If you are a stress eater or struggle with emotional eating of any kind, you know how frustrating it can be. Emotional overeating is one of the primary reasons it can be so hard to achieve weight loss that lasts—and ongoing weight loss battles are a huge energy drain. The weight loss industry is a big business, and there are plenty of plans, approaches, and “experts” out there, willing to “help you” in the search for a slimming solution that lasts.
Before you try the latest idea, here’s a question to consider: Do you need more weight loss wisdom or is over-achieving actually making weight loss harder? In your quest to achieve success, are you creating overload and overwhelming yourself? It’s an important question, because this can create a big overeating and weight trap for busy women with high expectations.
I recently heard a great comment from someone about overwhelm. She said that even accessing the highest quality help, information, and ideas can feel like being hit by an avalanche if we have too much of it. If you’ll excuse a food-related metaphor: when the portion is too big, even the best help isn’t digestible. And yet, if you are someone who expects a lot from yourself, you are likely to be haunted by a question that can get you into trouble:
“What else can I do?” or “What should I be doing?”
Are you always adding to your weight loss to-do list? Taking action is a strategy that we use to be effective when we feel out of control. And while taking action is the first step in creating success, taking too many actions creates overwhelm. Are you falling into this trap?
Here are some signs that you are an over-achieving emotional eater:
- Are you an emotional eater who has a bedside table heaped with the latest books on the topic?
- Do you know so much about nutrition and weight loss science that you can’t make a decision about what to eat anymore—because you’ve heard so much contradictory advice?
- Do your attempts to lose weight turn into life overhauls and plans for change that quickly overwhelm you and that feel much too hard to stick with?
- When you finish a task or arrive at a “pause” in your day, do you automatically ask, “what should I do now?”
- Do you have a hard time doing nothing?
- In spite of all your effort, are you feeling stuck or ineffective when it comes to losing weight or eating the way that is best for you?
Over-achieving causes overwhelm. It increases the overall level of stress in your life. If you are an over-achiever in the area of health and weight loss, it could easily be preventing the very goals that you are trying to achieve. Women who are trapped in a cycle of constant activity and “always doing more” end up being exhausted and less productive in the long run. Not only do overwhelm and stress lead to overeating for many women, there’s another problem with over-achieving: constant activity can keep you from seeing the real solution.
Here’s what happens when we over-achieve. We can get so focused on “getting it right” and “figuring it out” that we aim all our energy in the wrong direction and we create a cycle of working very hard but not getting anywhere. That’s what yo-yo dieters are experiencing. They are caught up in a cycle of taking drastic action to lose weight, but they are so busy “achieving” that they haven’t created a blueprint that will allow them to create lasting success.