For years I used food for comfort. Any emotional occurrence such as happiness, sadness, anger, guilt, frustration, and more would be my cue to hit the pantry and finish a whole packet of crisps or an entire family-size chocolate bar.

Monday mornings were all about being hard on myself and putting myself on a strict diet. By lunchtime, the self-sabotaging thoughts would kick in, harsh judgment about my weight and body would increase and drive me to the shops to buy everything that I had promised myself I was never going to consume. I was a sugar-addict.

Processed sugar is poison. Sugar addiction is very real and detrimental to mental and physical wellness. I was tired of feeling lousy about myself, my weight, my lack of energy and my irritability. This had to stop.

I was aware of my pattern. I had to find out why I had this pattern and address the elephant that incessantly roamed the jungle of my mind. I journaled fiercely and wrote down memories on a timeline, remembering incidents that were responsible for creating my emotional eating paradigm. When I connected the dots between my dietary pattern and lifestyle choices and mental state, everything became crystal clear.

A paradigm shift, which I now call my Gut-Shift, revealed to me that for me to make better choices in life, stay strong in my imaan and nourish my soul with love, light, peace and joy, I must first and foremost, nourish my mind with the right mental foods so that I could then choose better foods and beverages to nourish my physical self.

If my essential self, my soul and my mind, was starving, how was I ever going to choose the right foods for my body?

How to Feed Your Mind and Body

Good thoughts, good words, good deeds. I had to heal from my emotional eating pattern one thought at a time – substituting every junk thought with a healthy thought. Here are some helpful daily strategies:

  1. I hate myself – I am a beautiful creation of Allah.
  2. I’m a failure– I have survived through my tests and learnt my lessons.
  3. I need food to feel better– Allah is my comforter. Only Allah can make me feel better. I submit to Allah.
  4. I’m stuck– My life is unfolding according to Allah’s plans for me. Alhumdolillah.
  5. I hate feeling like I’m always struggling– I am grateful for everything I’m learning through this experience. Allah has put me to it, and He is putting me through it. I am wiser and stronger now that I am going through this experience.
  6. No one loves me, and I will end up alone– I am a beautiful creation of Allah. I deserve love, light, peace and joy. I am love; I radiate love.

Always remember, you are not your experiences. You are the FORCE that overcomes them.