In this series, 5 Things Anyone who Struggles with Overeating Needs to Know about Emotional Eating, I’m covering critical information about emotional eating and what you need to know (and do) to break free.
The series so far:
In part one I shared how emotional eating can operate outside your awareness and shared what to do if you can’t stop eating. Part two covered the toll that emotional eating can take – even if you are not overweight. In part three you learned why willpower is not the best strategy for getting results, how it can even make struggles with food worse, and what you can start doing instead. In part four I told you about one thing you can do that will make a huge difference – and you don’t have to worry about getting it just right or perfect.
The fifth thing you need to know about emotional eating
(and one simple change to make today)
I get it. You are a smart woman and you are used to creating results in your life. You are probably someone who is talented at making things happen. You’re used to being effective – except in this one area. Odds are that you are pretty frustrated and you may be blaming yourself.
Smart, busy high achievers often make the mistake of blaming their overeating on laziness.
“I’m just lazy.”
“I know if I’d just ___________, I’d lose the weight. I’m just not trying hard enough.”
This is what Kate (not her real name) said to me when we started to work together. Not only was she feeling out of control with her eating and her weight, she was frustrated with herself and embarrassed by her “laziness” and “lack of discipline.” The guilt and shame she carried took a toll on her confidence, added to her stress, and often even made the stress eating and comfort eating worse.
She knew what she needed to do to change her eating, she just couldn’t do it. And this, Kate had decided, was because she was lazy.
Things shifted for Kate when we started working together and she realized that what she was telling herself wasn’t true. She wasn’t lazy. Just taking a look at her calendar confirmed this easily. Kate was busy, over-extended at times, stressed, and exhausted.
Emotional eating is an attempt to cope. Healing it calls for BETTER coping strategies.
Kate started to create lasting peace with food when she stopped believing she was a lazy person who needed to work harder and accepted that she used food to help her cope with her emotions, the demands she felt from others, and her exhaustion.
When she was able to stop calling herself names and instead look at the situation with self-compassion, she saw things differently. Using my Overeating Freedom Formula approach, she was able to get clear on why food was so important to her and new strategies that she could use to replace food. She quickly saw what a toll the self-blame had taken.
Every time I thought about how lazy I was, I felt like a big, fat failure. I felt more stuck and what I needed to do felt even more impossible. I was so mad at myself that all I wanted to do was go to the refrigerator and shovel in food. When I was blaming my eating on laziness, the only solution was for me to work harder. I see now how that was never going to work. I was actually eating to try to deal with how exhausted I already was!
You aren’t lazy and you don’t need more willpower to take control of emotional eating. What works is taking care of the reasons you overeat.
Creating freedom from overeating requires breaking free of vicious cycles that aren’t working for you (and are probably making things worse). Sometimes it’s hard to see what you are doing that’s keeping you stuck. Having the support of a program that helps you identify your blind spots and shows you how to address them with compassion can make all the difference.
Kate was adamant that she was lazy when we started to work together. When I was able to hold up a mirror and show her what an over-performing, high achiever she really was, she practically laughed out loud. This was the first step to very big changes. A fresh perspective made all the difference.
Do you know the stories you tell about yourself that keep you stuck or make you feel bad? Are you ready to let go of them?
Your Missing Peace is my signature program for taking control of emotional eating and creating a relationship with food and eating that you want to continue for the rest of your life.
Enrollment is open. Go here to reserve your spot.
Take good care,