Pearson says, "Of course for others, eating can be consolation for what has happened. I have also known quite a few of my clients to put on the weight. Once again, this comes from misunderstandings:
1. The idea that food can heal your heartbreak is not true
2. That using food to avoid the present moment is a healthy behavior
Eating in excess is just another way to avoid reality. If you are focusing on the eating and not on your thoughts, it would stand to reason that you will feel better."
To this note, Smouse encourages you to define to yourself what food means to you: "Get really clear about the role food plays in your life. Is it a reward? A part of a celebration? Is it sustenance or passion? By finding clarity about the role food plays in your world, you can better approach how to handle food challenges during this tender time."
To heal and find interest in food again, Pearson urges the heartbroken to change their thought process before their dietary habits. "Escaping how you feel about your breakup will only re-create your pattern of negative thinking and keep you mired in misunderstanding. However, if you are able to see that it's your thoughts creating the feelings and behaviours, then your appetite will not be affected."
But you also have to do some active work, too. As Smouse says, "Reach out to others in your support structure. Now may be the time to schedule lunch dates with a good girlfriend. She will help you laugh and be with you while you cry. It's a great time to hire a coach or a therapist to help you gain support and figure out your next step." And, in case you think that avoiding a real healing process is the best way to deal with pain, Smouse has a reality check: "There is no such thing as selective numbing. By numbing the painful stuff, you're also numbing the good stuff."
So what are the takeaways for those starving for breakup relief and a return to normalcy? Here's Pearson's take: "As your stressful thinking affects your body, you will notice that you're suppressing your appetite. However, the opposite is also true: you may also look to avoid your discomfort with food. Look in the direction of your feelings coming from your thoughts, and your appetite will start to correct itself of its own accord."
Smouse offers words of encouragement: "The final reminder I want to leave you with is that now is the time to figure out what you want. Ask yourself: if you had a weekend to do anything you wanted, what activities would you choose? If you could visit some places in your area, like theaters, museums or restaurants, what would you choose? If you could choose a perfect meal... what would you eat?
Ann eventually found her way back to herself with this process: feeling, awareness, and support while she figured out what she really needed to create a life she loved. You will too."