From out of control and self-sabotage to peace, balance,
Imagine a completely different relationship with food. What would it feel like to be in control of food vs. food controlling you?
Guess what? You can have your cake and eat it too! You can still take pleasure and excitement in food AND be in control at the same time.
You won’t be giving up the satisfaction you get out of eating or giving up your favorite comfort foods. It’s about having “comfort options.” This means, adding tools to your toolbox so that food is not the only option you have in times of stress, boredom, anxiety, and depression.
Imagine being able to be self-reliant and reassured that you’re making the best decisions for your well-being. Decisions that won’t have you shaming yourself for negative actions or on a perpetual guilt trip.
It is possible to improve your relationship with your food and body. It is possible to go through an entire day feeling balanced, peaceful, and in harmony with your food choices (without a gazillion cravings!). It is possible to interact with yourself in a compassionate and empathetic way.
There are a lot of things in life I’m not good at, but when it comes to emotional eating guidance, I consider myself an expert. I compiled everything I learned from many years of research, countless hours spent with one-on-one clients, and personal experience, and developed a specific blueprint to tackle emotional eating. My framework makes the difference between going round and round in circles and getting to the root cause of the problem which brings you to a solution.
“Root cause” is the key in that sentence and my proven method.
If you think you’re a “hopeless cause” because nothing has worked so far, then rest assured that you’re in the right place!
I’m peeling back the layers to share what my relationship with food was like growing up, how it manifested as an adult, and what I did to turn it around.
I’m 8 years old. I’m the only one still sitting at the dinner table. I hate it. I’m crying. I’m not allowed to leave the table until I finish my plate. I can’t, I’m not hungry anymore. I don’t eat it. I’m in big trouble.
I’m 21 years old. I’m at my boyfriend’s Nona’s house having dinner. She’s standing over me with the meatball tray ready to add more to my plate. She’s pushing food. I’m super anxious for some reason. She adds 2 more giant meatballs to my plate. I’m scared to say “no thanks.” I eat the meatballs. I feel so sick it hurts. Nona smiles at me and adds more food to my plate. I eat it. Now I’m physically sick and I throw up in her washroom.
I’m 14 years old and Mémère made O’Henry bars just for ME. Oh my gosh, I love these bars. I feel special, important, and cared for.
I’m 21 years old and in University. I can’t shake this pervasive fear of failure and I’m constantly stressed out. I check the mail and Mémère sent me an O’Henry care package! I feel warm, comforted, and relaxed. I start mindlessly eating. As my care package dwindles away, so do my problems. I realize I need help for my anxiety and seek out a psychologist.
I was able to understand my relationship with food through a lens of generational trauma - a trauma that is emotional and almost invisible. From food is scarce to food is love, my relationship with food was very confusing. I didn't know if I loved food or if I hated it. The Psychologist helped me peel back the layers regarding my relationship with food. It became crystal clear that food was “filling” many of my emotional needs (as it does for most people).
With this new discovery, I spent every waking hour researching emotional eating, connecting with experts in the field, cold calling other psychologists to run my thoughts by them, and meeting with professionals in the weight loss field.
I came to 1 conclusion: There’s an emotional undercurrent to food that no one is talking about.
You beat yourself up and feel bad. You don’t know why you feel bad. You don’t even know what you feel. Sometimes you feel too much and need to numb out. Sometimes you don’t feel anything and eat to feel something. You only have food in your toolbox of comfort. You keep beating yourself up. You keep eating.
I will help you tackle this. We are going to apply Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques which are extremely effective in changing critical thoughts, negative feelings, and eating habits. I have Advanced Training in CBT training and in 2013, I trained by Dr. Judith Beck at The Beck Institute on how to apply CBT interventions to emotional eating and weight loss.
What you don’t know is that food only “fills” your emotional needs, temporarily - food doesn’t “fulfill” your emotional needs so you’re left with relentless feelings of emptiness, unhappiness, and pervasive guilt.
We will tackle this part by applying Attachment Therapy techniques to “fulfill” your emotional needs rather than “fill” them temporarily with food. With my background in Attachment Theory, my priority with you is to create a safe and secure environment where you can explore your relationship with food, which can be shameful or embarrassing to talk about.
If you’re even curious, take the emotional eating quiz to see if my programs are right for you.
Lynn Therrien is a Registered Psychotherapist living in Ottawa, Ontario. She has been working with clients who struggle with emotional eating since 2011. Lynn’s experience as a psychotherapist includes working with youth, adults, and seniors with mental health and addiction issues.
Lynn developed specific emotional eating tools to help people get to the root cause of their struggles with food. Using Attachment-based principles and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Lynn guides clients towards a healthier relationship with food, one that is less chaotic and overwhelming. Her clients experience less stress around food and eating and feel more in control of their food choices and cravings.
When Lynn’s not seeing clients or guiding students through her online courses, she’s spending time relaxing at the cottage or sitting by the fire in the backyard with a glass of wine. Lynn enjoys creative activities like arts and crafts, vision boards, and DIY projects on Pinterest.