You’ve eaten but you're still STARVING? Are you emotionally fed?Jun 30, 2021
Something I noticed about myself after all the self-work, and something I also in the women I work with is that often the way we do one thing is the way we do everything. The problem with this is that it can lead us to live very unbalanced lives. To give an example of this, with me, when it came to making a decision, I’m used to be either spontaneous about it or would procrastinate until the last minute. It didn’t matter if it was a really big decision or something inconsequential. It was always the same way with food, relationships, and even my approach to work. It leaves me feeling perpetually exhausted and unaccomplished all at the same time. My behaviors tended to leave me virtually starving or completely stuffed.
I always teetered between eating crazy healthy (hence the orthorexia that led to anorexia) or crazy unhealthily (cue the binges) with food. I couldn’t’ seem to mix the two with balance. In college, I either drank heavily or went months when I was with my family home on summer break completely sober. When I jumped into a new project or even my new career as near as last year, I was either completely buried in it without coming up for air, or I wanting to be completely offline and sign off. Even with people in the past, like with my ex-boyfriend, when I knew I wanted to get back together with Chad I couldn’t even wait until the end of a vacation to break it off with him. See what I mean, ALL or NOTHING?
A lot of the women I work with have similar behaviors of doing everything in life the same way. They overeat, they overwork, they overcommit themselves. They give everything they have to their friends and family. They never say no. The people please. They are physically, emotionally, and spiritually stuffed.
... Or, they are constantly dieting, avoiding being noticed at work, lonely in their personal lives, and uninspired creatively. They are physically, emotionally, and spiritually starved.
None of us can live like this forever.
Something that I learned at IIN is that everything we do in life feeds us somehow. It’s called primary food, the food that’s not really food. Feeding ourselves with physical food is one way we are nourished but it’s not the only way. Our souls are nourished by our daily habits and interactions. Work, creative projects and hobbies, exercise, joy, social life, relationships, finances, spirituality, purpose, and health are just a few of the different areas that we can go overboard on and feel stuffed or completely ignore and be starved. You may be super full in some areas but extremely hungry in others.
Oftentimes, we spend too much time working and not enough time connecting with others socially, we may find our health started to be affected by it. We get stressed, exhausted, and feel disconnected. When we overeat physically, we may mentally subconsciously react by depriving ourselves in another way – maybe you don’t allow yourself physical touch, or you spend too much time on social media and you come away feeling both stuffed and starving despite a meal you just ate.
My goal is to teach clients how to be well-fed in all areas of their lives. Our hunger in these areas should be satisfied - not too much and not too little.
As you reflect on your own life, you can see the effect your daily choices and actions have on your health and well-being. I'm sure you already have an idea of how stuffed or starved you are. And if you are really good about self-care and boundaries then you are probably one of few who feel properly nourished and calm all the time.
I divide the areas we feed ourselves in into 4 categories:
Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, and Creative. And I want to give you a few examples of the things in our lives that might fall into these categories and also how they will show up in your life if you are stuffed, starved, or satisfied.
This list obviously doesn’t include everything and some of the items I list in one category could be put in another. So, if there is something big in your life that I didn’t list here, where do you think it fits in?
Examples: food (how we eat, how much we eat, and quality of what we eat), massage, human touch, sex, play, movement, rest.
Examples: social life, relationships, alone time, having outlets to express yourself, dealing with personal responsibilities, travel, social media community.
Examples: prayer, meditation, journaling, yoga, tai chi, volunteer work, spending time in nature, sense of purpose.
Examples: work, cooking, art, dance, music, writing, imagination, beauty, decorating, gift-giving, attending art / creative performances.
So how does it show up if we’re eating too much or too little?
If you are eating too much in any one area or not enough, you will find you feel off and this is how it may show up:
Symptoms of being Stuffed – feeling lazy, bored, uninspired, tired, pulled in too many directions, distracted, empty, unappreciated.
Symptoms of being Starved -hungry for something but not sure what, nervous energy, depression, anxiety, lonely, unfocused, disconnected, loss of purpose.
Symptoms of being Satisfied – feeling light, energetic, happy, calm, grounded, focused, comfortable, optimistic, confident, balanced.
You may find that when your life is heavily weighted in one area, that you are more likely to feel some of these symptoms more than others. For example, if I’m physically hungry realm – I’m not getting enough movement, and spending too much time at my desk, not eating blood sugar balancing meals, I can guarantee that I’ll start to feel anxious and irritable. You may be different than me! Everyone manifests this stuff a little bit differently! In a different area, emotionally, if I’ve been having too much – maybe going to a lot of events and I had a lot of personal obligations, I feel drained, pulled in too many directions, and distracted. You may find that the symptoms that show up for you when you’re stuffed emotionally, aren’t the same symptoms that show up when you are stuffed physically. It changes based on the category so don’t overthink it!
At the end of the day, your health and wellness are deeply connected to how well you are fed – physically and emotionally. You’ll notice that if you start aiming for more balance in each of these categories, that some of your recurring health concerns seem to be less of a problem, and you may need less on your plate – we all sleep better and have more energy when we are taking good care of ourselves.
The most important thing to take from this is that it’s important to pay attention to how you are spending your time, who with whom, and if you are getting enough nourishment physically, emotionally, spiritually, and creatively. What are your daily habits and how do they add up? If you know when you are not getting enough in an area, you can change that – and that can go a long way in how you feel on a day-to-day basis.
Writing this email has made me realize that I’m really feeling stuffed in the creative realm. With all of the work I’m doing on the course, the app, the membership, and for my clients - it’s a LOT and I feel
pulled in so many directions. So now it’s up to me to go out and change that!
If you find yourself still starving after a meal ask yourself:
How well-fed are you?
Which area (Physical, Emotional, Spiritual or Creative) seems to have the biggest pull in your life right now?
How well is your hunger satisfied in that area?
What do you think you need to do differently?