I am a firm believer in the “metaphysical” cause of physical ailments. I absolutely believe there’s a deep, underlying spiritual cause of physical symptoms, including overeating.
Before I explain how overeating is correlated with our spirituality, I need to explain something about eyesight. It will seem off topic at first, but everything will come together, I promise!
The Spiritual Root of Overeating: Let’s Start with an Anecdote
Like many people, I am nearsighted and I require glasses to see objects clearly at distance. From a Western perspective, my poor eyesight is caused by genetics. And also according to Western medicine, my eyes will only get worse over time. Great.
But let’s look at it from a metaphysical perspective. Many people — with the most influential person being Louise Hay — believe that the metaphysical cause of myopia (nearsightedness) is an unwillingness to see. (Can you already guess how this relates to the spiritual root of overeating?)
Once I discovered this, I took steps towards natural vision improvement and slashed my prescription in half over the course of a year. It blew my mind! My optometrist tried to rationalize it away, but I could tell he was deeply unsettled by it, because Western medicine firmly believes that the only way to fix myopia is through surgery.
What Happens When We Attempt to Bypass the Spiritual Meaning of Physical Ailments?
Although I had successfully slashed my prescription in half, I plateaued after that, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t improve more. This was almost 7 years ago.
Then, just the other day I decided, “Screw it. Why not just get Lasik? I know how to take better care of my eyes now that I’ve done the natural improvement stuff, so I can maintain the progress once I get back to 20/20…”
Translation for those of us that struggle with overeating: “Screw it, why not just get weight loss surgery? I know how to take care of my health, so I can maintain the progress once I’m thin…”
Except, it doesn’t work that way.
Deep down, Lasik didn’t feel right. Deep down, I knew there was still deep spiritual roots that I needed to untangle, and getting surgery would shut me off from a meaningful sign.
My nearsightedness is here to tell me something: that there’s something that I’m still not willing to “see.” That I am still blocked somewhere. That I am still in denial of something, somewhere… and it’s my job to find it.
The same goes for the spiritual root of overeating: it means there’s something deeper going on, and it’s your job to find it. But how, exactly?
How to Address the Spiritual Root of Overeating
In a separate article, I wrote about the spiritual roots of weight gain, which is a deep-seated need for protection. I think this overlaps strongly with the spiritual roots of overeating.
Along with a need for protection, I also believe that overeating is influenced by emotional avoidance, kind of like the ostrich-with-its-head-in-the-sand analogy. This is why trapped emotions lead to weight gain. When we don’t express or feel our emotions, they fester and push us towards compulsion.
When we put all of these ideas together, the spiritual root of overeating just might be a need for protection from trapped, uncomfortable emotions. At a spiritual level, we need to be willing to see our emotions — all of them, not just the ones that feel good. And it really is a spiritual journey, because your emotions — especially the uncomfortable ones — are trying to tell you something.
Opening Your Eyes to All Emotion
Many of us buffer our emotions with food. Some of us know this, but many of us have no idea just how deep those emotions go. For instance, I used to think that I ate because of sugar addiction. But once I started digging into the psycho-spiritual side of my relationship with food, I realized that I turned to food whenever I felt lonely, anxious, depressed, or uncertain.
And therein lies the solution: learn how to feel your authentic discomfort instead of reaching for food. Get curious about what your authentic discomfort looks like. Do you reach for food when you’re stressed? Bored? Lonely? Even if you think you know what your triggers are, I bet there’s more to it than that.
Use my Stop, Drop, & Feel tool to help you discover the emotions that drive overeating:
I know it sounds overly simplistic to “just feel your feelings” instead of overeating, but when you give the Stop, Drop, & Feel a try, you’ll see exactly how not simple it is. Don’t be surprised if you get hit sideways by emotion.
When I first used the tool, I distinctly remember bursting into tears — and I didn’t even know I was sad. I had no idea. And that’s where my true work was: discovering and developing tolerance for the trapped emotions I once buffered with food.
That was my spiritual root of overeating. What will yours be? There’s only one way to find out: Stop, Drop, & Feel.
When the Stop, Drop, & Feel Revealed the Spiritual Connection Behind My Overeating
Now, I’ve saved the juiciest tid-bit for last:
The reason why I looked into natural vision improvement to begin with was because, around 2016 — the same year I gave up dieting, hmm! — my glasses started bothering me. Not in the “normal way” where I knew I needed to get a stronger prescription, but in a different way where my glasses almost felt too strong.
That’s when I decided to try natural vision improvement. However, even before I started actively improving my vision, it was doing so all on its own. And this correlated with the precise moment that I started “feeling my feelings” in response to the desire to eat without hunger.
When I gave up dieting and started doing the Stop, Drop, & Feel in 2016, my eyes finally opened to the many uncomfortable emotions that I once ignored.
I have no doubt that my new willingness to see my emotions — all of my emotions, not just the positive ones — was what kickstarted my vision improvement. I had finally addressed the spiritual root of my myopia, which also just so happened to overlap with the spiritual root of my overeating.
Stopping Overeating the Psycho-Spiritual Way
Once I witnessed my vision improving after “opening my eyes” to the emotions I once buffered with food… I was amazed. It confirmed everything I learned through Louise Hay’s work, which advocates for addressing the metaphysical cause of physical ailments, or the spiritual root of your physical troubles.
This is one of many reasons why I like to call my philosophy for stopping compulsive eating Psycho-Spiritual Wellness. It doesn’t involve diets or exercise, because that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve found much more traction by digging into the psychology and spirituality behind overeating.
If any of this resonated with you, then I have the perfect next step: get a copy of, The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide to Stop Binge Eating. It’s free, and it’s right up your alley! Sign up below: