A New Way To Approach Compulsive Eating

Ann Smith - EFT Tapping Articles Written by Ann Smith

In my over 30 years of affiliation with compulsive overeaters, I have seen a common phenomenon occur.  Some call it “fat serenity.” This unflattering description refers to people who no longer eat for emotional reasons and are serene with their eating and their bodies yet are still overweight. Sometimes obese. They are serene and fat.

But why isn’t someone who is serene not automatically at a healthy weight? Because the thoughts that make a serene mind are not necessarily the same thoughts that result in different eating behaviors.  The thoughts, “I love myself just the way I am” and “I’m willing to eat only one serving of this fattening food” often don’t go together!

A Two-Part Process For Compulsive Eating

As a Weight Release Coach using EFT as my primary tool for change, I have to address both parts of a person: their emotional state and their eating habits.  Despite feeling better about themselves, most people with “fat serenity” would still like to be thinner. But most overeaters have not reached that state of “fat serenity” anyway. In fact, most hate themselves.

By releasing the stranglehold of self-hate first, we release much stress and this allows an opening for habit change.  But changing habits is a different animal than changing one’s view of oneself.  In ways, it is easier.  We are targeting a specific behavior, not a long-held belief about oneself. But in other ways, since favorite eating habits are almost always deeply ingrained and have many aspects, people are notoriously resistant to letting them go. This makes habits difficult to change.

Self-Hate In Compulsive Eating

The first step is to make peace with oneself despite one’s eating habits and body size.  Even though I love that the setup statement says, “I deeply and completely accept myself,” we often have to modify this for the person who isn’t there yet:

“Even though I hate that I overeat and that I’m obese, “I want to deeply and completely accept myself.”

Self-hate is a core issue, often going deeper than hate of one’s body or bingeing, so we must give this issue plenty of tapping time. There will probably be many aspects and memories of childhood to neutralize.  Feelings of shame and regret are common. A number of tapping sessions should be expected.

“Even though I hate myself for being overweight, I want to deeply and completely accept myself anyway.”

“Even though I binged and I feel terrible about myself, I want to deeply and completely accept myself anyway.”

“Even though I hate myself for my bingeing and my fat body, I don’t deserve to accept myself, I want to find in myself some self-acceptance, although I don’t know how.”

“I hate myself!”
“I hate my body!”
“I can’t stand the way I look.”
“I am so preoccupied with my fat.”
“And I binge anyway.”
“I can’t stop myself.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
“I just can’t stand myself.”
“I hate my bingeing and my fat!”

Forgiveness For Compulsive Eating

Because these core issues are deep, we must always look out for psychological reversals or the tendency to not want to get better. Tapping on the original events where this belief began is the official way to treat the core issue. Knocking down enough of the “table legs” allows the entire “self-hate” table to collapse. Review past events to make sure they are neutralized. Testing is essential.

The above words assume your client is quite upset.  Many rounds of this type of wording with the gradual introduction of statements such as, “I want to be open to the possibility of forgiving myself and liking myself anyway” is the goal.  You can’t rush forgiveness but using words such as “I’m open to the possibility” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could forgive myself somehow” are ways to open that door.

After your client feels less hateful toward himself or herself, now having a SUDs rating of 5 or 6, you will introduce the other part that is getting ready to forgive, to be open to the possibility of not bingeing.

“Even though I’m disgusted with my bingeing and fat, there is a part of me who wants to move on, and I deeply and completely accept both parts of me.”

 “Even though I still dislike this part of me, there is another part that is looking toward the future with new hope that I can be healthier.”

“Even though I’ve beaten myself up for so long because of my overeating and fat, I’m beginning to feel compassion for myself and I’m getting ready to let go of the old me.”

“I’m still feeling angry at myself.”
“Part of me can’t imagine any other way to feel.”
“I’ve practiced self-hate for many years.”
“But I’m beginning to believe I can get better anyway.”
“Oh, no I can’t!”
“Well, maybe I can.”
“I want to let this part of me grow and strengthen.”
“Maybe I can change.”
“It would feel good to not binge.”

When the SUDs is zero or one, test by asking your client to say, “I am worthwhile and I deserve a better life,” or something along those lines. Make sure your client can say this with enthusiasm and deep conviction. Only when your client is healed on this deep level, is it time to tackle specific habits.

Ann Smith Bio

Ann Smith

Ann has been using EFT with her coaching clients since 2005. Presented to her as a tool to help her clients get past their blocks to success, Ann soon discovered how much more EFT could do.  Ann began to use EFT with every client who was distraught, blocked, afraid, confused, in pain…almost everyone! Ann was […]




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One Response to “A New Way To Approach Compulsive Eating”

  1. G. Frick says:

    I see so many articles about the psychology of fat people, and most don’t have anything new to say. That is why when I read the part about fat serenity, I thought, here is something I haven’t seen before. But alas, I got to the usual take on motivations and emotions when you said…”Despite feeling better about themselves, most people with “fat serenity” would still like to be thinner. But most overeaters have not reached that state of “fat serenity” anyway. In fact, most hate themselves.” When I read the first sentence quoted, I thought “true” I would like to be thinner. But when I read the sentence that followed, I said, “huh?” Why does that conclusion follow? Secondly, I felt like the article never did address the population who don’t hate themselves for being fat. Are you saying that is not possible? I’m not sure what you’re saying, but I know that if I try to say the words, “I hate myself” — well those words just aren’t true for me. Or are would you say I’m not deluding myself? I admit that I use food as a crutch for avoiding stuff in life: being bored, procrastinating, relieving stress, and so on. I also love food. I love smells, textures, tastes, appearance, etc. of foods. I know that doesn’t automatically mean that I have to be fat, but combine that with the other and the feeling of “punishment” when I tell myself I can’t have any more or I can’t have any-period, well, I just don’t seem to get anywhere weight loss wise. I would like to be thinner. I would like to wear cute clothes, have more energy, be healthier, but I don’t sit around piling guilt and negative feelings on myself for not being what I’m not. Is there a solution for someone like me?

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