Emotional/Disordered Eating, Food Addiction & Trauma

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by: Jamie Rautenberg

One important topic that arises along the healing path for many individuals with chronic pain, illness or trauma histories (myself included) is food.

Once I became bed bound, it was pretty hard to ignore any aspect of body(inside & out), so I started addressing what I was feeding it on every level. But, food was one place I didn’t expect to feel so much intense emotion. Having to drastically restrict my diet only highlighted the ways in which I restricted a deeper connection to myself & the world because of those intense feelings I once controlled with food, or lack thereof.

The more I opened myself up to investigating these feelings, the more memories came into my consciousness about this lifelong pattern of deprivation & binging, and not just with food. I’d go between periods of hiding out in my room completely cut off from the world, followed by constant late nights downing cocktails only to come home to that familiar feeling of emptiness when the night was through.

Healing the body and forming a true connection to ourself means examining these patterns we each create as a defense against the pains we hold, but have yet to fully digest, or even acknowledge.

And any pattern we repeatedly engage in that disconnects us from these truths and pushes us further into an imbalanced state of health is an addiction.

I feel it’s vital to explore the connection between trauma & emotional/disordered eating further, so I’m sharing a conversation I recently had with integrative nutritional counselor, Elizabeth McGann from Be Hive of Healing Medical Center, a holistic healing community just outside of Los Angeles. She’s gained tremendous insight through her own personal experience with food addiction, as well as supporting over 10,000 clients with the same kinds of impulses.


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