On days when we feel empty inside, it is common for food portions to suddenly expand. There is a correlation between feeling insatiable in our lives and feeling insatiable in our tummies.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills such as distress tolerance, emotional regulation and mindfulness are effective when we feel like we are running on empty. The more we practice skills like sitting still with feelings or talking them out, the less we stuff ourselves.
As we say all the time: The healing is in the feeling.
Painful feelings pass, and excess food does not make the pain go away. Indeed, the opposite is true. “The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain,” wrote Dr. Gabor Maté, author of “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction.”
Feeling empty is painful—and worthy of investigation. Ironically, there is much to unpack when there is a void inside. Exploring that void is necessary for healing. Through writing, through talking with a friend or skill building with a coach or therapist. The way out is through. In whatever way you choose to take that deeper dive into your painful moments — it is worth it.
That painful feeling that our lives lack fullness can translate into fullness on our plate. The corollary is also true: We have a full life when we do not fill ourselves with excess food.
You are enough.