Why I overeat – Nutella and I

Eating a super healthy diet but still finding you overeat?

Why I overeat – Nutella and I

When I was a little girl I loved to sit down and eat Nutella (hazelnut cream) with a spoon straight out of a jar... I would eat till I felt full. Like, really full!

My family and others were amazed that I could eat Nutella without any bread and not get sick.

One thing was the satisfaction in my mouth, the sweet and creamy taste . . . but the other was to eat ‘till I was stuffed and really felt no craving any more.

Now, after years of ‘experimenting’ with food, a lot of my food habits have changed. In general I have a lovely, strong eye and a feel for what I cook and eat. I love cooking every day with fresh ingredients and joy.

  • I no longer eat fast food

  • I no longer eat gluten

  • I do not consume dairy

  • I do not like sugar

But still … sometimes I eat more than I need – I overeat.

These days I can even overeat on apples or other fruits. In truth it can be anything that is generally considered good for me.

So I ask myself:

Have I changed what I eat but not really my habits, why and how I eat?

And then I remember me as a little girl eating jar loads of Nutella. Later of course, Nutella became pizza, ice cream replaced pizza, followed by alcohol and a variety of other foods or drinks. So now, by most people’s standards, I am eating a very healthy balanced diet, but why do I still overeat?

For instance, sometimes I do not feel like having breakfast but I still eat it because it seems a ‘sensible’ thing to do, because I have to work the whole day and I don’t know if I will get a break to eat something … Or I take a second helping, even when I know I have had enough.

It seems to me that my food choices have changed, but not my relationship with food. It’s like I am still trying to get something from food that I do not get from me! OR Is it possible that, perversely, I actually do get exactly what I want?

What I do get is a feeling in my body of heaviness and tiredness. A physical fullness that allows me to seemingly ‘relax’, to sit back (and literally sit down) and to ‘let things happen’ around me.

When I overeat I can sit back and let the world be … somewhere out there. I can remain an inactive observer rather than an active player. So I have come to an understanding that:

I overeat to get dis-connected from feeling what goes on around me in the world.

Which leads me to an even deeper question: Why do I not want to feel everything I naturally can? Maybe it is because I do not like what I feel?... When I am honest I can say I know my relationships are holding back in closeness, to be more open, and I don’t like to feel how much I miss the depth of intimacy that would be possible. I also don’t like to feel the jealousy which comes through friends or which I feel from me against them sometimes. I notice the helplessness and hurts around me and in me, and no less, I don’t like to feel the coping-mechanisms we create to cover them up. These are areas of life that challenge me to be more, to speak up, to be the one that initiates a different way to be in life and take responsibility for that, and when I over-eat I can numb out from this awareness and feeling.

But ...

  • Will my life change when I sit down, endure all of this and become dull?
  • And for us all to consider: Do we make our living better by eating ourselves to the point of numbness?
  • Is retreating and refusing to engage the answer?

I don’t think so.

What’s more, just because our awareness diminishes, the suffering does not disappear …

Saying yes to ME and to awareness

By not overeating, we say YES to our feelings, Yes to ourselves and Yes to the responsibility to bring about well-needed change in the world as we wish it to be. As a child I was overwhelmed by what I felt and I chose to numb those feelings. This then became a habit.

Now as an adult I can make a choice to feel, to be aware of what goes on around me and to accept that I am part of the whole. This is an amazing self-empowering choice, and the one I would never again trade for another jar of Nutella. Never!

Filed under

EmotionsSelf-awarenessBehaviourFeelingsOver eatingLosing weightHealthy diet

  • By Sandra Schneider, Licensed Therapist, Counsellor, Field Agent & Natural Cosmetic Store Manager

    I love to express (dance, write, cook, sing, organise) under the purpose of joy and playfulness. While I am focusing to keep simple I do not hold back, but go for the depth of truth and call you in your potential.

  • Photography: Leonne Sharkey, Bachelor of Communications

    For Leonne photography is about relationships, reflection and light. She is constantly amazed by the way a photo can show us all we need to know