To stuff or not to stuff… feelings, that is

December 29, 2015

To stuff or not to stuff… feelings, that is


I’ve had some feelings come up lately that have brought old habits back knocking on my door to see if I want to let them back into my world.  I don’t and won’t.  Not for a second.  


I was a world-class stuffer of feelings and negative thoughts with all things sugary and carb-y and chocolate-y and cheesey and every other -y thing you can think of.  It resulted in me being unhealthy, very heavy, terribly unhappy, and every other negative-y think you can think of.  (Read about my story of now nearly 125 pounds later here.)


So now that I’ve said goodbye forever to the worst offenders (I do have good chocolate on occasion, in very small amounts), when difficult feelings come up and the old patterns beckon, what do I do?  


I feel them.  I invite them in the door, to come right in and tell me why they’re here and what I can do with them instead of shove them to the side with sugar and fat and empty calories.  


It’s not easy.  They’re not easy.  They’re these awful, graspy, needy, pouty, demanding, irrational, unrealistic, fear-based beings of sorts that try very hard to make me believe thoughts that aren’t true about the past, the future, myself, others, everything.  


And so I breathe deeply, and keep listening.  I acknowledge them, and let them have full run of the place until they run out of steam, of substance, of relevance.  


Before when I stuffed them, I didn’t realize I was adding them to me, pound by pound; I thought they were going Somewhere Else, but certainly not in me.  I have no idea where Somewhere Else was and I didn’t care and they didn’t care because they enjoyed sticking with me.  It gave them power and relevance, while I gave mine away in the stuffing of it all.  


Interesting, that by listening and witnessing the feelings, rather than resisting them, they leave more quickly.  Once the light and air get to them, they dissipate like fog.  It’s a beautiful paradox (which, you know, I love).  They want the attention thinking they will get bigger and take me over, and when I give it to them with compassion that they exist rather than loathing their presence, they have no choice but to leave peacefully bit by bit until there is nothing but clear light around and in me instead.  


If you’re feeling like stuffing feelings that make you squirmy, sad, angry, confused, take three deep breaths, sit quietly, and let the feelings come.  Say, “hello… what is your message for me?”  And be still.  Listen.  Let whatever emotions come through keep moving through.  Exhale deeply to let them pass.  Thank them.  Find whatever insights you can.  Acknowledge the difficulty of it all.  Breath deeply again.  Fill yourself with compassion for having these feelings, this experience.  Be grateful.  Say goodbye to the feelings and wish them well.  Feel the calm after you’ve released them.  Notice you are okay.  You were always okay.  The feelings wanted you to think otherwise, but your acceptance of them took away their power to do you harm, through stuffing with food or other unhelpful things.  


Feelings often pass in about 90 seconds, which can feel like an eternity sometimes, and go by in a blink in others.  In that 90 seconds is the critical decision point of whether to stuff or not.  I implore you, do not stuff.  Allow.  Breathe.  Exhale deeply.  Feel better.  Repeat.  You are okay.  You were, and are, always okay.




I help people transform pound by pound to a self and life they love.  I'm a certified life coach with a M.A. in Counseling, and I focus on helping others find the courage and do the work of making personal changes by creating safe space and providing compassionate, practical support .  If you'd like information on working with me, no matter what your weight or life issue, please click here.




Find me at, and on Facebook, Lauren Oujiri Coaching.



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