Emotional Eating Help: How to Avoid Goal Setting Traps | TMOHP 016

It’s the season of goal-setting and resolutions. When it comes to tackling emotional eating and overeating, we tend to sell ourselves short (because of a lack of belief in what’s really possible). It’s also far too common to set goals or resolutions that will set you up for failure, or self-blame, or one more pass through a vicious cycle with overeating and the scale.

Let’s talk about the goal-setting traps that crop up when you decide to make changes with emotional eating or overeating. These are traps or habits that can create unnecessary struggle or self-sabotage or that can even put you on the exact path you don’t want to be on!

More importantly, I have some thoughts and steps you can use to move in a different direction this year. You CAN step off the diet and deprivation hamster wheel while at the same time creating more powerful results that actually feel good while you’re creating them. This episode will get you started.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to break the cycle of setting goals with overeating and emotional eating that you never achieve
  • What to consider if you want to create a relationship with food that feels good
  • How smart women limit themselves with their thinking and their beliefs and what’s really possible
  • How to challenge yourself differently when/if you set goals or intentions for your eating this year

Featured on the show:

  • The Emotional Eating Rescue Plan for Smart, Busy Women by Dr. Melissa
  • Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz and find out your primary Hidden Hunger and your best place to start shifting your relationship with food.
  • Free Masterclass: The 4-step Plan to Stop Overeating and Emotional Eating (a free on-demand masterclass) covers the steps to mindset freedom, food freedom, and forever freedom. it’s available here. When you register you’ll also receive a special offer to work with me in 2022!
  • Apply for Private Coaching. I have openings in my schedule to work with about twelve women a year and openings are filled as space becomes available. Private coaching meetings are scheduled via Skype or phone and we can connect from anywhere in the world. Private coaching is customized to you and your goals and we'll work together for a minimum of six months. Learn more and apply here.
  • Visit http://toomuchonherplate.com for more tips and resources to create peace with food and overcome overeating and emotional eating

Episode Transcript

Hello everybody. If you're listening to this episode when it is first released, it's the first week of January, and it is the season for planning goals and setting resolutions and creating intentions of what will be different this year. The problem is when it comes to changing your relationship with food or addressing something like emotional eating or over eating, most people don't really focus on what can be different. They focus on how to be successful at the same thing they've been trying to do in an endless loop or in a loop anyway, over and over and over again, I am often asked why it is that I do what I do, and the reason that I wrote my book and the reason that I, in my coaching and consulting practice and the, and the programs that I run isn't because I have this boundless interest in food and eating.

The reason I started doing the work that I do is because I have a passionate interest in the possibility of change, change, and really transformation. And I know the transformation is this woo woo, big word. That feels very pie in the sky, but transformation is so different from finding a recipe for endless self control. And what boggles my mind and really discourages me is how many women have been. So a belief that all that is possible with emotional eating and overeating and your relationship with food, your entire relationship with food. A lot of women have been sold. The belief that what is the reality is that all you can hope for is enough self control to stay on top of an endless cycle. The reason I do what I do is because that is not true. The reason I do what I do is because there is a possibility, a very real, tangible, possibility to leave the struggle behind, to take your power back from food and not by kind of climbing to this top of the mountain and winning a struggle.

That's always there waiting for you, but to take your power back from food, by deflating the power that food has in your life, so that it doesn't have that kind of compelling power anymore today, what I thought would be helpful to talk about, especially since it is the season of goals and intentions and re is the steps to start to take, to create a new path forward, to break the cycle, that old cycle of deprivation thinking when you're setting your goals. And I wanna talk about ways to start shifting your thinking pieces to include. So you can really be working on creating a path to freedom, creating change that is new and different and lasting has to begin with mindset and by mindset. I'm talking about the thoughts that you think the beliefs that you have, and the stories that you tell yourself, mindset comes first and mindset has to weave itself through all the other pieces of change that you are taking on paying attention to those thoughts and those beliefs and those stories, and whether they are serving you, or whether they are, you know, pulling you backwards and sabotaging you or other, they are keeping you stuck the direction that you move in and the way that that direction feels and the way that you feel is all going to flow from the way you are thinking it is that simple, what you believe about your ability to succeed and what it take for you to succeed and how it's gonna feel for you to succeed and how permanent that success is going to be, what you believe about those things almost always comes true.

You have a soundtrack in your mind. That is probably going pretty constantly, right? We talk to ourselves, we tell ourselves things, it's not always easy to, to capture that soundtrack, but when you do, and you can do that by just stopping and listening or by journaling, or by simply asking yourself about it, what am I telling myself right now? What am I thinking? What am I making this set of events mean? What am I telling me myself, that it all adds up to, right? When you start to listen to tune in, to pay attention to that soundtrack, it can be so enlightening. We carry around all sorts of beliefs, right? About what it takes to change about our ability to succeed about what kind of effort is going to be required. We carry around thoughts and beliefs and stories about whether we deserve to be happy, or whether we deserve in air quotes here to be thin, or to reach our goals or to have what we want, whether we deserve for it to be easy, or whether we believe it has to be a struggle.

We carry around stories and beliefs and thoughts about whether we are allowed to have, or enjoy the journey. We take our beliefs and we take these thoughts. And we weave stories that we mutter to ourselves in our heads. And sometimes out loud, all day long things like I'm fat, I'm lazy. I'm never gonna be able to do this. It's gonna be so hard to do this. I'm gonna have to give up everything. I love. If I wanna do this, I can't stick with anything. You know, I'm gonna blow it. I have no self control. I'm gonna have to work my butt off. I'm no good at this. I know that food will always be a struggle for me. These are all stories. These are all just thoughts. They are just stories. And yet they shape our attitude. They shape our perspective. They shape our approach.

And guess what? Those kind of stories and beliefs will shape your motivation. Continuously. Every time we retell ourselves, a version of what we've decided is true. We actually reinforce that belief. We all have thoughts and stories. There is nothing wrong or, or different about you. If you have discouraging thoughts and stories, but we have these stories that discourage us. We have stories and beliefs and thoughts that keep us in our place or wear us down or make success an uphill battle before we've even started it. And there are also thoughts and stories and beliefs that have potential to change your game. Thoughts. Like I can do this. I can take one step. I am the woman who succeeds or I'm the woman who has succeeded in lots of things. I can figure this out. Or I have done lots of things that I didn't know how I was gonna do them at the beginning, but I figured that out, right?

I keep making progress. I succeed by taking consistent steps. I can succeed by being it doable. I do not have to feel overwhelmed to succeed. Success can feel good. Here's one. How about I have only begun to own my power. I am learning how to take my power back. You can practice the thought I can't do this, or you can practice the thought I can learn as I go. I don't have to be perfect to succeed. I've done lots of things, imperfectly and had good results. It sounds so simple, but you are thinking colors, everything. We see what we're focusing on. And we notice the details that confirm what we already believe. If you wanna to fail, tell yourself you can't, you won't. If you want it to be difficult, start by telling yourself how hard it's gonna be and what a struggle it's gonna be and how miserable or expensive it's gonna be.

If you wanna get what you want, start feeding your beliefs, start growing your beliefs, start challenging your beliefs. Start as yourself. What do I really want to believe? What would really serve me or, you know, don't get into a battle about whether the current belief is correct, or, you know, the, the most appropriate belief as the question, is this belief or thought serving me, or is it making the game harder? Is it making the pro us more of a struggle? Is it keeping me small? What you believe about your ability to succeed? Almost always comes true. So don't jump into doing start by nourishing and nurturing the beliefs that you want to have. Start by strengthening your confidence. Start by building a mental path. That's going to create momentum toward your goals. And before we get any further, let's talk about those goals. So many people start with this tiny goal that feels unexciting and also impossible to them at the same time.

And it's usually a number, right? I wanna fit into a certain size of pants, or I want to weigh a certain amount. Guess what? There is something so much bigger and powerful to aim for. And that really is your relationship with food. Do you know how many women I have talked to who have this goal? And you've probably heard me say this before, but gonna say it again, cuz it's important. I've talked to so many women who have a concrete goal, like what they want to weigh. And then we talk about, so what happens afterward? What do you want your relationship with food to look like after that? What do you wanna do after you've seen that number and you've done your little victory dance, right? How do you want to feel about eating <affirmative>? Most of the time people look at me blankly because they haven't figured that part out.

And this is one of the reasons that we get in these vicious cycles with food and weight and yoyo, dieting, and overeating, and a very messed up uncomfortable, painful relationship with food. So let's talk about goals before you jump into some kind of plan. I want you to take some moments to think about what it is that you are really aiming for you. What are you really aiming for? And again, this there's this piece of mindset that comes into play here because our brain, our thoughts are cluttered with other people's thinking with probably years of advice and marketing and pressure about what you should want and how you should go about achieving it. And this is especially true when it comes to the topic of food and eating food and eating are such personal things. And it's always interesting to me, how much other people feel like they have a right to make it, their business.

Your relationship with food is personal. There is no one right way of approaching food that works for everyone. And you are the only one who has lived inside your body, your whole life. You are the one who's going to know what's right for you achieving a number on the scale or feeling great in the pants that you wear or being able to climb that mountain. That actually isn't the goal. Those are not the goals. Those are actually the side effects or the results that happen when you hit your goal. When you hit your goal of creating the relationship with food, that brings you what you want and that works for you. So as you start to think about goals, we're gonna do a, a different kind of process. Start by throwing out the shoulds, start by putting that number. If you have one over to the side, right, right.

Ask yourself, how do you wanna feel if the goal was a feeling, how do you want to feel? And it's not just the goal. That is a feeling, right. I want you to ask yourself, and this is part, so many smart women skip. How do you want the journey to feel? How do you want the path from here to wherever it is that you wanna go with food? How do you want that path to feel? Cuz guess what? That path is a daily, hourly sometimes minute by minute thing. And so often we get this really narrow focus, right? We think about the goal and there are all these stories and thoughts and beliefs we have about how we will feel when we get to that goal. And by the way, we often pile tons of stuff on that that has nothing to do with the goal.

But we forget to pay attention to what we want the journey to feel like. And so what happens, especially for high achievers who have high expectations for themselves, it's becomes really easy to create a journey or a path to your goal that is really painful or difficult, or, you know, requires a lot of willpower and perseverance and energy and dedication, which is one of the reasons, again for yoyo cycles, with food and with weight and all of that stuff, because we, we are really good at creating paths that we don't really wanna be on. So how do you wanna feel, what is the feeling that you're aiming for and how do you want to feel while you're working on it? Because guess what, the relationship with food that you create on the path that you work on on the path to your goal is the relationship with food that you're gonna end up with when you get to your goal.

If you create a path that's about deprivation and misery and feeling hungry and counting the hours until you can eat the next thing or working really hard to, I will not binge, I will not binge will not binge. You're gonna have that same kind of relationship with food at the end, no matter what the thing is that happens to your weight or your size or, or whatever else it is that you're working on. So how do you wanna feel, how do you want the path to feel? How do you want your relationship with food to feel your relationship with food is for the rest of your life? How do you want it to feel? And by the way, if this feels really uncomfortable to think about you have permission, you have permission to decide how you want it to feel and don't get stuck in the logistics here.

I, I, a lot of times, especially if you've been around the block with struggles, with food for a while, if you've, if you've been an emotional eater for a while, your brain will tell you, well, that's not possible, or I don't know how to do that, or I have no idea what that means and will use that stuck feeling to keep you from dreaming. I guess let's use the word. If it feels like a dream, give yourself permission to dream. If it feels like a reality you can create, that's fantastic. Keep asking the questions, but either way, don't worry about the logistics. It is really important to just ask the question, how do I want it to feel? How would I love it to feel? Because that is what you will be creating as you work toward your goal. As you are thinking about your goals, as related to emotionally eating and overeating, it is really important not to forget about your inner wisdom.

Like I said earlier, you're the only person who has lived inside your body, your whole life, and whether you feel disconnected from what you know about and what you've learned from living inside that body, about your relationship with food, you do know some things and getting more connected with your own inner wisdom is really important. It is so bizarre to me, how, when it comes to food and wellness and health, the way it is approached traditionally is so old fashioned, somebody creates a plan that worked for them or that worked in a lab or that worked with rats or <laugh> that, or that worked for their sister. And then they tell you that you should follow it too with total disregard for how unique and individual, our bodies and our lives and our preferences and our strength sets are so much of the rest of the world is by, around customizing and figuring out what's the best solution for the individual.

And, and yet most of the advice out there about overeating and emotional eating has not even started to catch up. So as you think about your goals, as you think about your intentions, and as you think about what you want, ask yourself, what you already know, what do you know to be true about what works for you? What do you know to be true about a helpful relationship with food for you? What do you know about some of the shoulds and the beliefs and the rules that you have floating around in your brain? Which ones just are never gonna work for you?

What shoulds and beliefs and thoughts do you need to give yourself permission to let go of maybe they worked for somebody else. Maybe they never worked for anybody <affirmative>, but you who knows, you knows that some of these shoulds and expectations and ideas are just not a fit for you. Can you give yourself permission to let go of them? What will you give yourself permission to stop trying to force yourself to do? And what do you know about what works for you? What do you know about what's helpful for you? What do you know about what needs to be included in any plan that you put together? What do you know about what does need to be included in your relationship with food or the way that you eat, or the plan that you put together? What do you know about what works for you?

You know, some things I have worked with so many women around accessing their inner wisdom, reconnecting to what they know. And it's so interesting because what we know is so individual, right? And when we honor what we know, when we honor what we need, we increase exponentially our chances of creating success. And yet these questions. So often don't get asked when we're putting together goals and intentions and resolutions. So ask yourself, what do you know about yourself? What works, what doesn't, what will you give yourself permission to let go of? So when we're setting goals and being thoughtful about where it is that we wanna go and how we're gonna get there, sometimes what rises to the surface is the awareness that I don't really know where to go next. Sometimes what rise to the surface when we start to pay attention, is that realization that, wow, I have just been repeating the same patterns.

I keep trying to do the same old thing and it's bringing me the same old results. And I've been beating myself up about it. I've been blaming myself. I can see that it's not my fault, but I can also see that this pattern isn't working for me and what can happen sometimes, especially if you are a high achiever who is used to being able to create results for yourself and who is used to being able to see where to go next, that can feel very defeating. And it might feel you might have the thought or belief that you are in a stuck spot. That is not the case, realizing that what you're doing is repeating a pattern that isn't working is progress. You know, if this is new news to you, it is really important news. So do you have permission to learn and to grow?

Do you have permission to seek out new resources? If you need help breaking old patterns, it is really important to pay attention to any thoughts or beliefs that you have, that this is somehow a weakness, because a willingness to learn and grow and change is actually strength. It can actually be a very brave thing to do. So I have a challenge for you that is so much bigger and deeper and more powerful than that same old goal to lose 10 or 25 or 55 pounds this year. Here's my challenge for you. Do not set yourself up to repeat a pattern that you already know doesn't work. Don't set yourself up for the thoughts and the store worries about how it's all your fault and you didn't try hard enough and you just needed more willpower. You just needed more discipline. You just needed life to be more perfect.

Don't set yourself up for the hit that takes on your confidence and for the burnout that follows. And when you put together your goals and your intentions and your plans for what comes next, don't set yourself up to create, or to reinforce a relationship with food that you don't want to have. Don't put yourself on a path to a goal that doesn't feel the way you want it to feel. And because of that out, when you really stop and think about it, it's a path that, you know, isn't going to work. Do ask yourself what you already know, what you already know. It is in there. You may need to practice listening for it, but ask yourself what it is you already know about what works for you. Ask yourself about what you know about where you tend to get stuck, ask yourself if you're giving yourself permission to seek out the help and assistance that might be helpful to you.

And finally, as you put together your plans for what comes claim your belief in the possibility of forever freedom challenge, the thoughts and the beliefs, and the stories that tell you, you can't do this, or this will only be temporary aim for forever. Don't pick a silly little number, make the feeling that feeling of forever freedom and peace and ease. The goal that you aim for my challenge for you is to set the bar at leaving the struggle behind this year, leaving the struggle behind and creating feelings that propel you forward. And that feel good. And if you want more help with this check out the free masterclass that I am offering right now, I will put the link in the show notes below not only will the masterclass walk you through more of this stuff about mindset and what is involved in shifting your mindset and forever freedom and creating a relationship with food that works for you. But you'll also get information about my, a group coaching program called your missing piece, and you'll also get access to a very special offer. If you're interested in joining us and working with me over the next year to create your version of peace with food and freedom from overeating and emotional eating, I'll put the link to the free class in the show notes. So be sure to check that out. So no more, same old, same old, no more year on repeat this year, create something better, create something different. 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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