Unconsciousness Is What’s Important, Not The Food

Most people who overeat claim that they eat because “it just tastes good.”  But food tastes good to everyone, not just people with an emotional eating problem.  So that can’t really be the reason.

Geneen Roth, in her best-selling book, Women, Food and God, perceptively points out the real underlying issue in all cases of overeating.

“The bottom line, whether you weigh 340 pounds or 150 pounds, is that when you eat when you are not hungry, you are using food as a drug, grappling with boredom or illness or loss or grief or emptiness or loneliness or rejection.  Food is only the middleman, the means to the end.  Of altering your emotions.  Or making yourself numb.  Of creating a secondary problem when the original problem becomes too uncomfortable.  Of dying slowly rather than coming to terms with your messy, magnificent and very, very short—even at a hundred years old—life.   The means to these ends happens to be food, but it could be alcohol, it could be work, it could be sex, it could be cocaine.  Surfing the Internet.  Talking on the phone.

“For a variety of reasons we don’t fully understand (genetics, temperament, environment), those of us who are compulsive eaters choose food.  Not because of its taste.  Not because of its texture or its color.  We want quantity, volume, bulk.  We need it—a lot of it—to go unconscious.  To wipe out what’s going on.  The unconsciousness is what’s important, not the food.”

Copyright © Morty Lefkoe 2010

7 thoughts on “Unconsciousness Is What’s Important, Not The Food”

  1. Dear Morty,
    You and Geneen are so right. I have sent for her book. This I will look forward to integrating with the one-to-one program that I am doing with Shelly. I have to come out a winner after all that.
    I have finished your Natural confidence program and finding myself smiling all the time. I have also undertaken to do all of the abundance beliefs again. I still don’t know why I want to go numb with food.
    Will leave it to Shelly to find the false belief and help me eliminate it.
    Thanks for all your insights.
    Kiran Patki

    1. Hi Kiran,

      Needing to go numb with food comes from conditioning and beliefs, other than the ones on the Natural Confidence course. I’m sure Shelly will help you find and get rid of all the relevant ones.

      Love, Morty

  2. I’m not so sure about this perspective. Aren’t we pleasure seeking beings? Couldn’t someone overeat just just because it’s pleasureable, and not because they’re trying to get rid of some pain?

    According to the hypothesis presented, is everything we do for pleasure done for the sake of avoiding or getting rid of pain. Do we go skiing to get rid of our pain? Read a book to avoid our pain?

    Perhaps some overeating is caused by not having a strategy for when is enough, or enough other options for ways to experience pleasure, or putting too much on your plate! Just seems like too big a generalization that she’s making.

    1. Hi Ann,

      Is everything we do for pleasure done for the sake of avoiding pain? No, not at all.

      But eating when we aren’t hungry, stuffing ourselves so that we feel uncomfortable, being sorry we ate after we ate, saying to ourselves we don’t want to eat and then eating … that is not eating for “pleasure.”

      Love, Morty

  3. This information about unconsciousness rang very true for me. It has given me something more to work on. Thanks

    1. Hi Jan,

      I’m glad the post was useful. Have you seen the additional details in my eBook: http:emotionaleatingreport.com ?

      Love, Morty

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