Our connection with food


Lately I’ve been doing a bit more EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) reading and whenever I do it always brings up new questions about how I relate to the world around me.

The book I have been reading is Jessica Ortner’s ‘The Tappping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence’.  It is a great book which talks about NOT how we can shift weight by dieting but about what our connect to food is and what beliefs we hold around food.  It encourages us to deal with and let go of all the negative emotions, thoughts, beliefs and connections we hold about our bodies, eating and food.  In doing so we begin to value ourselves and nourish our bodies accordingly.

Jessica Ortner's book

Jessica Ortner’s book

It has made me take time to discover my own triggers to eating, my own limiting beliefs about what is acceptable, my own beliefs about my body and my own emotions which I ‘stuff’ down with food because they are too painful to feel.  Even the way I eat certain foods – standing for morning tea because I feel that I should be busy elsewhere rather than having a snack with the kids – or the times I feel like I need food have been created out of my emotions and beliefs.

While tapping along with the scripts she has provided I found myself remembering things which I thought were long since dealt with. Yet as I tapped and remembered the pain came and I made connections between my actions now and those events of years ago.  It is amazing what we store and how those stored emotions and events then dictate how we act in the present.

Tapping (EFT) never ceases to amaze me and never ceases to shift my thinking to a more positive and calm state of mind.

Hope this finds you loving life, food and the body you’re in to the fullest.




What is all this tapping?


Ok so you may well be asking ‘What is all this tapping about and how can tapping on something actually achieve anything?’   Got to be honest here; the first time I tried it 9 years ago I wondered the same thing and thought it was all a bit weird.  I went along with it though and was amazed how quickly my feelings towards my fears dissipated and how much better I felt afterwards.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping is a fantastic self help tool which can help deal with cravings, pain, emotional, trauma and so much more!!  This is very basic guide as to what tapping is and how it works.

Getting started with the karate chop

Getting started with the karate chop

Emotional Freedom Technique, often known as tapping, is a form of psychological acupressure.  It works by using the meridian lines that run through the body as a basis of places to tap while verbalising problems, fears or emotions.  Just as acupuncture works to clear energy blocks so does EFT except without the needles, thankfully.  Talking about the issue then adds another level of clearance.  The points used in acupuncture are specific to the issue being dealt with however with EFT it was found that even by tapping on meridian points not specific to the issue there was still a huge benefit.  As a result a set sequence of points was created.

There are some basic steps to follow and then it is all about using this technique to your benefit.  NOTE:  The words you use are not important.  Well they are important so I should clarify that by saying there is no right or wrong thing to say.  You will have a chance to verbalise the problem and how you are feeling first and then a chance to say the positives you wish to have in your life.  Some people wonder why there is a need to focus on the negative when the ‘law of attraction’ dictates that you should focus on what you want.  I heard one EFT practitioner liken it to gardening in that you have to focus on the weeds and extracting them before you can get into the good stuff of planting seeds and watching them grow.  Makes sense, doesn’t it, even to a bad gardener like me.

How do I do this tapping stuff?

There is a sequence to follow however it is not complicated so don’t worry about it too much.  When I first started I always forgot bits and guess what…… it still worked and helped me through some pretty rough times.  I will explain the procedure and then give an example in italics for each main point.

Step 1 – Defining the issue and distress level

  • Think of the problem, situation or fear you which you would like to focus on and rate it from 0-10.  1 = no emotion attached while 10 = hugely emotional. i.e. You may think about  a function you have to organise and feel completely overwhelmed and angry as you remember last year so you would give yourself a 9 or 10.
  • You can also locate in your body where you feel this most along with giving it a colour. i.e. You can feel this in your shoulders and neck while it seems very red.
Tapping points.

Tapping points.

Step 2 – Set up statement

  • While tapping on the Karate Chop (see diagram above) repeat a ‘set up statement’ about the issue 3 times.
  • Set up statements have this pattern ‘Even though _______________ I deeply and completely accept myself and how I am feeling’.  i.e.  ‘Even though I have all these red angry feelings about this function and I feel so overwhelmed by it all I deeply and completely accept myself and how I am feeling’

Step 3 – Tapping Sequence

  • Now you will move through the points (see diagram below) tapping on each point around 7 times (don’t worry about counting them as while you talk you will tap around this amount anyway) while expressing your thoughts or feelings or saying a basic reminder. First will be the negative round/rounds (the clearing of the weeds) then the positive (the planting of the seeds)
  • So you could just say the same thing on each of the points i.e. ‘This overwhelm and anger’ or you could express whatever comes into your head i.e. Eyebrow point (EB) ‘This overwhelm and anger’. Side of the eye (SE) ‘Man I feel so angry.’ Under the eye (UE) They just leave it all up to me and then moan about what I’ve done.  Under the nose (UN) ‘I’m so angry at them all.’ Chin (CH) ‘and I’m angry at myself for letting them treat me this way.’ Collar Bone (CB) ‘I’m so angry.’ Under the Arm (UA) I feel so overwhelmed by all my emotions.’ Crown / Top of the head (TH) All these negative emotions are getting to me.’ 
  • This is one round of tapping.  Continue going like this until it feels natural to begin saying positive statements.  It may be only one round of negative or it could be 7!  Don’t rush it.  There is no point beginning on the positive if your subconscious is still focusing on clearing all the rubbish.  It is however important to take care of your personal well-being so if you feel that you are becoming too emotional take a break.  You can always come back to it when you are ready or try a topic that is a little less emotionally charged.
  • The other way to do it is to reassess your distress level after each round.  Rate how you feel from 0 – 10 after one round of verbalising the negatives. If you are still feeling higher than a 4 begin again.  This time though use the set up ‘Even though I still have this remaining _______ I deeply and completely accept myself and how I’m feeling.’  Do this until your distress is around 2-3 before going onto the positive round or more ideally a zero.
  • The positive round can just continue on from the negative round. There is no need to say a set-up statement again. Move through the points again now saying positives or possibilities about the situation.  i.e. Eyebrow point (EB) ‘Maybe this function could be different.’ Side of the eye (SE) ‘What if I just focused on one thing that does work or I do enjoy.’ Under the eye (UE) ‘Maybe I could ask for help this time.’ Under the nose (UN) ‘I’m sure someone would help by bringing a plate of food.’ Chin (CH) ‘I choose to ask at least one person to help me.’ Collar Bone (CB) ‘With help I know I would feel better about the tasks I have to do.’ Under the Arm (UA) ‘or at least I’d have someone to talk with about it all.’ Crown / Top of the head (TH) ‘Yes, this time I choose to ask for help so that I can enjoy this function more.’ 
  • Continue with another positive round if you wish so that you are really putting all those good thoughts in your head 😉

Step 4 – Re-assessing your distress level

  • After all the rounds of tapping (negative and positive) take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
  • Re-assess your distress level.  This allows you to see the progress you are making and if it is still high this will indicate there is still bottled up emotions lurking. Play the ‘movie’ of the event/pain etc through and see if anything comes up.
  • Take your time working through issues till you feel that you are getting the relief you are looking for.  Some issues may be cleared up in a few rounds while others are like an onion and have many layers to peel back and unravel.
  • You will feel better with a distress level of under 3 however you deserve to be clear and free of the issue completely so keep going (could be over a few hours/day/weeks/months) till you are at 0 for your distress level.

NB:  Issues and things that come into your head while tapping or during the day can simply be tapped on then (even if you were on another topic) or written down for later tapping.

If you want to download a free guide then head over to www.eftuniverse.com

Hope this finds you tapping into a great week.



Eliminating emotional eating


Just back from an amazing weekend away in the beautiful Golden Bay region.  It was the first time I have been away overnight without themselves for a few years so it really was great, add to that 6 other fantastic women and learning a craft and I was on cloud nine. 

Before heading away for the long weekend I had decided not to be too strict with myself over sugar, mainly because much of the food was catered and because I really didn’t know how I would be with treats around and others eating them.  I had planned ahead a little though and made sure that I purchased sugar free snacks to share – corn chips, nuts and houmous – along with having breakfast goodies and also a few staples.  I needn’t of worried though as even when the delicious chocolate dessert came out on the first night I was happy to say ‘no thanks’ and leave it at that!  Morning teas, with baked and multi-sugared offerings, desserts and even chocolate snacks didn’t even draw me closer.  I KNOW!!  I’m as shocked as you!  I remember reading in ‘Sweet Poison’ that when the addiction lifted goodies wouldn’t be an issue however I half laughed when I read it thinking ‘yeah right mate!’  The thing is he was right.  There was no craving there at all, it was just another food on the plate rather than then great temptress it had been some 2 months earlier.


Baskets I made over the weekend.

Now here is the interesting part for me….. while I was away I wasn’t really craving anything – sugary or otherwise.  I ate my 3 meals each day,  only had a snack late afternoon as I was genuinely hungry and tea wasn’t till much later, and had no thoughts of eating more than that.  I guess I was busy weaving and learning new skills in the day and then talking in the evening so maybe that was the reason.  The thing is that as soon as I got home the ‘search for food’ was on.  I wasn’t even hungry yet by walking through the home threshold I had reverted to old patterns of eating between meals and wanting second helpings. The difference, from the 4 days prior, shocked me and reminded me yet again of the power of emotions and emotional eating! In coming home I had come back to the little triggers in life that seeing me reaching for food rather than expressing my emotions in positive ways.

I have known for a while that my overeating is linked to my emotions however after reading David Gillespie’s book I had secretly hoped that maybe, just maybe, eliminating the sugar would eliminate that emotional eating I had hooked myself into.  This weekend, and coming home, as shown me that while changing foods and eating habits are very helpful in getting you on the path of becoming healthy it won’t change much if you are still holding onto those emotional triggers that caused you to grab for the wrong foods in the first place. Sure the food I grab for is much, much healthier now that I’m not addicted to sugar just that in my quest for health and good habits around food it isn’t quite enough.  Clearing the emotional baggage is the only way, yes the only way to eliminate that emotional eating.


Bach Flower Remedies are great for clearing emotional triggers to eating.

Throughout this journey, and before, I have been using Bach Flower Remedies (BFR) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to help me when I have wanted to eat rather than expressing or releasing emotions.  I have even created EFT you-tube videos for it and documents about which BFR are good!  So it was a good wake up call to take my own advice and use the tools I know work so well to help me clear all those emotional triggers I locked in so long ago.  It is hard I’ll say that, harder than giving up sugar, as it is a life time of using food as a support system.  My aim is to eating healthfully though and in a way that nourishes my body rather than punishing it so it is important to deal with more than just the food going in.  I need to deal with the why.  Maybe you do to so, I thought I would pop in a few remedies that I have found useful.  Of course everyone is different so if you want to find the remedies which best suit you then check out my quiz to get the right one for you. 

Agrimony – if you find yourself comfort eating to stay happy and to stop thinking about your problems or uncomfortable feelings. It will get rid of your inner restlessness and express emotions easier.

Centaury – to help you say ‘no’ to food you can’t resist or to ‘kind’ friends who offer a piece of cake to go with your coffee! If you don’t like hurting people’s feelings and eat to please others then Centaury will really help you.

Chestnut Bud – if you are a yo-yo dieter. When you don’t learn from the past and keep repeating the same mistakes (like reaching for that chocolate bar!) then this is a remedy for you.

Crab Apple – if you have poor body image and become obsessed with the details of diets.

Gentian – if you are easily set back and become despondent if something goes wrong. Maybe you doubt your ability to eat healthy food or lose weight or you give up if you don’t have a good weight loss straight away.

Holly – if you eat because you are angry, jealous or have deep hurts from the past.

Star of Bethlehem – if your eating is for comfort after a trauma, shock, grief or fright.  This can be something that happened recently or in the past. 

Well there are a few to start you off and if you want to read more then check out my document ‘Creating a Vivacious you’ or complete the quiz. 

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and full of energy for the week ahead.