EFT and Ice Cream Cravings – Jannie’s Story

I teach a 3-week teleclass on “EFT for Weight Loss.” On the first call, I have people bring food to the call, so we can tap for cravings in the moment. After the first round, almost everyone’s craving was down, except 1 woman, who I’ll call “Jannie.”

Jannie was tapping on her craving for ice cream, although she didn’t bring it to the call because “unless someone delivered it as I dialed in, I would have eaten it the minute it came in the house!”

We tapped for cravings:

Even though I have this craving, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I really want this food right now, I deeply accept myself with compassion and grace.
Even though I have this urge to eat, I choose to find a new and surprising way to manage the craving.

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EFT For Overeating And Panic Attacks

For 10 years, my client “Margie” had panic attacks in the middle of the night (approximately twice a month). She would wake up startled in the middle of the night and feel “very, very scared . . . panicked . . . not knowing what to do.” She had tightness in her chest and difficulty breathing. She felt like she was going to jump out of her skin.

Margie’s mother was depressed, very emotional and easily overwhelmed. Everything was “hard” for her, and whenever something was “hard,” it threw her off. She couldn’t handle it and became even more depressed.

Margie grew up telling herself that nothing was going to be “hard” for her and that she wouldn’t make a big deal out of anything. Growing up, everything was an issue, so Margie vowed not to let anything get to her. She thought that if she let anything get to her, it meant she was “weak,” like her mom.

Margie had sought my help to learn EFT for weight loss and overeating. Her way of getting things done was to eat her way through it. “I eat 3 cookies, and then I do the laundry.”

Margie thought her panic attacks were triggered by feeling overwhelmed by problems. Even though she wanted everything to be easy, she was easily flustered and “thrown off” by unexpected events. She would overeat during the day to cope, but whenever she felt “too emotional,” she had a panic attack at night. It was a terrifying experience.

Margie used to have to take medication to get back to sleep. Now, she starts tapping right away and it relieves the panicky feeling.

“Even though I feel really scared right now, I deeply love and accept myself.”
“Even though I feel alone and scared, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I don’t think I’ll get through this, I love and accept myself completely.”
“Even though it feels like the morning will never come, I totally love and accept myself.”
“Even though I feel weak, I love and accept myself anyway.”
“Even though I vowed that nothing would ever get to me, and I would always be strong, I deeply love and accept myself.”
“Even though it’s important to be stronger than my mother, I love and accept myself.”

Then around the body:

Feeling scared
Feeling alone
Can’t breathe
Feeling overwhelmed
I don’t know what to do
It feels like the morning will never come
I don’t think I’ll get through this
I’m afraid I’ll fall apart

Since I had taught Margie EFT for weight loss, she included those statements in her 2nd round. Notice the similarity between feeling out of control and panicky with her life and feeling out of control with her food and weight loss issues.

“Even though I feel like my eating is out of control, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m feeling fat, I love and accept myself anyway.”
“Even though I’m not strong enough to deal with my problems, I love and accept myself.”
“Even though I feel like I’ll never be strong enough and I’ll always be overweight, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I shouldn’t have any issues with my body, I love and accept myself.”

Then around the body:

Feeling scared
Feeling fat
I can’t control my eating
I’m not strong enough
It’s not ok to be weak
I have to be strong all the time
I shouldn’t be having this anxiety attack
I feel like I’m not going to make it

As she started to feel better, she added positive statements and did some deep breathing:

I have a choice. I’m not trapped.
I can choose to be ok.
I can calm down.
I am ok.
I am calm.

Margie views EFT as a “fool-proof method” to short-circuit her panic attacks. It only takes 1 or 2 rounds to stop the panic attack and get back to sleep. She has had only 1 attack in the past 4 months, and has not needed any medication. She has also significantly reduced her overeating.

Featured ResourceCover_stopanxiety

Stop Anxiety With EFT

How Mary’s Self Sabotage Kept Her From Slimming Down

Mary wanted to lose weight, but she kept sabotaging herself. Being a gifted and highly skilled therapist, Mary understood the reasons. When she was a child, Mary’s mother saw Mary as a competitor. Her mother was constantly obsessed with Mary’s body, pressuring her to eat and then hounding her to lose weight. By age 9, Mary was compulsively overeating and afraid to lose her mother’s approval. Mary’s mother scrutinized everything she ate and began bringing her to diet doctors by age 11, even though she was never grossly overweight.

Mary was constantly criticized. By age 16, her mother would say things to her, like “you look like an oak tree – your legs look like tree trunks.” Obsessed with her own weight, her mother was full of rage and envy toward Mary anytime she would achieve success. Mary feared for her life.

Even though Mary understood that it was her mother’s issue, it still affected her well into adulthood. Mary was afraid of losing her mother’s love, afraid to be successful and afraid to lose weight. Pleasing mom meant staying heavier than her. She tried to avoid compliments or praise, and sabotaged her own success because it didn’t feel safe. Her mother continually gave her intense mixed messages about food, weight and success.
“If I lost weight, she would stuff me with food and then scream at me for eating. If I didn’t eat, she’d say – you didn’t like my food!” It wasn’t ok to be thinner or smarter or to outshine her mother in any way. As a result, if Mary did lose weight or if anything was going well, she would feel guilty and undo it. If she had a perfect eating day, for instance, she would “overeat at night to wipe out the goodness of the day.”

Even now as an adult, if something goes well, she expects an onslaught of criticism and punishment to follow success.

Even though it’s not OK to lose weight, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though it’s not safe to change, I love and accept myself completely.
Even though it’s not OK with mom and it doesn’t feel safe to me, I accept myself anyway.

Eyebrow: It’s really scary to change
Side of Eye: it’s too scary to lose weight
Under the Eye: I’d lose my mom
Under the Nose: She’d be angry
Chin: I can see by the look on her face
Collarbone: It would be too scary
Under the Arm: It’s dangerous
Top of Head: I’m afraid she’ll kill me
Eyebrow: It’s not ok to outshine her or any other woman
Side of Eye: It’s too scary to get thin
Under the Eye: She wants me to get thin
Under the Nose: But not really . . .
Chin: It keeps me stuck
Collarbone: And I’m sabotaging myself
Under the Arm: It’s too scary to be successful
Top of Head: It holds me back
Eyebrow: I’m not supposed to look good
Side of Eye: I like the attention and I don’t like the attention (she laughs)
Under the Eye: I want to lose weight and I don’t want to lose weight
Under the Nose: Isn’t that the truth?
Chin: I hate admitting that!
Collarbone: I feel stupid and it’s not ok to be smart
Under the Arm: It’s not ok to be in the limelight
Top of Head: It’s not ok to get attention
Note: It’s often helpful to tap on the specific words that were said.
Eyebrow: She said I look like an oak tree
Side of Eye: She said my legs look like tree trunks
Under the Eye: That hurt
Under the Nose: I know that she had her own problems
Chin: And it’s time to let this heal
Collarbone: I’m ready to let go of all this . . . all of these issues . . . all of these emotions . . . all of this stuckness . . . all of this sabotage
Under the Arm: It might even be ok to lose a little weight
Top of Head: What if it was ok to look good and be smart, even if mom didn’t approve?
Eyebrow: She could criticize me and that’s her issue
Side of Eye: I’ve decided not to compete
Under the Eye: I’ve decided to remove myself from competition
Under the Nose: I don’t want to take anything away from her
Chin: It’s all she has
Collarbone: Maybe it’s not such a big issue anymore
Under the Arm: I want to lose weight for my health and for my self-confidence and not sabotage it . . . not be worried about mom.
Top of Head: I’m ready to release this weight
Eyebrow: I’m tired of being stuck
Side of Eye: I’m ready to allow my success
Under the Eye: I deserve to allow my success
Under the Nose: I want to feel safe around other women
Chin: Even if I show my smarts
Collarbone: Even if I look darned good
Under the Arm: I can just enjoy it and not have to worry about them
Top of Head: I give myself permission
Eyebrow: It’s ok to look good
Side of Eye: It’s ok to BE good
Under the Eye: It’s ok to be smart
Under the Nose: I can allow my success
Chin: I have decided to enjoy feeling successful
Collarbone: I deserve success
Under the Arm: I deserve to feel safe
Top of Head: I have decided to allow myself to be successful

At this point, Mary recalled memories of feeling very uncomfortable if she didn’t eat. Her mom would become enraged and sharply criticize her.

Even though I undo my success in order to please mom, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though it doesn’t feel safe to have a good eating day, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway and I’m open to forgiveness.
Even though I feel like I have to eat or mom will be mad, I love and accept myself anyway.

Eyebrow: I have to eat
Side of Eye: I have to get something
Under the Eye: Or mom will be mad
Under the Nose: I don’t want to be criticized
Chin: I feel like I have to eat
Collarbone: It’s uncomfortable if I don’t eat
Under the Arm: I have to please mom
Top of Head: She’s be mad if I lose weight
Eyebrow: I can’t let that happen
Side of Eye: I have to undo it
Under the Eye: I have to get something to eat even if I’m not hungry
Under the Nose: I am open to creating a new story
Chin: Mom can’t even see me now
Collarbone: She doesn’t even know if I’m eating or not
Under the Arm: I can now start to see myself as being successful AND feeling good
Top of Head: It’s ok to be successful without feeling guilty

What occurred to me during this session is how important it is to love and accept ourselves, and how hard it can be if the key people in our lives aren’t accepting us the way we are. The opposite of self-sabotage is ‘allowing,’ and in order to be successful, we need to ‘allow’ it. It seems simple and makes sense logically, but the “writing on our walls” often gets in the way. EFT can clear these stubborn blocks, which can thwart people for decades.

After this 1 session, Mary began to steadily lose weight; she went from a size 16 to a size 10 over the next 3 months. She noticed other significant changes as well. Mary had always felt guilty for the ease in which she filled her therapy practice. She had been giving away her best referrals to her female colleagues “to make it up to them.” After this session, she no longer felt she had to take care of them. She stopped giving away her best referrals, and began to enjoy her well-deserved success without feeling guilty. She also received an unexpected acknowledgment in the forward of a book that was published. She was pleasantly surprised that she was able to take pride in and enjoy her work being recognized.

With love and gratitude,
Carol Solomon, Ph.D. MCC