A Client Story: Unlocking a CEO Mindset When You’re Off Track With Your Eating | TMOHP Episode 090

Recently, a client who had been feeling confident and excited about the changes she has created with her eating habits felt like she was falling off track. She was overeating, and not feeling motivated to refocus on the habits and routines that she knows work for her. As she resisted “getting back on track” she also grew increasingly frustrated with herself. What was happening?

What do you do when life hits you a curve ball and you lose your footing? What’s the next step if you don’t feel motivated to do all the things you know you “should” do? How do you get yourself back into the groove with what works and brings you results?

That’s what you’ll learn in this episode of the Too Much on Her Plate Podcast.

In this episode:

  • The process of change and what to look for if it feels like things stop working - or you lose motivation
  • Signs of CEO or Freedom Mentality
  • Signs of Deprivation Mentality
  • The question that can get you stuck in deprivation thinking and the alternative question that can help you build your power and confidence

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Curious about what it’s like inside Your Missing Peace? Check out this podcast episode.  
  • Not sure why you’re overeating, or what your Hidden Hungers are? Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz and get a free set of resources matched to your results. 
  • Your Missing Peace  is the program for women ready to stop overeating and emotional eating for good. Enrollment is open and NOW is the perfect time to join us! Go here to learn more
  • Private Coaching. One-on-one coaching is for you if you’re looking for something completely individualized and specific to your situation. Openings are limited. Learn more here.

Episode Transcript

Hello everybody, welcome back. Do you ever feel like you really want to change your patterns with overeating and emotional eating? But you also really don't? Or you feel just completely stuck and you know you need to make changes and you want to make changes and you want the end result. But you can't make yourself do it. Or you're procrastinating doing it. Or you think you really do want to stop overeating or emotional eating and you have this plan, but you're inner rebel keeps jumping in.

Does this sound familiar? Because I thought it would be really useful to share some coaching that happened with a client this week around some of these same issues. So this client that I want to tell you about, I've worked with her for a while and she has made incredible changes in her relationship with food, in her eating, in her weight. And, if we go back a couple of months ago, she was feeling really good about her relationship with food. 

This is something she had really struggled with. This is a woman who has been in that dieting relationship with her body for at least all of her adult life. And thinking about food from a non-deprivation place was something that was really an alien concept for her. So stepping into freedom mentality and learning how to take charge of her relationship with food. Take her power back. That that was a process that she has really worked on. Like one of the key ingredients that I teach my clients and I teach in your missing piece is moving out of deprivation mentality and doing something that I call becoming the CEO of your wellbeing.

Taking your power back and feeling empowered and making choices about food and your eating in the same way you make all the other important choices in your life. From a place of confidence, from a place of power. Instead of a, oh, what do I have to do? What should I do? I need to follow the rules. I need to be a good girl. Which is what diet mentality and diet culture actually teaches us.

If we go back a couple of months, this client is sitting firmly in the seat of being the CEO O of her wellbeing, and she's feeling really good. So this is showing up in the way she's acting, in the way she is thinking. She is making decisions like a C E O. She is making choices that feel good. And I'm talking about with food and also how she's handling stress in her life. But making choices that feel good, that feed her. And rejecting deprivation thinking and all that history that goes with it that she's been carrying around. 

She knows that if she gets in that place where she's thinking, you know, I just need to work harder. I need to suffer. I need to take away some things. I need to deprive myself. I need more self-control. That isn't a path that works for her or anyone else. And that kind of deprivation thinking not only doesn't work, it isn't necessary. So when this client stepped into CEO mode, she started doing things like making decisions about how she wanted to eat. And eating in a way that left her feeling how she wanted to feel.

She wanted to eat for energy. She wanted to eat for health. She wanted to eat for vitality. This is a very zesty woman who has a lot of things she likes to do. Who likes to have fun and who likes to feel good. And she made the connection that there is a way of eating that can help me feel like more of that. And actually the way she was overeating and the things she was overeating were not contributing to energy and health and vitality. 

Eating like a C e O and being like a c e O of her wellbeing being not like a c E o also meant that she was feeding her hidden hungers in other ways that weren't food. So more time for fun that wasn't food. More social time. She was taking time to plan and to think about her own needs most days. And also making room for imperfection and planning for imperfection and for challenges. 

Couple of months ago when she was firmly anchored in this c e O space, she said something like, you know what, I'm on a roll. I'm on a roll. This is working. It is easier than I thought it could be. I feel great. And I'm figuring out how to play with this. I'm figuring out how to make tradeoffs that work for me. It doesn't feel hard. 

This is what it sounds like to be the CEO O of your wellbeing, and this is an example of what it sounds like to be in freedom mentality versus deprivation mentality with overeating.

Okay, so that was two months ago. What has happened over the last few months for this client is that life has hit. You know, we make these plans and we kind of expect that life is going to cooperate and we are all human beings, le living and leading a human life, and that doesn't always happen. So she had some things that happened.

There was some unusual stress, some big projects, some unexpected stress in her personal life. And that also led to some increased financial expenditures. And so there was some stress about money that she wasn't used to. And on top of the busyness and the overwhelm, There was some professional stress that was entirely unexpected. And as professional things often are the things that were happening were out of her control. And so she was feeling overwhelmed and she was feeling anxious about these changes and stuff that was kind of coming from multiple directions that she had not anticipated.

But she was feeling grateful because she had a vacation planned. Right? And this vacation was something she was looking forward to. And it really felt like an escape from everything that was going on in her life. So she had this vacation and when she was on vacation, she kind of lapsed into a different kind of eating. Which was fine cuz she was on vacation and she saw it happening and she was, she was okay with that. She had planned for that. 

But, then she got back from vacation. And I hadn't talked to her in a while. And when I did, she said, you know, ever since I got back from vacation, I have just been feeling off track. I feel off track with my eating. I can't pull it back in. I can't get it back together. I'm having more cravings for sugar and carbs. I have all this stuff around. I keep buying this stuff. Eating more, and I know I'm eating more and I know I should stop, but I just can't find the motivation to do it. She was frustrated with herself. And also starting to feel stressed and worried that she was going to go through this whole negative downward slide again. Right?

And she's describing to me, trying to get it together and having false starts and not starting and procrastinating about starting. And in the, the midst of all of this, more and more overeating. And she says to me, why can't I make myself do what I know I need to do? Why can't I do this? 

And as I listened to my client and I listened to an actual change in her voice and an actual change in the way she was talking and the words that she was using. It was very clear that this amazing woman was not in the space that she had been in a few months ago. And she wasn't coming from the same place that she had kept been coming from when she was feeling so empowered and moving forward with her eating and the changes that she was making in her life. 

And so I asked her, how are you feeling? How are you feeling right now? And she let out this big sigh and she said like, I don't want to have to do this. I don't want to have to do this. I don't want to have to change my eating. I feel resistant. I don't want to give up my treats. 

And then she stopped and she said, it just sounds hard. I don't know if you can hear it. But I'm doing this podcast episode because I want you to be able to hear it. I want you to hear the shift from where she was a few months ago, and I'm not talking about the shift in how she was eating.

I am talking about shifting from a C E O mindset where she gets to call the shots where she's in charge, where she is empowered and confident. To deprivation mentality. Where it feels like you are being put upon. And where you have to or need to, or should do hard things that are going to make your life more difficult. And are going to take things away from you and from your life and from your enjoyment.

The very first training in Your Missing Peace, which is my six month program where I help women create freedom from overeating. Is taking your power back. Because we can't make positive lasting changes in our relationship with food if we are coming from that place of deprivation mentality. If we are not coming from a place of power, and if we are not connected with ourselves and what we know about ourselves and about what we need.

You can recognize c e o mentality or freedom mentality. Which I think we can use those terms interchangeably most of the time you. You recognize c e o mentality when you feel in charge. You feel empowered. When you are making decisions. Not rules. So my client, when she's in CEO mentality, would say things like, you know, I've decided that what I want to try is, or what I'm going to play with this week at lunch is. She's the CEO o, she's in charge.

So when you are in CEO mentality, you are making decisions. You're not following rules. And you have a reason for the decisions that you're making. It's not arbitrary. You have a reason and so, or maybe you're experimenting with something or you're trying to figure something out. And you are the c e O. You get to evaluate along the way and you get to course correct.

It is not you blindly following some template or some checklist or some pointless that somebody gave you, and you either get it right or wrong. You're the CEO. You get to figure out if this is working or workable for you or if it isn't. And as a CEO, O, you're working toward a goal that feels important and it feels empowering. You know why you're doing it. It doesn't make you resentful. It's motivating to be moving forward, to growing into the thing that you are achieving. Right? 

The steps that you are deciding to take as a CEO, they feel growthful, they feel empowering, and they feel important. Okay? Those are some of the benchmarks of c e o mentality and freedom mentality.

Deprivation mentality is so different. Signs of deprivation mentality, and this is what I was hearing in my client are. You feel small. You feel like the unempowered small being, trying to do the big thing. And trying to get it right. You feel put upon. And maybe you feel like you need to submit. And you might feel like pushing back because you feel put upon, like this thing is coming from above, from outside of you that you have to do. And so it's pretty human to feel like pushing back. Rebelling. 

Anytime we feel like pushing back or rebelling, it is a sign that we don't feel in charge. It, you know, pushing back is a way of trying to make room for ourselves. Signs of deprivation mentality. Quite simply, it feels like deprivation. And you have thoughts and deprivation mentality of what you need to not do. What you need to give up. What you're going to need to work harder at. Right? What you need to get or eat less of. What you're going to need to go without. 

And I want you to listen to the way I'm using the word need because it shows up very differently in freedom mentality. I'm going to tell you about that. When you are in deprivation mentality the whole idea of what it is that you need to do or have to do or should do.

Also, that thing adds stress and it probably depletes your energy. It sounds like one more exhausting thing on top of your to-do list. And here is the thing, nobody wants another deprivation project when they're already stressed and overwhelmed. And this is exactly where my client was. She had a lot on her plate and she didn't need another stressful project.

So when my client heard herself tell me how she was feeling, she got it. Because we have worked on this. Because over time she has learned that when she has those feelings, I don't want to do this. I feel resistant. I want to push back. I feel rebellious. I don't want to give up my treats. And it sounds hard. She has learned through this process that when those things start coming up, she is on a deprivation path. And this isn't going to work for her. 

So an important side note here, but it's really an important side note, is that I have to underline that understanding, like this comes over time. Learning oh wait, this is deprivation thinking. This is this stuff that doesn't work for me. This kind of learning happens over time. So much of the freedom from overeating that you are going to create is going to happen from learning from what doesn't work. This is why I only work with clients, whether it's in the Missing Peace program or one-on-one. I only work with clients for six months or more.

Because all of us as human beings, we have to repeat. We have to learn, we have to fall off track. We have to learn what didn't work, and we have to learn how to deepen what does work in order to really grow and connect with the new habits. The new ways of eating. The changes that we need to make so that we don't have the cravings and we don't want to binge, and so that we can make them permanent.

So change happens over time. And freedom from overeating happens because we learn from what doesn't work. And over time, my client has learned to recognize when her thinking veers into deprivation thinking. Like it does for just about every woman on this planet when it comes to food. She's learned to recognize that, and she has learned, wait a minute, this doesn't work for me. So in this instance, she got it. She heard herself saying these deprivation kind of words. And she realized, okay, I am on a deprivation path. 

So how do you exit the deprivation thinking? And how do you stop trying to change your overeating by using deprivation? Here's one action that you can take that is so powerful. Stop asking the deprivation question, what do I have to do? What do I have to do? Do you hear how unempowered this question is? What do I have to do? When you ask yourself, what do I have to do? How do you feel? How does it feel in your body when you're thinking, okay, what do I have to do? I even changed my posture when I say that question. Right?

So here is an alternative. This is what we did in this coaching session. We moved from what do I have to do to what do you know about what you want and what you need? What do you know about what you want? What do you know about what you need? And just by asking that question, it was like a different person walked into this virtual room where we were having this coaching session. Just by asking that question. What do I know about what I need? What do I know about what I want? My c e o client, she came back. 

You are a wise, intelligent, resourceful person. Ask yourself what you know about what you want and need. So my client was like, well, oh, okay. It didn't take long. She said, what I know I really need isn't more junk food. What I really need is to be tired. I need to be tired and let myself be tired, and I need to rest. I haven't felt like I have the time or the energy to deal with my stress and the feelings about what's going on. The priority is rest. She sounded so definitive. She decided, CEO, the priority is rest. 

And then she said, you know, I used to journal. It's been a long time. I haven't done that, but I think I want to journal about these feelings. I want you to hear this. She shifted from, I need to do this and I have to do this and I should do this to, I want to journal. She didn't say she should get more sleep. She said the priority is rest. She started making decisions once she activated her power.

Asking the questions, what do I need and what do I want? These questions will help you access your hidden hungers. The things that are really going on that are giving your overeating its power. Asking what you need and what you want can also help you access things that might be making it hard for you to think about making any changes in your eating. 

Asking what you need and want. It also gives you your power back. Your power to take a stand for yourself. Because when you start to know what you need and want, what your hidden hungers are, or what the obstacles are that are in your way that are causing you to need and want food. Or stress relief or extra energy. Then you have the power to intervene on your own behalf because you know more about what is going on. 

Asking what you want and need gives you your power back to take care of you. C e o thinking unlocks entirely different doors than deprivation thinking does. So at the start of our coaching session, my client who was in deprivation mindset, she told me things that on the surface make total sense.

She said, I know I need to get rid of the junk food. I know I need to start eating better. I know I need to eat less. I know I need to refocus. I need to get my mind back on being healthy. All of these thoughts could sound entirely reasonable. They make total sense. But she wasn't doing any of these things. She wasn't feeling good about doing any of these things. Because these perfectly good ideas were coming from a place of feeling unempowered. And not in charge. And a feeling that she was going to have to take on more deprivation. And a feeling of being should upon. I should do this. I know I have to do this.

Her CEO thoughts, they started with the idea of what she needs. But the old need was really, I have to. I know I need to get rid of the junk food. And the new way of using need was, this is what I really need. She sounded entirely different. My client, when she said, I need to be tired. I need to let myself rest, I need to journal.

It wasn't, I know I need to journal. It was, I need to journal. It came from a place of knowledge about herself. About what she knows about what she needs and what she wants. I need easy. I need to make food and eating in life as easy as possible right now because I have a lot going on. I know I need to make space for being. Less, doing more being.

And then she said at the end of this list about what she knows she needs. She said, I want to eat food that makes me feel good. And the way I am eating right now is not making me feel good. 

Her decision about food was not the first thing on her list. Her decision about food came last actually. But when thinking about her eating and when her c e o thinking about changing, her eating came up? It did not come with that pushback of the list that she gave me at the beginning of the session.

I know I need to do this. I should do this. I don't want to do this. It makes me feel tired. Right? When this time when thinking about changing her eating came up and deciding about changing, her eating came up. It didn't have that pushback. It didn't have that deprivation. Because her c e o plan included more of the other things that she needs. More of the other things that she was turning to food to try to address.

If what I'm sharing here sounds confusing or unclear, I get it. Learning to recognize the shift and the difference between deprivation thinking and freedom mentality. Approaching things from a should place. Or approaching food and overeating as a C E O. Learning to recognize that difference in yourself is a process. It takes time. 

So you may want to listen to this episode again, or you may want to continue to listen to episodes of this podcast because over time it will come into place. And if you are feeling rebellious or resentful about changing your eating habits. Or if you are feeling stuck and like you just can't get started. Start looking for those signs of deprivation mentality.

And if you want help untangling these thought patterns, and if you want support to make new thoughts and new habits and to learn how to be the c e o of your relationship with food. Then come check out Your Missing Peace. I would love to have you join us. 

I'll talk to you soon.

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Your Missing Peace is the psychologist-designed program that provides the tools, the support, the coaching, and the confidence to create freedom from emotional eating and overeating. Finally - emotional eating help done right! Your Missing Peace is specifically designed for smart, high-achieving women who are DONE with diets, who want a lasting solution, and who are ready to take their power back from food, from overeating, and the scale. 

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