“I can’t seem to stop snacking,” said Linda, in our phone session. “And I can’t figure out why. I don’t overeat during meals, but then I snack on things that I don’t need to be eating. I’ve had this issue on and off since adolescence and I want to resolve it.”
“Linda, right now, take yourself back to the last time you snacked. See if you can tune into what was going on and what you were feeling.”
“It happened a lot this last weekend. I had some work I needed to get done I didn’t want to do it. Snacking is a way of putting it off for a bit.”
“So you were in resistance to getting the work done, is that right?”
“Yes, that’s what was going on.”
“What is the feeling inside when you have to do something you don’t want to do?”
“I feel trapped.”
“Do you often feel trapped in your life?”
“Now that you are asking – yes! I feel trapped a lot. I feel trapped in this job, which I don’t like. I feel trapped when my husband asks me to do things. I often feel trapped by our money situation. I feel trapped when I have to answer email. Sometimes I even feel trapped by my children’s needs.”
“Is this when you snack?”
“Yes! Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s always about getting out of feeling trapped for a few minutes. But then I end up feeling trapped in my body because I don’t like what I weigh!”
I knew exactly what Linda was talking about, as I used to feel trapped in my life a lot, and I had also learned to turn to various addictions to resist feeling trapped. Whenever I saw something as a “have to” rather than a “want to,” I felt trapped.
“Linda, I know the sensation of feeling trapped and wanting to find some way out. What I’ve learned to do is to shift my thinking from telling myself that I ‘have to’ do something, to seeing it as an opportunity to love myself and others. When I shift from ‘have to’ to asking “What is my opportunity to love right now?” the trapped feeling goes away and the resistance dissolves.
“For example, right now, imagine opening your email and asking yourself, ‘What is my opportunity to love right now?’ What comes to mind?”