How many times would you swear on a stack of bibles that you just have no control around certain foods? Is it chocolate, a bag of chips, bread, or a big ‘ole bowl of your favorite pasta? No matter what your desire, you may be feeling like just a bite or two of that food is never enough to satisfy that compelling urge to eat it all and despite how sick sometimes it may make you feel, you just want to keep eating until it’s all gone. That’s why you may have come up with the idea that it’s best to avoid it altogether and think of these types of foods as being ‘dangerous’ or ‘forbidden.’ The truth is will power will only get you so far, because eventually you’ll be drawn back to eat the foods you crave again and again. Fortunately, EFT can help you stop having obsessive thoughts about eating and feeling out of control around food.
Here is the story of the day I learned about how magnificently well EFT works in dealing with cravings.
The Day I Discovered That Cravings Are Actually Unmet Emotional Needs in Disguise
During the winter break of 2005,my husband, Angel, our two kids, 9 1/2 year old Cara and 14 1/2 year old PT (Paul Thomas) and I drove my step daughter, Janelle and my little step grandson, Aiden back home to North Carolina. Cara’s cousin, Angelica also joined us for the weekend trip. With so many people in the SUV, the atmosphere was chaotic.
It was great seeing Janelle and Aiden again but it was a really stressful time for me. My mind was on work. I had been procrastinating on getting ready for a presentation that I had the next day, and I felt guilty and ashamed of myself for taking time away from the family to handle my business. Amidst all the noise and craziness, I was trying to read, take notes, and focus on my material but I just couldn’t concentrate.
It had been nearly 10 years since my kids were toddlers, so I wasn’t used to dealing with the needs of a small child anymore. So I had all these mixed feelings about this trip.
The two girls were in the back seat of the Excursion watching the DVD player, horsing around, laughing and carrying on and being drama queens as little girls do. My son, PT was in the center seat complaining to Janelle about not being able to sleep with all the noise and I was sitting in the passenger seat next to Angel finishing up a great book by Gloria Arenson called,”A Substance Called Food: How to Understand, Control and Recover from Addictive Eating.”
As I read and took notes on my laptop, I was beginning to feel the anxiety rise in me as I listened to the girls’ giggles and felt the heat of the laptop on my legs. Somewhere around Washington, we hit a massive traffic jam and were stalled, crawling for about 10 miles bumper to bumper. I was hungry and had to go to the bathroom. By this time, I was really getting frustrated and very upset with the girls for their silliness.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity which was really only about 40 minutes of noise, aggravation and worry, we pulled into a rest stop Denny’s. Because I was so stressed out, I was feeling very vulnerable and just wanted to eat whatever I felt like to feel calm again.
Being a dieter, I was on Weight Watchers®, at the time, so each day I tried to do my very best to make healthy choices and to keep my calories/points low. That morning I had a big brunch and enjoyed some french toast, lightly scrambled eggs, tea with lemon and a piece of sausage. After checking my WW® Points calculator, I knew that I only had a few points left to eat for the evening. So I planned to have a light dinner to stay on track for the day.
Best Intentions Gone Astray
As we sat down at the table, I had mixed feelings about following through with my original plan of sticking with my 6 point limit. I knew that with the way that I was feeling I could never be satisfied eating a no frills grilled chicken salad, diet Italian dressing and a cup of chicken broth. Yuck!
Glancing up, my eyes locked on an overhead sign with the most amazing picture of a slice of pecan pie. It looked so good. And all of a sudden I was overcome by a desperate urge to order a slice of pecan pie. Odd for me, because I think I’ve only eaten it twice in my life and enjoyed it but never felt particularly drawn to crave it.
As I thought about ordering the pie, my mind wandered and I started to pay attention to what was going on inside. Then I remembered what I had been teaching my clients on my Craving Zapping calls. I knew that I could handle cravings using EFT. I tuned into my self talk and I heard, “Andrea, you know this stuff works when you work it. Now go take care of this craving NOW!
I excused myself from the family and headed to the restroom for some privacy to use the same tapping process that I had used successfully many times before. The difference was that I never actually used it for my cravings. I only tapped along and helped my clients deal with their cravings. Now I had to use it on mine.
When I left the table, I began the tapping process as follows:
First I rated the craving and determined how much on a scale of 0-10 I wanted to eat the slice of pie. The number 10 popped up in my head and I checked that to see if the craving was as high as possible. It was. So I went with a 10 rating.
Then I began lightly tapping consistently on the side of my left hand with my dominant right hand, (the location where I tapped was where a martial artist would break a block of wood).
As I was tapping, I thought about how much I wanted the slice of pecan pie, how angry I was and how deprived I felt not being able to eat it without guilt because I was on a diet. I was jealous of everybody else being able to eat what they wanted and feeling left out and alone because I didn’t feel that I could. I rambled on and just said whatever was in my head. But since I don’t have a clear memory of the specifics of what those statements were, the following affirmations are some examples of what I probably said:
- Even though I want this piece of pecan pie so badly and I can just taste it, my mouth is watering, I love and accept myself anyway. Tap, tap, tap.
- Even though I want to eat everything in front of me and not give a damn about my diet, I love and accept myself anyway.
- Even though I feel so deprived and angry because I can’t eat this pie, I love and accept myself anyway.(Note: As you tap on the karate chop point which is the psychological reversal point on the body, you will neutralize your tendency to judge yourself. This is why you say some type of affirmation along with the first part of the sentence describing what you feel or think. If you are not comfortable with saying I love and accept myself, then find some other statement which is truer for you. For example, you may say:
Even though I ____________I know that I am doing the best I can, I’m a child of God, I’m an okay person, or anything else that feels true to you.)Next after repeating the set up phrases 3 times, I took my fingers and tapped on the inner corner of my eye, the side of my eye, under my eye, and under my nose and on my chin. Then I tapped on my sore spot and on top of my head. At some point in the tapping process, as I continued to verbalize what I was feeling, I felt a wave of sadness overcome me.
I was shocked and amazed when my eyes began to tear up as I uncovered feelings of loss that I had been trying to stuff down since my Nana’s passing 2 years earlier. Instantly I continued to tap on my feelings of deprivation, sadness and feeling unloved. My mind flashed on some wonderful memories of being in Nana’s kitchen helping her to bake homemade pies and cakes. We spent many wonderful hours in her warm aromatic kitchen when I was a child living in New York City.
After a few more realizations and rounds of tapping, I gauged where the craving was and realized it was down to a 0. I had no desire whatsoever to eat the pie. The craving that had overtaken me moments ago was really just my body’s way of saying that I wanted desperately to reconnect with my Nana and feel as loved and confident and happy as she made me feel.
About 5 minutes later, I returned to the table feeling free, light and easy, with a big smile and a sunny disposition. To test how well the tapping worked, I continued to glance up at the sign of the slice of pecan pie floating overhead. I felt nothing. I made note of the fact that it even looked a bit sickening to me. With a big genuine smile and a feeling of inner peace, I ordered my planned dinner and never once felt deprived. When the salad and chicken broth arrived, I enjoyed it thoroughly, eating slowly and drinking up the warmth and love of my family’s company.
Honestly, I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have tapping as a resource to deal with my feelings and to balance my energy. I truly love it and now love to share it with others as often as I can. It is truly a blessing. Here are the basics that you need to know to get started.
What is Emotional Freedom Technique?
Emotional Freedom Technique was created by Stanford engineer, Gary Craig in the early 90’s. It is a powerful stress relief process derived from the ancient 5000+ year old science of acupuncture.
Did you know that your body’s natural inclination is to heal itself? It’s true. But living in a world with so many toxins, poisons, chemicals, and negative influences, both physical and emotional, our bodies are under constant siege of stress. Acupuncture is one example of how we can help ourselves by stimulating our body’s natural ability to heal itself. It works by strengthening your immune system by stimulating trigger points which release and discharge toxins. It calms you and makes you feel more peaceful and centered because it activates muscle relaxants in your body like dopamine and feel-good endorphins.
Getting an acupuncture treatment done by a trained technician is a real treat for sure. I highly encourage you to go for an acupuncture treatment because it really works. But the problem is it’s not easily accessible and you have to rely on someone else to help you out of a jam. So let’s get back to learning about this stress-relief tool that’s just as powerful as acupuncture. It’s called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT.
EFT is often referred to as psychological acupuncture or acupressure because instead of using needles, you use your fingertips to tap lightly on different areas of your hands and body as you focus on the specific issue of what is upsetting you. By tapping on these natural comfort spots, (which are known as acupressure endpoints), and focusing on a problem, you’ll get the same relaxing benefit as if you had just had an acupuncture treatment. The new scientific research shows that this works because the tapping sends a calming signal to the brain that pairs your upsetting thoughts, physical or emotional pains, etc, with feelings of relaxation. This is because your body responds to tapping by producing stress relieving chemicals and hormones that are comparable to and more effective than Xanax or any other drug available.
How does it work?
Acupunturists believe that there are circuits in our bodies through which electricity is passing along and traveling. And by tapping on those endpoints, you are clearing any blocks that might prevent the natural flow of your body’s energy. These blocks show up for us in the form of some type of emotional and/or physical discomfort in the body.
EFT has been used in many ways to help heal people of various imbalances in their energy system. This is because our emotions are powerful influences that affect our health. Whether they are the sole cause of an illness, discomfort, anxiety or trauma or just simply a contributing factor in making it all seem so much worse, by dealing directly with your emotions, and how you feel about what your body is experiencing, you will alleviate many of your problems.
As I’ve mentioned, I am wildly passionate about teaching and using this technique myself because my experience with EFT has been nothing short of remarkable. I used it on painful memories of past sexual abuse, and since that first time of being tapped on once by a colleague, I’ve never felt as neutral about them as I do now. I credit EFT for doing for me what 18 years of traditional therapy failed to achieve. It gave me back my life. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing it with my friends, family, colleagues, my clients, the gals in my Juicy Woman Meet Up groups, and the women who are members of my Curvy & Confident Coaching Club.
Here is a short list of issues that EFT has been effective in resolving for many people:
headaches and migraines, chronic pain, fears and phobias, obsessive thoughts, depression limiting beliefs, emotions or habits anger, rage, tension weight gain/weight loss nail-biting anxiety and despair fear of public speaking performance anxiety chronic negative attitude self-doubt and self-hatred confusion and foggy mind all kinds of cravings and addictions many kinds of physical illness allergies nightmares; fear of dentistry
traumatic memories of:
war, rape, abuse or molestation
Big or small. I encourage you to use EFT on all. The good news is you really can’t do this wrong because it works on the basis of intention, which is moving the energy in your body by changing the way you think and vice versa. But if you want to get more information on how to do this, come visit me at my website or follow me on Facebook. You can also do a search for EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique online and you’ll find thousands of examples of people using the process succesfully on all types of issues.