Emotional Eating Help: Inside The Program | TMOHP Episode 065

What does it look like to be a success story with emotional eating? How does it feel to stop overeating or to lose weight without dieting? Is it really possible? These are questions I get asked - a lot. Will this work for me? Can I do what it takes? What’s it like to get help for emotional eating? What is it like to join Your Missing Peace (my program for ending overeating habits)?

In this episode of the Too Much on Her Plate podcast, some special guests join me. Three members of Your Missing Peace are sharing their experiences of creating freedom from overeating and peace with food.

In this episode:

  • Why it’s confusing at first to try a new approach
  • What it’s like to come to a coaching meeting in Your Missing Peace
  • Surprises and unexpected discoveries
  • Results - and how and why they feel different than expected

Featured on the show:

  • Not sure why you’re overeating, or what your Hidden Hungers are? Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz
  • 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 that’s wholly individualized and specific to your situation. Openings are limited. Learn more here.

Episode Transcript

Hello everybody, welcome back. Today I have a special episode. You are going to hear from some people who are not me. Who have some answers to questions that I get from people just about every day. Answers to questions like, what does it really look like to create peace with food? What does it feel like? What does it feel like to address your hidden hungers? What does that really mean? How do you stop emotional eating? Can you lose weight without dieting? Is it really possible? 

I'm asked just about every day what it's like to be a member inside Your Missing Peace, which is my program for ending overeating and emotional eating in an enduring, lasting kind of way. What happens inside that program? What does it feel like to join the program? What happens when you come to a coaching call? Is it scary? Will it work for me? What happens if you don't know what to do? Can I keep up with the work? All sorts of questions. I can tell you what it's like from my perspective. I can tell you the things I know as a clinical psychologist who's been doing this work for decades. But I can't give you that bird's eye experience of what it's like on the inside, to be going through this as a client of mine.

So a few weeks ago as a part of an online workshop series that I was presenting, I invited a few members of Your Missing Peace to come onto a Zoom call and share their experiences. And they have so graciously given their permission for me to share this recording with you. And so here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what it's like to get help with emotional eating. And what it looks like and feels like and what you can expect if you decide to join Your Missing Peace.

 I thought that what would be really helpful is to give you an opportunity to get some answers to questions that I can't really answer. Because I can tell you about the information. I can tell you what it feels like to work with people who are making changes. I can tell you what it feels like for me to be on the coaching calls. But I can't tell you what it is like to experience the program from the very beginning. So there's some lovely members who have agreed to come here today and share their stories and their experiences with you. 

So that's kind of, so I'm, we're going to take questions. We're going to talk about, the program, but I also want to give you some firsthand experience of what it's like to join, what it's like to show up to a coaching call for the first time. Are they scary? Are they helpful? Does it feel like you got to listen to a bunch of stuff that isn't helpful? You know, all that stuff that I think probably runs through people's heads or maybe just mine. I don't know. So does one of you want to jump in and share your thoughts about what it's been like to, to try this new approach to changing your relationship with food?

Yeah, so, you know, I first came across you when I was searching for podcasts. And I'm sure I typed in emotional eating or something like that. So I started with the podcast and I thought, oh, this, these will be some great tools. These will be some great tools. And then you offered the Facebook program, which is just what I think this group is finishing up. And I thought, oh, these will give me some tools. But it was much of just like what you described. It was like, oh, where do I start? How do I put it all together? 

And so when I decided to join the Missing Peace program, I walked into what excited and enthusiastic, but really not knowing what to expect. And it has been exactly what I've needed. Because the, it is taken me into a deep dive, which I don't believe I could have ever gotten there on my own. To really understand my hidden hungers, why I do what I do. And, and also expand my mind into all the possibilities, the new ways that I can look at food. And I was just thinking a few days ago, I'm feeling a glimmer of peace with food that I don't think I have felt in decades. 

And so it really has been the tool that I can connect with every day in a very positive way with specific things to do that that helped me get step by step by step to where I want to be. I, I, I could never have done this on my own. That's my 2 cents. 

Can I, can I ask you a question? 

Yes. 

How has it, I, this is a vague question, but can, has it felt different than, we've been talking a lot in the workshop about deprivation mentality and diet mentality and kind of gearing up and working really hard, and has it felt different than that? Has there been overlap? What is, what's that, what is, what does it feel like to be doing the program? 

So, so when I first started the program, I didn't even know where to begin with my food. Because, and it felt weird to not have a specific food program to follow. So it was a little emotionally confusing and a little mentally confusing for the first few weeks. But I chose to focus on, you know, what the modules were teaching and, and the assignments and things like that. And then it's gradually shifted. And so that, I guess I don't feel the deprivation. I, I feel much more, and I'm probably 10- 11 weeks into it, I'm starting to feel like, oh, I can make the choice as to what I want to eat, and there's not all the emotion with it. There's not all the guilt, there's not all the shoulds.

So it's been a, it's been a transition to that. But it is not feeling, it's like I'm in the driver's seat. I'm starting to choose what I want to do. And why I want to do it. And there's not been such food structure that I have to feel guilt and shame and remorse every single time I eat or don't eat something. It's becoming my choice. And that feels good. That feels so good. 

Wow. I love how you said that. And you know what? This is the thing you said at the beginning. Well, first of all, I'm so happy for you. I mean, you know that I'm just so happy for you. But it just makes, I mean, I get goosebumps when people talk about this, but the other thing I, I love about what you said is I think that it is really normal given how we have, you know, our whole relationship with food and eating and weight and all that stuff, that to come into a program like this with this, like, okay, but when is the secret diet going to start?

When, when do we really get the food plan? And like, okay, this is all great and it feels good, but, but when do we have to start counting? Right. Or, and I remember watching you, like you had a lot of questions, am I doing this right? And how. You were really working to be patient with the process. But, but there is, I think it's pretty normal and I think it's pretty normal to feel like, well wait, am I doing it right Because I should be, I should be doing more of this diet stuff somewhere or something feels like it's missing.

Yeah. It's a totally different approach. Totally different. 

My name is Jessica. I've been, I just finished, my four months in the program and it has honestly just been life-changing. When I was first came across Melissa's stuff, kind of like Laura. I followed her podcast for a while and then I was going through a Facebook workshop the same way you all are and I just remember feeling like basically at my lowest. I was just so unhappy with myself, the person I had become, you know. Feeling like I've just been on this hamster wheel forever of, you know, all the different diets, losing weight. And always just focusing on that number on the scale and never being satisfied with anything I could do.

And I made the decision going through this workshop to try the program. And I can just tell you that I am so glad that I did. Now, four months later, there's so many little things I would say that I've seen changes with. And I mean, all these little things just add up, right? I'm calmer, I'm happier, I can say that I have a lot more confidence. And at the end of the four months, Melissa had me go through and list out all these accomplishments. All the wins, she said, look for all the little things, right? 

And it was funny because as I did this, and she had to point it out to me that I waited till the very end of my list to get to my biggest accomplishment. And when I started the program, and I probably wouldn't have been able to admit this, then I was binge eating three to four times a week to the point where I was really sick. Where I'd be hiding it from my husband. And as I stopped to think about it, there's probably been two or three times in the entire four months that I've binged at all.

And it's an incredible feeling to know that I didn't even notice it, because it isn't hard when you're just working through the program and actually working on the issues and following the module. All the modules, and coming to the coaching calls, and just honestly showing up for yourself. It's not a cookie cutter program. She's, Melissa's not going to tell you how to eat. She's not going to tell you. Everybody doesn't have the same problems. We can all relate to each other, I'll tell you that. But, you have to or you will find what works for you through this program. I guarantee that.

You didn't even notice that the binging had kind of faded out.

Yeah.

Which is so different. I, I like, you know, when you're working really hard to not do something. And I think that's something that's really hard to describe to people when something just like you realized one day I don't do that anymore. Or hardly do that anymore. 

Yeah. 

Can you, could you say a little bit, Jessica, about what, because I think a lot of people wonder about, okay, so what is it like to come to a coaching call? Is it like going to school? Is it scary? Is it, could you share a little bit about what that's like? 

No, I mean, it's a lot like where we are right now, right? It's come as you are. I don't have makeup on. I have my hair in a ponytail, and I don't care. I don't feel like this is a judgment zone at all. You know. We're all here for the same reason. And Melissa makes sure to make time for everybody on the call I've never once seen anybody not get the coaching that they came there for. And so it's, it's, it's honestly an amazing experience. 

Can I ask, were you scared the first time you came to a call? 

Definitely! I, I didn't know what to expect.

I'm going to press this button to enter the meeting. What's going to happen?

Yeah. I didn't know if we were being tested right. On how far we had gone. 

Did I have homework? 

Module, but honestly, everybody's at a different place. Right. And it's interesting because even though we're all at different places in the training, you still relate to the things that everyone's talking about. And it's just this really supportive community. There's times when we're, you know, sharing our wins and Cheering each other on, and there's been other times when I'm at my most vulnerable and I've shed tears on these calls, but these amazing women have supported me in a way that I've never felt support before.

You said something really that I think is important and that is that there are people in the group who are at all different places in the program. One of the nice things that happens by people being at different points in the program is it's like this spiralocity thing. Like you, you've. We all go through the same issues, but people will be at different places. Like somebody, it's their first week and they're just starting to like, how do I even think about this? And somebody else might say, yeah, that was like that for me, but now I'm here. And then somebody else is so we can talk about the same things and share kind of different places that people are on the journey, and I think that's really helpful for people. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I, I feel like that's been really helpful for people to see other people talking about something really similar. 

I've heard people say, I've never been in a community like this. 

Yeah. You know, you are absolutely right about, I have searched my whole adult life for people who understand this, where I can speak openly and not just have people kind of look at me like, Nope, no idea what you're talking about. And even with a couple of therapists, talking to friends, you know, it just, the connection was never there. And yes, I feel like not only can I talk about anything I want in the coaching calls. 

But everything, I had missed one last week and I was listening to her watching it, and one woman talked about the difficulty with changing the clocks back and you know how we get off track. Another woman talked about how often should she weigh, and you addressed Melissa, how we have to be careful with putting the scale up on a pedestal. So no matter what anybody talks about, it always pertains to me at some level. And I just feel like I'm in this magical place, like, you know, how does everybody know all these things?

And I will say to everyone listening too, my own perfectionism and being hard on myself is really being washed away through this program by the kindness and gentleness and self-compassion that you teach us, Melissa. That's, I call you my adult, Mr. Rogers.

Wow. It's, anything surprised you about the program? 

Yes, that I have lost weight without counting ca counting points, counting calories. You know, all those hard things. Constantly beating myself up. Like I say, it's just there's a gentleness that I didn't expect. Yeah. So, and, and that our emotions are being addressed. That it isn't just, okay, here's how you count calories here's what you may and may not eat. I was successful at all those things for a time. But then my question in my head was always, but what about these feelings? What about this overwhelm? What about this boredom? What about this anger? What about this stress? And I have never found a place where those were addressed before.

What happens when you address them?

They lose their power. You know, they're, they're out in the light of day and they can be dealt with. And sometimes it's an amazingly simple solution. 

I think one of my favorite things about the calls is when people talk about like, I just don't want to do that anymore. Or I'm just not doing that anymore. It, I think, I think sometimes one of the reasons that people get a little wary of a group is, experiences that people have had in certain weight loss program, kind of groups that shall be nameless. But where really the focus is on how strong you were and you know, your weigh in and what temptation you didn't give into this week. And, you know, I think there's just a, just a totally different vibe in this group. You are not going to create freedom from overeating no one is going to create freedom from overeating without compassion and without curiosity. And if you are mad at yourself and judging yourself and calling yourself names, that is absolutely opposite of the stance you need to be curious and compassionate. 

Because if you're mad at yourself and you're judging yourself and you're, you know, just have decided that you blew it once again. You've already made, you've been judging jury, right? You've already decided you don't need to be curious because you've already decided that the problem is you and it's time to hop back on the hamster wheel and it's time to start o you know, work harder again, buck up. Eat all the snacks because you're going to start over on Monday, so you might as well like, you know, get those out of the house. 

This is so different and I, and I think. I would love to hear from, from Nancy or Jessica or Laura if, if you felt that way can you talk about the piece that is normal to be confused in the program or feel like, how are we doing this? Have any of the three of you had that experience? Laura, you talked a little about not, you know, having to trust the process. 

Can I first go back and just give an example of what you were talking about, the curiosity and the 

Oh yes. 

So I've known for a long time that I'm an emotional eater, but like, what does that mean? You know? And kind of like what Nancy was saying, we've got all these emotions and we eat in response to them, but before it was just sheer willpower. So because of, the, the, exercises, especially in the, the daily exercises that we do where at the end of the day reflect on what went well and what we're grateful for and, and then all the coaching and the modules, you know, that talk about self-compassion and curiosity.

So I had an incident last week. And, and I've talked about this on the calls before, I just had really intense three or four weeks and it was just kind of put your head down and go. And then on a Friday afternoon, evening, all of that was kind of resolving and it was done. And I felt this like, whew. So I was like, I, I want to go do something fun. But my husband had just had a procedure and he was no weight bearing on crutches. And it's like, well, what are we going to go do? And, I just won't even worry about it. And then I started to eat. And I eat and I ate and I ate and I ate. And then after, after a while, I just stopped myself and I said, well, what's going on here? What's going on? And I came at that question with just a no judgment, just sheer curiosity. And I realized I'd been partying with food. That's how I described it. My hidden hunger was, I want to party, I want to do something fun. And my options I thought were limited. I hadn't given it any thought. And then I realized, oh, I've been partying with food. Okay, well that's a hidden hunger I had never thought of before. And I couldn't and I was able to just objectively see it. And I didn't go through this shame cycle, the guilt cycle that I've got to start all over again. I've been so bad. It was like, oh, okay, I've identified that. Well, I bet I can pick up on that earlier. And then it was done. I didn't have any more need to eat.

There's not the drama, not the drama. 

Yeah, so it was just, it was just done. And, and, and I think it was the nine, 10 weeks of work to just gradually get there. But it was like, it's working, and I was just fine and I just moved on. So anyway, that was just an example that I just, I just wanted to share. But, but it is confusing and so it's like what Jessica said, you just come in with a commitment like, I'm going to follow the program. I'm going to trust that it's going to move me to a different place. And for me, it's felt like I'm changing from the inside out. Not Here's the program, follow the program, and then, then you'll get to be where you want to be. It's like no, become who you want to be. And all of this will just kind of disappear.

It's you, you being in charge, like you said. Right? Like, it's not like, oh, here are the rules I've gotten really good at following these rules that came down, right? It's me deciding you, Laura deciding, Nancy, deciding this is what works for me, Jessica, figuring out this is what I need to do. It's, it's not, there isn't a handbook. There are workbooks in the program where I'm going to ask you questions that if I'm doing my job, you won't know the answer to. And you'll have to think about because we're trying to break your brain a little bit. But there's not a, here are the five things to do when you wake up and this is the time you should wake up and these are the foods you should have on your plate.

And because I, you know, I bet if we spent the time talking about the food, Nancy, Laura, and Jessica, they're all lined up here. I know you're all in a different order on everybody else's monitor, but you guys all eat differently. I bet you mm-hmm. And I bet you what works for you. And I don't know how you eat because it isn't about the food, it's about taking care of the reasons. Right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Anything that you wish someone had told you before you joined the program? This is for all three of you. Jessica you got a big smile, I want, I'm curious. 

I was just kind of thinking, I guess it's, you know, part of the reason that I am here, and I think a lot of women are here, is because of our perfectionism, right? And so in the beginning it is really hard because you want to be this perfect student, right? And that kind of goes with the wanting to show up to the calls being prepared. But the reality is, is the perfectionism is what you just need to. That's what we're le working on, leaving behind, right. And so showing up for yourself doesn't necessarily mean that you're completing everything every week. It means that you're doing the best that you can and all of the things, they're all just tools, right? 

And so taking the time to really put these tools into use and learn how they work for you is what's super important. I, instead of focusing on being perfect.

What about you, Nancy? What do you wish?

I wish as I deliberated over spending the money because you know, it's not a hundred dollars, you know, it's, you're making a commitment. That I knew the inner peace and the joy and the self-acceptance that has been worth twice you know, what I paid for the course. You know, I thought it was going to be more a weight loss with addressing the emotions, but never anticipated the, just the peace and the contentment and joy that I have that I didn't have five months ago, four months ago. 

It's such a hard thing to describe. Right? It's, it's, it's a hard thing and, and, It is an investment to join the program. It is, it's a financial investment. And I say this all the time. I think the part that, that I really also want to give voice to is, is what an investment of hope it is. Because I, there are very few people on the planet who want help with overeating and emotional eating who have not been around and around and around more than a few times with this stuff. And every time you go when you're stuck in that hamster wheel, every time you go around, it does a number on your confidence. Right. It does it number on your hope. It. 

I take that really seriously, and that is one of the reasons that this is not a four week program. It's a four month program, and when you join during this promotion, it's a six month program. Because it gives you time to go through the stuff. And to have the wave of excitement and to have feelings of discouragement. And to have the tough weeks where you show up and you're tired and you don't know, did I really do a good job or am I really doing this? And to, and to realize, you know, to get reminded over and over and over again that that is our human experience.

We don't always show up shiny and sparkly and with 150% of our energy. And your relationship with food tends to go wonky, the places where you don't feel as great. And so for us to be able to be together through all of those cycles. And like you were saying, Jessica, you know, to, to shed the tears or to have the hard moments or to somebody was on a call, but somebody was saying, you know, I've just, I've, I can't remember the way she put it, but like I've just, I've been out of the zone. I haven't been in the place. I'm trying to get back to the place. And, and so having the time in the community and the coaching where we can help you, that's okay. Right? You don't have to be in the place all the time to be making progress and to be taking steps. And let's pay attention to the feelings and what's going on and how can we do this in a way that isn't the old way of beating yourself up and shaming yourself and guilting yourself.

You all, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I really appreciate it. Anything else you want to, you want to share or leave people with or feels important or does this feel complete for you guys?

I just wish I had found this 30 years ago, you know. Just if you're having any questions, jump in because it has taken me so long to find this program.

I was just say, and I, I second that, you know, I'm, I'm 63 years old and, always had, I've never had peace with food. The program's aptly named. And it is a journey. And, and is, and as you gain peace with yourself and it just flows into all the other areas and boy, I'm, I, it has been a life changer and I'm so grateful for it. You will learn, learn, learn, learn. And it's a, it's an amazing experience. 

Now you have just a sense of why I am so humbled and so honored by the women I am lucky enough to work with inside Your Missing Peace. And if this sounds like the program you've been looking for, I hope you'll check it out. Just go to TooMuchOnHerPlate.com/freedom to get all the details. That's TooMuchOnHerPlate.com/freedom. 

You'll get all the details about how you can join and get started today. You can really, literally start making this move today. I'll take the link for that and I'll also drop that in the show notes as well so you can check that out. It has all the information there.

And if you have any other questions, just reach out to my team at hello@TooMuchOnHerPlate.com

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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