Chances are, if you’re a human being alive on planet Earth, then you have some secrets that few people know about. And for many of us, some of the most potent and debilitating secrets we have are secrets about food. We might secretly binge eat, or overeat, or sneak foods that we don’t want anyone to know about.
We might be walking around with secret shame and guilt about what we ate, how out of control we feel, and how much we dislike our own body. Some secrets are best kept secret, while others need a different approach.
Tune in to this video from IPEtv where Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, shares some secrets about our food secrets. We think you’ll come away more hopeful and inspired about any concerns you face around food and body.
Below is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today’s topic: Our Deepest Darkest Secrets About Food
Secrets are pretty a fascinating topic. Humans love secrets – they make us feel like we’re privy to something really good, we’re special, or we have something important to protect. Think of a time when someone told you something in confidence, something of utmost national security, or something super personal that no one else should know because this information is so sensitive, mind boggling, or so unbelievable that it has to just stay between us.
Secrets are nice and juicy.
And indeed, sometimes we truly need to keep some things private and personal. Not every detail about our life, our job, our relationships, and our private world needs to be public. Most of us have pretty good filters when it comes to what we broadcast to others, and what we keep to ourselves.
Yet secrets can have a darker side.
We often keep those things secret that might seemingly expose our shortcomings. We might keep secret when we steal something, or lie, or when we’ve done something wrong or illegal or acted in the opposite way of what we promised. Certain kinds of secrets engage our criminal mind – the part of us that has seemingly done something wrong and doesn’t want anyone to know about it, lest we end up exposed for our shortcomings.
We often suffer silently with our secrets. They can isolate us, and hold us back from being all of who we can be in this world. Some of our secrets can be like a heavy ball and chain around our feet. They create a lot of drag, and they give a heaviness that can weight down our heart and our soul.
Think of some of the secrets in your own life that you absolutely wouldn’t want anyone else to know – and I’m talking about the kind of secrets that leave you feeling isolated, alone, guilty, and ashamed.
And perhaps one of the most intense places where we hold secrets is around food.
Secrets about food and body often come locked and loaded with a good amount of shame. Such secrets go straight to our core, and can touch the wounded place in us in a deep and poignant way.
Indeed, shame about the body, dislike about our weight and shape, and guilt around eating and appetite can be very powerful experiences for so many of us. It can cause us to hide, to go stealth, and to put on a false façade where we pretend that we’re one way with food and body, but we’re really experiencing something else.
We often try to make it look on the outside as if we have no issues with food or physical appearance and beauty whatsoever – but on the inside, we struggle magnificently. Many people have intense eating challenges of this nature – and yet most of us would never know it. That’s how good we can be at keeping secrets.
Secret shame around food and body is a silent epidemic.
So, if you hate your body, or want it to be different, or silently wish you could lose weight, or you battle with binge eating or emotional eating – you will often do so in secret. Don’t let anyone know that you’re living in an emotional struggle.
Don’t let on that you really don’t have your act together. Don’t let on that you’re trying to lose weight, or trying to maintain your weight by eating as little as possible. And all the while you feel isolated, alone, in a struggle, and convinced that your dark secret can never see the light of day.
So here’s my suggestion to you:
Our deepest darkest secrets about food have a shelf life.
Meaning, we’re only supposed to keep these things a secret for so long.
At some point, the timing of the secret cosmically expires, and we need to reach for the light. We need to come out. We need to begin the process of healing, growth, and personal evolution.
We need other people. We need to share our humanity, our weaknesses, our hopes, our dreams, and our fears. At some point, you absolutely must come out of the deep dark food secret closet. It’s stuffy in there, there’s not a lot of room, and the closet simply isn’t the ideal place to live a full and satisfying life.
It’s time to step into the light. Be real. Ask for help. Own your humanity and your shortcomings. Find supportive friends. Find supportive loved ones. Find a coach or a practitioner. Seek out those people who in your heart of hearts you know will respond to you revealing your secrets with a lot of love.
In a strange way, our deepest darkest secrets about food can make us feel special. After all, I’m the only one going through this, nobody else has food and body issues but me, no one else has the same struggles with eating that I do, and I might even be the first person that’s ever dealt with guilt or shame about food and body.
There’s an odd benefit to staying inside the closet, and hiding our beautiful struggle from others. It helps us maintain the status quo, it keeps us from truly spreading our wings and being the person we’re meant to be, it protects us from being close and intimate with others – because after all, I can’t get too close to people because if I do, they will know about my secret.
For many people, their primary relationship isn’t with their husband, their wife, their boyfriend, or their girlfriend. Their primary relationship is with their eating challenge. All of their thought, time, and emotion goes into food, with little energy and juice left over to truly connect and bond with others.
Consider this strategy:
Honestly admit to yourself that keeping your food challenges a secret and hiding your shame and guilt from others is costing you a lot. It’s taking a lot of your time and energy. Just own that, and acknowledge it.
Next, give yourself a big hug for being smart enough keep these things a secret because not everybody ought to know, and not everybody has the skill and thoughtfulness and heart to meet you where you’re at. So keeping things secret is actually a very good initial strategy. It allows you time to incubate, and to plan.
And then, consider making a shift. Consider taking the leap and joining the community of others who are working hard to grow, to heal and to evolve.
Seek out the community of others who are actively looking at their relationship with food as a beautiful and powerful doorway to transformation.
Of course, this is a risk.
But with great risk comes great reward.
Your birthright is a healthy, happy, nourishing relationship with food.
Your birthright is a joyous experience of your body.
Sometimes, we need help.
Sometimes, we simply need to speak about the truth of our inner world.
I hope this was helpful, my friends. In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment!
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