Self Abandonment and Healing Your Relationship With Food – Ep #030
In this solo episode, I share with you my insights into #1 habit that derails our best intentions to live a healthy and fulfilling life – Self Abandonment. I’ve come to see that when it comes to our unwanted habits around food, weight, our struggles to live a healthy balanced lifestyle, there’s a deep connection to an inability to stay with ourselves.
Self Abandonment is the destructive pattern of living that drains our life force energy and distances us from our soul. It’s the pattern we need to bring awareness to if we want to heal and transform our relationship with food.
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Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, Chef Author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie..
Hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition podcast. I’m Christine Okezie.. And thanks so much for tuning in today. So on today’s special solo show, I want to shed some light on the number one habit that derails our best intentions to live a healthy and fulfilling life. The pattern of living that most drains our life force energy and distances us from our soul self abandonment. He see in the work I do coaching people. I’ve come to realize that when it comes to our unwanted habits, around food and weight, our struggles to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, there is a deep connection to Self Abandonment.
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This inability to stay with ourselves. You see late night, snacking overeating, mindless, eating, stress, eating all these self-sabotaging behaviors are not the actual problems that need solving. They’re the symptoms of a much more serious habit that needs our attention. This habit of abandoning ourselves. It’s quite a normal tendency, really because as humans, we’re wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. And when we’re having a tough moment like feeling overwhelmed, bored, or just stressed out while food, it’s the ultimate natural self-regulation tool. One that we learned how to use from the moment we came into this world and received comfort from either the bottle or the breast, but using food to regulate ourselves becomes a problem in adulthood.
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When it repeatedly becomes the only option on the menu, if you will, to suit our non-physical nourishment needs. So where does self abandonment come from? Self abandonment happens because we don’t feel safe in our own skin. It’s rooted in a lack of self-trust and feelings of unworthiness self-abandonment comes from experiences in childhood. When at some point along the way, we learned that in order to be lovable and not get kicked out of the tribe, we needed to suppress our feelings and needs. We learned that we needed to put parts of ourselves away, out of fear of judgment or disapproval.
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We learned to minimize our hurts and struggles because we got the message that we weren’t deserving of love and compassion, all behaviors, especially the ones we learned in childhood had a positive intention. They kept a safe physically or emotionally. They helped us keep the peace and avoid rejection or ridicule. But as adults, we need to see that these ways of navigating life are no longer helpful. Self abandonment is the pattern that we need to bring awareness to. If we want to heal and transform our relationship with food, many of us don’t even realize it’s happening.
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Most of us start abandoning ourselves at an early age to get our needs met, and we continue to do it into adulthood. So here’s what self-abandonment could look like for you. Self judgment and criticism, you know, thoughts like I’m too fat. I’m not attractive enough. No one can love me the way I look. Why don’t I look like that self-abandonment can be suppressing or ignoring how you truly feel and think within yourself or in expressing or not expressing this with others. People pleasing is another way we leave ourselves. In other words, you know, constantly doing something you don’t want to do to please somebody else, another way that we leave ourselves doing what someone else tells you to do versus doing what feels good or true for you.
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For example, staying in a job or a relationship situation that’s controlling, abusive, or unfulfilling self-abandonment can look like constantly putting other people’s needs, wants, and desires before your own playing the martyr. See all these ways are ways that we unconsciously reject or betray our true self over and over and over again. Now, to be clear, a few acts of self-abandonment may not seem like a big deal, but over time, small habitual acts can certainly add up to many health derailing patterns.
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Soon we can start to lose ourself and self-abandonment dominates life. Self abandonment is a self destructive pattern that creates feelings of guilt, shame, anger, sadness. So then the question becomes when you have all these feelings, what do you do to cope? Well, this is where the addictive behaviors come in. And if you’re in the habit of avoiding these tough emotions, well food, alcohol work, the internet, any form of numbing out becomes the option on the menu because when you ignore your feelings by either ruminating and staying in your head or turning to these addictive behaviors, well, it starts the cycle all over again because these very habitual addictive behaviors are yet another way that we abandon ourselves now self-abandonment is serious because it contributes to anxiety and depression and low self-esteem, which as we all know, takes a various serious toll on our mental and our physical wellbeing.
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Now such physical or emotional signs and symptoms can be seen as a way of letting us know that we’re out of alignment with who we truly are, anxiety, depression, extra weight, gain pain, exhaustion, even thyroid issues or digestive issues, chronic illness. You know, it can be a sign, you know, that we might be abandoning ourselves somewhere. In fact, a breakdown of any kind in other areas of life, such as
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Career or relationship
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Can also be signs that were out of alignment with where we need to be. So if the root cause of our unwanted habits around food and self care is self-abandonment, that is the habit of turning away from ourselves. All the way out of this pattern is to begin to cultivate the practice of returning back to ourselves over and over again. So here’s the deal. We need to see our primary health objective as investing in a healthy, loving relationship with ourselves. So the first step is to start to become aware that maybe we fallen into this pattern again.
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And when we do observe it, we need to have compassion for ourselves. We have to remember that we started doing this to get our needs met, to survive as a, as a child to get love safety, a sense of belonging, et cetera. Next you’ll want to look all areas of your life and ask yourself if there’s any, anything that you’re giving your energy and attention to that you need to let go of in order to truly honor and love yourself. This could be limiting beliefs that you have around health, aging, weight, negative self-talk emotional patterns or behaviors, the unhealthy dynamics in a job or relationship we heal.
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When we train ourselves to be a safe Haven for our feelings and needs our feelings and emotions are our inner guidance system. If we listen and observe. So a good practice that I like to use is naming the feeling. So instead of I am worried, it becomes worry is here. Instead of I am overwhelmed, overwhelm is happening. Irritation is here. I’m noticing loneliness is here. Noticing the thoughts also in this way, instead of I’m not good enough, I’m falling short again.
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I’m failing again. It’s I’m having a thought that I might not be good enough. I’m having a thought that I’m inadequate. See, you might acknowledge the thoughts you’re observing as really, because they certainly do feel real, but they’re not true. In other words, they’re just thoughts and you don’t have to believe them. We can observe and notice in them and create a very healthy separation between our experience and who we really are, which is the awareness that’s underneath all our thoughts and feelings, your painful feelings that come from your thoughts are your energy PS.
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Remember, they’re a way of letting you know that what you’re thinking is not true and ultimately is not in your highest. Good. See the premise is that when we’re going through something difficult, we oftentimes, we don’t know how we feel. All the feelings, the emotions, everything just gets lumped into one tangled ball, which feels threatening and overwhelming and all these feelings and all these emotions get lumped into, to hunger. For example, which triggers the unwanted habit, the coping mechanism and the whole cycle can keep going. So the practice to unwind these patterns around self-abandonment is to pause, to breathe and to feel, to bring yourself into the present moment experience, recognizing what you’re feeling, keep it simple with naming them.
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I’m having a thought that, right. Again, that’s creates a powerful separation between you and your thoughts so that you can begin to detangle or disentangle yourself from this situation. Another important step is to get curious, curious about where you might feel the emotion in your body. Notice where you’re holding tension and tightness. Notice how worry overwhelm sadness or inadequacy shows up as a physical sensation and your body. And see if you can breathe deeply into these areas, allow me and yourself the full experience of what’s happening.
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This is the opposite of leaving ourselves. Feeling is healing. Giving our attention to ourselves in this beautiful way is truly the deepest form of self care of self-compassion. It’s why mindfulness and meditation practices are now accepted widely for the benefits that they provide for our body, our mind, and our soul. You may not have been allowed to express your feelings, your thoughts, your needs, and your desires as a child, or maybe you’ve had this experience in some adult relationships as well.
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But you can now choose in this moment to be a safe haven for your own feelings and needs giving your inner life. This depth of attention builds that essential self trust. This creates beneficial changes in our physiology, as well as our psychology healthy living is about recognizing that in every moment you have a choice, whether you will honor your soul or abandon yourself. My wish is that more and more, you choose your soul.
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A beautiful quote that captures this for me is from Tich Nact Han. He says, go back and take care of yourself. Your body needs you. Your feelings need you. Your perceptions need you. Your suffering needs you to acknowledge it. Go home and be there for all these things. Thanks for listening. My friends take care.