Why "Out of the Cave"?
As Albert Einstein once said, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." This means that in order to “solve” the perceived “problems'' of emotional eating, weight gain, and negative body image, it’s not just about changing what we eat and how much we move. In order for us to do this in a holistically healthy and permanently sustainable way, we need to change the way we think about and conceptualize the “solutions.” There’s a reason addressing these concerns on the physical level with interventions such as dieting, weight loss programs, and exercise continue to result in “failure,” and it isn’t due to a lack of willpower, discipline, or motivation. There is nothing wrong with us. If the biggest problem you have with food is that you’re an emotional eater, it’s not a problem you have with food; it’s a question about how you’re coping, or not, with your emotions. We need to reexamine the issues of emotional eating (and not eating) from a mind-body perspective and revolutionize our understanding to reconsider the root cause. Out of the Cave stands for the belief that each human deserves to be seen, heard, and understood in their uniquely individual relationship with food, and that all manifestations of “disordered” eating are an invitation to heal on a deeper level. For us to improve our collective relationship with food and individually experience a future of intuitive eating, body image freedom, and empowered decision making around food within a diet-driven & fat-phobic culture, we first must raise the level of consciousness through which we see it. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave illustrates that rise of consciousness.
In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the noted philosopher asks us to imagine a group of people who have been imprisoned in a cave all their lives. All they see are shadows on the walls, flickering in the firelight. But if one prisoner is freed and brought out of the cave into the world, they would be blinded and in pain from the sunlight. Gradually though, their eyes would adjust to the light and they would be able to experience the world as it exists outside of the cave - sunlight, rivers and streams, grass, trees, stars wheeling overhead during the night. They would realize how much better the outside world is and try to bring the other prisoners from the cave up into the light. But on returning to the cave they would be blind once again, no longer used to the darkness, and the other prisoners would think they were blinded by the journey outside and be afraid, refusing to leave the safety and security of what they think they know.
1. If the biggest problem you have with food is that you’re an emotional eater, it’s not a problem you have with food; it’s a question about how you’re coping with your emotions.
2. You can’t solve an emotional problem with a physical solution.
3. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience with an animal brain in a social context surviving on food.
4. If you’re eating when you’re not hungry, it means you’re not responding to physical hunger. Just because the hunger isn’t physical doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It just means it can’t be satiated with food.
5. This work is about using your relationship with food as the mechanism through which you reconnect with and learn how to reparent yourself.
6. When struggling with tough thoughts, feelings, sensations, situations, etc., remember the mantra: “I am uncomfortable, I am not unsafe.”
7. Just like sadness and anxiety, hungry and full are sensations that live in the body. We cannot be intuitive around hunger and fullness until we cope with our emotions in ways that are not eating or dieting.
8. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about the energy with which you do it.
9. It’s not that diets don’t work. They do. It’s that diets can’t end.
10. When you’re thinking about things as “good and bad” or “right and wrong,” it is the consciousness of judgment, which carries the energy of fear. Practicing radical acceptance embodies the energy of love.
11. If I feel my feelings, I don’t eat them; if I eat my feelings, I don’t feel them.
Mind-body Medicine [Dr. John Sarno]
The Cure for Chronic Pain [Nicole Sachs, LCSW]
Mind-Body Weight Loss [Jon Gabriel, The Gabriel Method]
Intuitive Eating [Evelyn Triboli, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S & Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S, FAND]
Health at Every Size [Tarra L. Penney, BSc, MA and Sara F.L. Kirk, PhD]
Neurobiology [Loretta Bruening, PhD.]
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris [Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACE Study]
Internal Family Systems [Richard Schwartz, PhD.]
Self-Compassion [Dr. Kristen Neff]
Addiction and Recovery [Dr. Gabor Mate]
Somatic Psychology [Van Der Kolk, Peter Levine]
Psychology of Feeding [Ellyn Satter, MS, LCSW, RD, BCD]
Raising Healthy Children [Dr. Patricia Riba]
Power of Vulnerability [Dr. Brené Brown]
Stress Management [Kelly McGonigal, PdD.]
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy