CEO Space and Taking Your Power Back from Overeating | TMOHP Episode 076

This episode is about why you need to take up space to create freedom from overeating and why taking action to change your eating habits isn’t the smartest way to start. This is an especially important episode if what you’re trying doesn’t seem to be working or if you’re stuck in a yo-yo pattern with your eating, weight, or feel like you’re going in circles instead of getting results.

Let’s talk about the benefits of inaction. The benefits of claiming space - not to do, but to become the CEO of your well-being and the CEO of your relationship with food.

In this episode:

  • Why “doing” isn’t necessarily the best way to change your eating an why “not doing” may be more productive
  • CEO Space
  • How to experiment with claiming space to better solve your overeating challenges

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Featured on the show:

  • Come join the Freedom from Emotional Eating and Overeating private Facebook community!
  • 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.

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Full episode transcript:

Hello everybody, today I want to talk with you about taking up space and in particular why it is so important to take up space and to create space, if what you want is lasting change with your eating. If what you want is freedom from overeating or emotional eating or binging or stress eating, or whatever the kind of eating is that you would like to be rid of. This episode is particularly important if you have been doing something or working really hard to try to make changes in your eating habits, in your relationship with food. And that change isn't working or it doesn't feel like it's productive or it feels like you're going in circles.

In Western culture, there is such a focus on productivity and on doing. And it seems like as human beings, we are sort of hardwired to focus our minds around doing when we want to make a change. What am I going to do? What am I going to not do? Think about this in terms of changing your eating. What am I going to eat? What am I going to not eat? When am I going to eat? What am I going to count? How am I going to monitor this?

When we want to make a change, our first instinct is usually to create a sort of to-do list or project for ourselves. But I want you to think about this constant doing is not necessarily productive. Constant doing always thinking about what the next thing is. Focusing on your to-do list. Telling yourself what the next should is that needs to be accomplished. Actually keeps you in reaction mode. This is not always true, but it is particularly true if you are not the creator of the doing list. If you are following somebody else's protocol or somebody else's plan, the tendency is to be in reaction mode, reacting versus intentional and creative, and in charge.

If it feels like you are on a hamster wheel going through the same cycle over and over when it comes to making changes with your eating and your weight, you may very well be stuck because of constant doing mode. Because when we're in constant doing mode, we have the list, we're always just looking at the next thing we need to do. We're moving forward. We're judging ourselves based on how we did that thing. And there really isn't a place for evaluation or making new decisions or creative problem solving.

When you're in constant doing mode, there isn't a place to stop and analyze and think, what would be a better, more successful or easier way to accomplish this goal? To change my eating, to make this work for me? And we all have that productivity focus part of our brain that is just screaming at us. But wait, if I'm not doing something, how am I going to create change? If I'm not doing something, how is anything different going to happen?

Here's where I want to start this episode. Not doing is not inaction. Not doing isn't inaction or non-action if you give yourself space. If that not doing is actually a container. When you give yourself dedicated space, amazing things can happen. Let me give you some examples of what I mean by space.

First off, space is not the kind of space we generally give ourselves these days, which tends to look like numbing or scrolling. The kind of space I'm talking about is an open opportunity, a dedicated place to be. Space for your brain. Space for you and your brain to untangle, to relax. Space to take a step back and get some perspective and see your brain in action. To become aware of you and your thoughts and your reactions. To be able to look at what is happening, what is working, what is not working, what are the patterns? What is going on inside your body? What is going on inside your thoughts? What is going on with your behaviors? What is going on with your schedule? What does your life look like in the week ahead? What happened last week? What worked, what didn't work?

Space, brain space, thought space, clear space. An opportunity that you dedicate for yourself. A space that you hold that allows you to be deliberate and to be intentional. This kind of space can look like many different things, and it does look like many different things for many different people. Have you ever woken up from a wonderful night's sleep and the whole world just looks different? Your perspective has changed? Or have you ever come up with a solution that you just haven't been able to figure out before- in the shower? Have you ever had a brilliant idea when you are on a run or a walk and you were so excited about it, you wanted to stop and write it down so you wouldn't lose it?

Or maybe you figured something out or you've had an insight while journaling and just free writing. Or maybe you have come away with a fresh perspective from a vacation or even taking a day or an afternoon off. These are examples of what can happen when we give our brain space. When we give ourselves space. And when we are not in constant doing mode. Using doing and action as our problem solving strategy.

This kind of space has become a very rare commodity. We are not encouraged to take space. To claim space for thinking, especially, unless it's in the context of doing something else. You know, we can, we can allow ourselves to think if it is hidden in the context of some other kind of doing. So maybe while you are commuting to work or while you are working out. But successful people actually hold time for space.

People successfully solve problems by creating and holding space. And actually having that space in their calendars. If you are somebody who wants to change the way you eat, if you want to stop binging or overeating, or you'd like to get a handle and feel in control of emotional eating and you're not getting results, chances are that the thought space, the clear space has disappeared because other things have taken priority.

Or you've never given it to yourself. Or, and you've been told the myth and bought the myth that in this one area, when it comes to your health and your wellbeing and changing your eating, when it comes to breaking an overeating or emotional eating habit, you shouldn't need space.

Remember, the diet mentality myth is that you should just do what somebody else says. You should just follow a plan someone else has created. And it should magically be a fit for you. And if it isn't working, you should just try harder. You should just apply more willpower and more discipline. You should stay in action.

It probably goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway, when we stay in action, doing something that isn't working and isn't set up for us to work because it doesn't fit us when we stay in action doing that same thing and pushing ourselves harder and harder and over and over, we create the vicious cycle. And this is how yo-yo dieting and yo-yo weight loss and vicious cycles, ongoing cycles that feel like a hamster wheel with food and eating and weight- this is how they happen. The way to escape them is to break the cycle of constant doing. And try claiming some thought space, some clear space.

I think of it as CEO space actually. Because it is within this space it is by claiming the time to take charge of what is a problem for you, what is not working for you, it is by claiming this time that you get to take your power back. That you get to be creative like the CEO of your own wellbeing and of your own life and work toward designing and executing a solution that is going to work to last for you.

So this is my challenge for you. Start claiming CEO space Experiment with what works for you. I have worked with so many women and seen so many different versions of this C E O space. It might look like journaling in the morning. It might look like a walk in the evening. It might look like an afternoon nap or a coffee break. One client I have, she loves to just sit and think and stare at a wall and let her mind do its work. Imagine that, giving yourself pure space. Another client goes for a drive. One listens to music. One likes to listen to classical music in her living room, and be the conductor and just see where her brain takes her. Another woman I've worked with finds her space in the sauna sometimes. And another does it by shooting baskets, basketball baskets.

It's important for you to figure out what helps your mind be at its best. What helps your mind solve problems? Do you sit down with a pen and a new pad of paper, or do you need to go outdoors and just let your mind be free and see what pops up in your head when you're not really paying attention? Are you in a place where it's time to get your ideas in the shower? Or do you want to sit down and map them out and really be strategic about it? No matter what you decide and discover your style of space is, none of this kind of high level problem solving is going to happen if you don't give yourself the space to experiment and to explore. And to see what your brain needs to be at its best. To see what it is that you need, what the style is that you need to access your inner CEO, the one who can help you figure out what is going to work for you.

The bottom line is if you want to create new results and you want to have a different relationship with food. You've got to create space that will allow you to change. And it's important to take this space and to create this space and to claim this space. Write it in your calendar, not just so that you can focus on what you are going to do.

You don't want to use this space to just revert back to a longer to-do list. Your relationship with food is so much more than meal prep and grocery lists. You want space to take a look at how you are thinking. The beliefs that you have about you, about change, about what needs to happen with food. The beliefs that you are reinforcing. Maybe the beliefs that you would rather focus on. The stories that you tell yourself and whether they are working for you or against you.

You want space, CEO space, so that you can look at from a different perspective the way that you respond to your needs and to your feelings. So that you can find ways to connect with what your needs and feelings are. So that you can strategize ways that you want to respond to yourself and those needs and those feelings without food. Or without having to stuff them down or push them away because there isn't enough space to deal with them.

Space is so important. Change requires space. Change requires getting out ahead of that thing that you want to change, and being able to see the problem with perspective. Imagine being able to be on a mountain and look down on it instead of being in the weeds and trying to react and come up with solutions while you are down there.

CEO space allows you to sit up on the mountain and look down on what's happening in your life. Making decisions and choices and generating ideas from that perspective is a much more powerful position to be in.

So my challenge to you is to play with this idea. Pull out your calendar. Grab your schedule, and literally block out time and space for you. You don't have to know what you're going to do with it. You don't have to know what it looks like. Remember, you can sit at your desk and stare at the wall, go for a walk, take a shower.

Give your brain the opportunity to work for you. That's how you become the CEO. That's how you take your power back, and that is how you create your relationship with food.


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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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