EP 358: Start Making Yourself a Priority and Stop Using Food to Nurture Yourself with Donna

This episode is about understanding why we do the things we do and how to heal. Today’s caller, Donna, endured traumatic experiences as a child. She eats for comfort because she was not nurtured or prioritized as a child. People don’t start emotionally eating if they grew up in a family where they felt safe to express their emotions. We talk about two great actionable tools you can use if you struggle with emotional or binge eating, or not feeling like you have worth.

Every little child needs to feel nurtured and soothed when they have feelings. When we have a super-traumatized part of ourselves we need to figure out a way to flood the system with a sensory experience. Some people choose drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, and some choose food. Food offers a flood of sensory experiences so it helps to keep the trauma hidden.

It is amazing how much we judge ourselves for the challenges we have. We often don’t understand why it is not easy to change or do things differently when what we are doing is completely reasonable based on our trauma. It’s not that it is okay to use trauma as a scapegoat for the rest of our lives, however, we must acknowledge our story and understand that, of course, we are dealing with things the way we do.

We must have compassion for ourselves before we can change. No one has ever healed in the energy of judgment. No one has ever healed by beating the crap out of themselves. No one has ever healed believing they are still broken. We want to honor and acknowledge our past and understand that it makes sense that it is difficult or harder for us to change.

The only way to break out of the pattern of not feeling like we are a priority is to find the source, then perform the daily practice of looking in the mirror, being present with ourselves, and saying I love you.

The Inner Child workshop is a tool that helps us reconnect with our little one and facilitates healing. Find the recorded version of the Inner Child workshop here.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Did you grow up in a household where you could express your feelings or did you have to swallow your feelings?
  • Do you struggle with binge or emotional eating? Do you use food to comfort or soothe?
  • Is it hard for you to make yourself a priority? Are you there for everyone else but not there for yourself?
  • Were you truly mothered?

Donna’s Question:

Donna would like guidance on how to make herself a priority.

Donna’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • She has difficulty prioritizing herself because she never felt she was a priority.
  • She uses food to manage her emotions.
  • Her mother attempted suicide when she was young.
  • She was physically abused at a daycare facility.
  • She lost her brother when she was thirteen.
  • She has very few conscious memories of her youth.
  • Her memories have manifested as nightmares.
  • She leaned on her sister to make her feel safe.
  • She is searching for comfort.
  • Food has been her mother in many ways.
  • Her mother passed away last year.
  • She missed out on nurture.
  • She is a people-pleaser.
  • She mothers herself by giving herself pep talks.
  • She doesn’t nurture herself.
  • Her mother never told her she loved her.
  • She has everything she needs within.
  • She is not broken.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Rephrase how she describes her eating for comfort.
  • When she becomes aware she is eating for comfort, grab her cuddle bear and imagine herself as a child.
  • Tell herself every day that she is loved.


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People don’t start emotionally eating if they grew up in a family where they felt safe to express their emotions. Click To Tweet If we don’t feel safe expressing our feelings and no one is there to help us move through them, we tend to eat them. Click To Tweet We don’t make ourselves a priority because we don’t feel worthy. Click To Tweet

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