How does it make you feel better?” When we dig a little deeper, the answer evolves into “It helps me stop feeling so much” or “It helps me go numb and escape for a moment.”


When you can’t seem to stay away from your favorite comfort foods and find yourself using them to change how you feel in the moment, you are engaging in emotional eating. The problem is that indulging in those comfort foods has the unintended effect of making us feel different, but not in the ‘comforting’ way we initially wanted. Our skin, weight, and health can all suffer when we aren’t eating well. The vicious cycle continues when we look in the mirror and feel a lot less than the comfort we were seeking in the first place. Unhealthy eating can also fuel our stress, resulting in more unpleasant emotions we’d rather avoid. All of that can set off another cycle of body shaming and emotional numbing with comfort food.


If that sounds familiar, I’m here to help! Early on when I started working as a Health Coach, I wanted to help people get off the diet roller coaster and discover intuitively what nourishes their specific bodies. I could never understand how any one diet could be expected to work for all when no two of us are the same. How can anyone know your body better than yourself?


Then, I discovered something which led me to deepen my studies in the field of neuroscience and trauma. In my practice alone, over 90% of the women who came to me desperate to lose weight had suffered abuse at one point or another in their life. Those that experienced childhood abuse were more likely to carry a larger amount of weight. This is also true for many of the men who come to me now as well. The more I studied, the more I discovered this phenomenon did not just exist in my practice, but, sadly, it isn’t discussed widely.


Stress, abuse, and trauma is so much more prevalent than we realize. Many people self-soothe and ‘silence’ their pain by comforting the nervous system with foods that feel good for a moment, but negatively affect our health and overall well-being. Unfortunately, this strategy moves us farther away from comfort and creates more pain in our lives.


What exactly is happening in our brain and body that creates these patterns? If you want to better understand these patterns within yourself, I am here to help. My program has nothing to do with losing weight quickly; instead, it will bring enrichment, empowerment and healing to your life. Together we explore the patterns of your life that also exist in your brain. One baby step at a time, we uncover what needs to be healed, rewire the brain and rediscover how to honor our bodies with the food that nourishes us and brings us a life we love. You can escape from this cycle by zooming out to look at the big picture of how your past experiences and current challenges are fueling these undesirable behaviors once and for all!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Bethany Perry, Executive Contributor Braiinz Magazine

As a gifted and intuitive Transformation Coach and Motivational Speaker, Bethany Perry has more than 30 years of experience in various healing modalities. She utilizes Neuroscience, Emotional Health, Nutrition, and Yoga to inspire clients to safely explore and overcome a variety of biopsychosocial challenges. These are the 4 pillars of Bethany Perry's Whole Life Healing method. By combining these pillars with the practice of meditation, Bethany’s compassionate approach gently and lovingly promotes healing, especially for clients who may not have had success with other methods.


She is a certified Neuroscience Life & Health Coach; Certified with the Daniel Amen Affiliated Education Center; Certified Brainspotting Practitioner; Certified in Transformational Coaching based on NLP methodology; Certified Yoga Instructor; works with TBI clients, and studies with Father Joe Pereira from Goa, India to teach yoga for Addiction and PTSD. Bethany is the owner and founder of Whole Life Healing Coach, and Whole Life Healing Centers, a nonprofit that provides comprehensive healing strategies for individuals and families impacted by emotional and physical trauma.

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