Empowering Yourself to Create Freedom from Overeating | TMOHP Episode 092

You can’t take your power back from overeating and emotional eating if your thoughts and beliefs are limiting your confidence or undermining the changes you’re trying to make. This sounds obvious, but you might be surprised at how often this happens. You tell yourself that “this time is going to be different,” but your brain talks to you the same old way it always has (and it’s not very nice). You decide that you’re done starving yourself and depriving yourself, but your thoughts gravitate toward “you’re not really doing enough” and “you should cut back a little bit more.” You know your Hidden Hunger is for self-care and me-time and that you’re bingeing in the evening as a replacement for what you really need, but your belief system has always been that your time comes after everything else is taken care of.

Thoughts and beliefs are powerful and they don’t upgrade themselves. How do you determine if your thoughts and beliefs are stealing your power? How do you make changes if this is the case? Tune in to this episode - I have some answers for you.

In this episode:

  • How you can unintentionally get in the way of your best-laid plans to stop overeating
  • Getting clear on current beliefs and self-perceptions
  • How to install an upgrade (because your beliefs won’t upgrade themselves)

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Full episode transcript:

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the podcast, and if you're a first time listener, welcome. If you like what you hear, be sure to follow the podcast so you're notified of upcoming new episodes. And I'd be so appreciative if you would take the time to leave a rating or a review. It really helps.

The way we approach change as human beings is so interesting and we, you just have to find it adorable. It is so strange how our brains, you know, we will decide I want to do it differently this time. And then even after we've decided we want to do it differently, our tendency is to approach the thing we're trying to change the same old way.

So we decide, for instance, okay, I know that a diet doesn't work. I know that I've been through this same cycle over and over again. I'm going to do it differently this time. And even as we have decided we're going to do it differently, I'm not going to diet. It is really challenging to keep your brain from turning what you're trying to do into a secret diet. We do it all the time. We catch ourselves doing this. This is something that comes up over and over again in the Missing Peace program. Where it is key you know, a key concept of that program, a key foundation of the work that I do is helping women move from deprivation mentality and diet mentality into freedom mentality. Into a way of thinking and acting where you feel powerful and confident. And you are creating a relationship with food, a way of eating that you actually want to maintain forever. It isn't about self-control.

And yet, even when we know this, it is so easy to slide into these old ways of thinking that are unempowering. That actually rob you of your confidence that make changing your eating harder than it needs to be. And so I want to talk about that today. I want to talk specifically about how you build your power. How you empower yourself. How you put yourself in the driver's seat to create the freedom from overeating that you want.

A few times a year, I teach a workshop on how to create freedom from overeating. I'll put the link to that in the show notes in case that's something you want to know more about. But a few times a year I do this, and one of the things I ask participants to do at the beginning of the workshop is to think about how they feel when they think about what it's going to take to change their eating.

So this is the very beginning of the workshop. Before we haven't done anything and I'll, I'll ask you to stop and think you can do this right now stop and think about how you feel when you think about changing your eating. Ending over eating. What it's going to take. What it will be like for you. What you are going to expect of yourself. And just let the feelings go through you. Think about if those feelings were a posture, you know, what is your body going to do? When you think about this.

And in the workshop, what often happens for people is they assume these postures of defeat. Or not maybe not defeat, but at least a lack of confidence. Right? Hunched over looking down, getting smaller. Certainly not a posture of empowerment. And when they share the feelings that they have about what they need to do and how they feel about making these changes, what typically comes up, no surprise, is a bunch of deprivation thoughts and beliefs and attitudes. Cuz that is what most of us have been taught our entire lives.

So thoughts like, oh, this is going to be hard. I don't know if I'm strong enough. I can't do this. I think I'm ready to do this, but I have to prepare myself cuz I know I'm going to miss out. I know this is my time of sacrifice. I don't know if I can really conjure up any hope about this because I always fail. I never do this. I'm never successful. Food is my freedom. I'm going to have to give that up. I have to be prepared to sacrifice. The only way to succeed is to suffer. And then there are the personalized judgements. Right? I'm lazy. I don't try hard enough. I just need more willpower. Everybody else has it figured out. What's wrong with me?

You all, we know these thoughts. Right? Most of us have had some, if not all of those thoughts. And think about it because this is where I said our brain is so adorable because on the one hand, you can wake up one morning and decide, this is the day I'm going to make a change. I'm going to do it differently. Or you went to the workshop and you start learning about freedom from overeating and you're like, I'm going to do this.

And at the same time, you're adorable, human brain is approaching that change. Gearing up for that change, supposedly motivating you for that change. Running these deprivation soundtracks. The same old stuff, same old beliefs, same old stories. I need to be stronger. I am deficient. I haven't done this right. I'm going to have to give up everything I love. This is going to be hard.

Guess what? When we ramp ourselves up, when we gear ourselves up with those kind of thoughts, we are so much more likely to create a path, a plan, a way of being with food that reflects those kind of thoughts, a plan that requires willpower. A plan that requires you to be stronger. A plan that requires you to miss out. A plan that requires you to not get what you need, and to have, to just have endless self-control so that you can keep going. A plan that doesn't allow you to be easy and relaxed, and maybe even sometimes lazy. Right? A plan that requires you to always be working hard.

I want you to really think about this because on the one hand, what I'm saying might be obvious or it might make sense. Of course, these two things don't go together, but we do it to ourselves all the time. Not because there is something peculiar or weirdly strange and different about you, but because that's how our brains work.

Our brains tend to approach things the same old way they have always approached things. And if your brain like most brains, you know, approaches change, especially changes with how you eat and with your weight and your relationship with food. If your brain approaches these things by being hard on you and blaming you and telling you there's something wrong with you and you just need to be different/ the tendency is to do more of that.

And the truth is, doing more of the same thing isn't going to create something different. So how do you take your power back so you can create freedom from overeating? It really starts with your self-concept. It really starts with the way you conceptualize yourself and what you're capable of. And what you want it to look like, this change. What you want the future, your future with food and eating to look like. And how you want it to feel and be and what you believe is possible.

And here's the really important piece. Your self-concept and the set of thoughts and beliefs you bring to this mission isn't, they're not going to upgrade themselves. Your thoughts, your beliefs, the way you conceptualize yourself. This isn't going to upgrade on its own. And the funny, adorable thing about us as human beings is I think that so much of the time we make the mistake of thinking it will. This time it will be different. This time I will be different. This time I will show up differently.

That's a wonderful thing to decide. That is a wonderful thing to want. That's a wonderful belief to practice and to put into place. But if you don't install the upgrades to allow this to happen, if you are still running the same old thoughts, the same old beliefs, I don't try hard enough. I need to work harder. I'm just so lazy. I need to give up things. This is going to be a miserable process, but I can do it. If you are still running that same old software in the background, you're going to create more of the same feelings. Which are going to lead to the same actions, which are going to lead to the same results. That's not the path to creating freedom from overeating.

So the logical question is, how do you create a different set of beliefs? How do you create that different self-concept that is more empowering? Right. This is not a podcast episode about some cheesy self-help technique where you stand in front of the mirror and you smile some grimace, and you tell yourself things that you don't believe, right?

Where you repeat these things and you fake it till you make it. That's not what I'm talking about here. And it is important to realize the disconnect between the current set of beliefs and thoughts that you have and where it is that you want to go. So the first step is to become aware of, let's talk about it like software. What is the software that you are currently running? What is the soundtrack in your head?

What are the beliefs that are on repeat to yourself? Right? Those messages that go through your head, I don't know how many times a day, and maybe even while you're sleeping- about food, about eating, about yourself, about change, about what it takes to change. About whether or not you can be successful in creating a relationship with food that you want. About whether you're even allowed to have a relationship with food that you enjoy and that feels good. What's the software you're currently running? What are the messages and the beliefs and the thoughts that you have that aren't helpful? Or that aren't always helpful, or that could be more helpful?

The first step is to start to pay attention to this. It might be uncomfortable to let yourself hear some of these things that you've just been absorbing like oxygen. But take some time to pay attention to what the soundtrack is. Journal about it. Write things down when you notice them. Right? Just start tuning into what am I telling myself? How am I talking to myself? What am I believing about this? What are my thoughts? What are my beliefs? How am I judging myself? What kind of names am I calling myself?

This is the soundtrack that is flavoring and enhancing whatever results you are currently getting. And creating the atmosphere around what kind of results you are trying to get. So are, is this soundtrack helping you? Is it reinforcing what you want reinforced? Is it reinforcing things you don't necessarily want to grow stronger? What are you strengthening with this soundtrack, with this current software? That's the first part, and again, this can be uncomfortable. You might not like what you're hearing. Try to put yourself judgment to the side because that's not going to be helpful to you. This is a place for curiosity and just noticing.

Because if you can notice L, let's say you have a really unhelpful soundtrack, like so many people. Guess what? Once you notice it, you start to have more power. Once you are aware that you have this thing that it's like this big boulder that you're putting between you and the results that you want to achieve. Then you start to have the power to change it. Right? Okay. So that's the first part. Becoming aware.

The second part, is getting really honest with yourself about what upgrade you are ready to install. Now, this is a really important question. What upgrade are you ready to install? I want you to note the way I said this because there isn't a right answer. There is not an all all-encompassing a plus perfect answer.

Now, you might have an upgrade that you wish you had. You might have a set of beliefs and thoughts that you think would just be wonderful if you could walk around, and that was the stuff that your brain fed you all day long. But that doesn't mean that this all-encompassing, wonderful set of thoughts and beliefs it doesn't mean that these are the upgrades that you are ready to install.

I work with a lot of big thinkers who can come up with a lot of grand, perfectionistic, wonderful plans. But the truth is the only upgrade you can successfully make is one that you're ready for. The only new thought, the only new belief, the only new story that you can successfully make yours is one that you are ready for.

This is so important. And upgrading your thoughts, changing your beliefs, changing the stories you tell yourself. This doesn't, this isn't a snap your fingers and you've done it. It doesn't have to be all at once, and it usually isn't all at once. So to go back to software, I was just upgrading a piece of software on my computer and I had to see, did I have the latest version. Right? And I was looking at what was the version I had. And if you've ever done this, you've probably seen, it isn't like there's version 1, 2, 3, and four. There's version 2.01, and then there's version 2.0134, and then there's 2.07. They're like 12 versions sometimes before you even get from version two to version three.

Your upgrades don't need to be all at once. And sometimes the most powerful upgrade you can make is just a teeny, tiny little shift in belief that up levels you enough so that you are looking at things from a different vantage point. So take a belief, take a thought, take a story that isn't serving you, that isn't helping you. Or that just doesn't feel good when it comes to what you are telling yourself about ending emotional eating or not bingeing at night, or losing some weight or not overeating in the afternoon.

Choose one thought or belief. And then pick one doable replacement. What do I mean by that? I mean, Play around until you find one thought or belief that you would like to practice. Or a thought or belief that you would like to remember, remind yourself of. Or a thought or belief that you would like to reinforce or strengthen.

You know, maybe you already have this thought or belief, but you don't think it often enough, it doesn't come to mind. It's not your default. Right? It's, it's maybe your thought or belief is, I can do this. Or maybe it's, I'm a hard worker. I need to remember that I'm a hard worker. Or maybe it's, I need to remember I would like to remember that it doesn't always have to be hard. I'm entitled to do things the easy way sometimes. Right?

Pick a thought or a belief. Doesn't have to be some big, dramatic global thing. But something that you would like to strengthen or have as more of a default in your head. Something that you would like to practice. And think of it as a stepping stone. It's not the be all end all. It's not the final result. It's a stepping stone.

It is a belief that is more helpful than what your current default is. And it is a stepping stone to even more strength and even more power, and even bigger and more exciting beliefs. Right? So this is a stretch belief.

Examples of this could be sentences that start with it's possible. It's possible that I can do this. It's possible that I don't have to struggle so much. It's possible that I can stop bingeing at night and enjoy my evenings. Right? It's possible I can be happy and not binge. In fact, I'm happiest when I don't binge. Maybe bingeing doesn't make me happy. These are all thoughts. These are all beliefs that you could play with, that you could practice. That you could strengthen and work at becoming more automatic.

Another belief could be, I have plenty of willpower. When I look at the rest of my life I'm a woman who has plenty of willpower. You're just choosing one belief, one thought. Keep it simple. It could be something like, I can slow down. I can eat slower, and I can make choices about my eating. I am a woman who is practicing savoring.

Choose an update a version 2.0135, right? You're not going from version one to version 10. Choose a version, choose an update. Make sure it's practicable. Something that you can actually practice saying to yourself. It needs to be believable. And guess what? As you're doing this, you are also strengthening your belief in taking doable steps. Seeing every step you take as a stepping stone to the next one. Moving one step closer to the way you want to be doing things and taking one step farther away from the way you've been doing things that hasn't worked in the past.

This is how you empower yourself. This is how you take your power back. This is how you grow your confidence. This is how you learn to keep your promises to yourself. This is how you create freedom from overeating. You take your power back one step at a time. So take a look at the belief system you are currently running.

This is your software. Take the time to take a look at that. Sit with the discomfort of it. Just be curious. And then start playing around with what upgrade you're ready to install today.

Keep it simple, keep it doable, keep it believable. And let it be a stepping stone to taking your power back.

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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