Ending Overeating: Creating Lasting Change and Emotional Freedom | TMOHP Episode 099

You are in a relationship with food. One that you’ll be in for life. All the “rules” and plans for how to eat are simply rules and plans. They don’t take you into account. They tell you what, when, and maybe how to eat but they don’t help you create a way of BEING with food that’s fit to you. Your style. Your schedule. Your likes and dislikes.

“Being good” or “being on track” doesn’t build a strong, lasting, solid relationship between you and food. You deserve better - SO much better. This episode is about untangling the deprivation tendencies that may be a part of your current relationship with food and exploring what it takes to create lasting change and a feeling of freedom from overeating, freedom from deprivation, and freedom from dieting.

In this episode:

  • Recognizing the need for a personalized approach
  • Moving beyond short-term fixes
  • Embracing trial-and-error and imperfection
  • The importance of a supportive community

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • 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.

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody welcome back to the podcast. Today's episode is all about how to create freedom from overeating. Lasting freedom, that lasting part is key, and what that really means. Unless you have spent your life living on a deserted island somewhere, I'm pretty sure that you've been bombarded by more advice than you have ever wanted about setting goals and making changes, particularly when it comes to addressing overeating and emotional eating and achieving your goals. And also around what those goals are supposed to be. 

Funny how the amount we know doesn't correlate usually at all with the success that we create, especially in this area. Right. And it feels awful to set the same goal over and over again. To write those same three steps in your journal every single Monday.

There's not much more discouraging than working really hard, but not feeling like things are changing. Or working really hard and then screwing up my plan at the end of the day. Right? I did it right all I did all the steps and then at the end of the day it fell apart. And I don't think I'm the only one who has felt this way. In fact, I know come on I know I'm not the only one who's felt this way. 

And, this is important, if this is your pattern I'm describing, you need to know that I talk with women about this every single day, smart, amazing women. And if this is your pattern, you're not alone. It is not unusual to have so many things figured out, to be acing your life in so many areas, and then to feel stuck with how to stop overeating. Or eating all the things at night. Or stress eating. Or emotional eating during your workday. Or whatever the pattern is with food that isn't working for you. If this is your life, you're not alone.

 

Here's the thing. If this is going to work and if it's going to last, the path that you choose making changes with overeating or emotional eating or stress eating or boredom eating or whatever it is, the path that you choose has to be your path.

You have to create your path to success. You have to create, you get to create, your own relationship with food. And that word relationship is important. It is a relationship. It's lifelong. You and your relationship with food for the rest of your life. It's yours. And nobody else can figure out the exact path that is a fit for you. Nobody can figure that out without your input. 

So many, almost all of the healthy eating or the weight loss plans out there are designed to fail. Because they're designed with a goal in mind, but they don't consider the you that's involved in achieving the goal. They don't consider your schedule. They don't consider your natural style of doing things, your natural style of living. They don't consider your individual need for support and where you need that support. They don't consider your strengths, your weaknesses. They don't consider the reality, the fact that you are the only one who's lived inside your body your whole entire life. And guess what? You need to be consulted. You know some things. You have some wisdom. 

The relationship with food that fits you isn't going to be assigned to you by somebody else. Outside expertise, outside knowledge, outside research, all of these things are great. But you and your own wisdom are a partner in the project. They are a key partner. They are a leading, the leading partner in the project. 

This is so important. And what's also important is you probably have not been encouraged to remember this. Here's another important point. Your perfect path, I have perfect in air quotes here, your perfect path to success with overeating or with anything else actually, isn't likely to be created in one shot. It's not this one thing you do, one fell swoop.

Your relationship with food is not something you do once and then you achieve this goal and then you're done. It sounds silly, but that is so often how we think about it. If you want to stay at that goal after you achieve it, whatever it is, and if you want to enjoy staying there, if you want to lose the drama, if you are done with all the thoughts about food and eating and willpower taking up so much real estate in your head, then what you are wanting to design isn't a one shot thing. It's a path. That you are going to walk.

You want to design a path to walk that you are going to want to keep walking on for the rest of your life. What you're wanting is a relationship that works. A relationship with food, a relationship with eating, a relationship with your hungers. You're craving relationship and an approach, a way of building that relationship and interacting with that relationship that fits you.

You have probably not been used to thinking about your relationship with food, the way you eat and the choices that you make and how you treat your hunger as a relationship. But it is so important to start playing with that idea. And to remember it is a relationship and the best relationships do not go perfectly all the time.

Think about your relationships, think about your good relationships that you have with people in your life. We fight, we negotiate. We listen, we communicate. Sometimes better than, you know, others. Right? We have road bumps, we have hurdles, and we figure out how to make things work better, or how to avoid the, the speed bumps that come up, or how to negotiate the problems differently moving forward. Something doesn't go well, we figure out, oh, what happened here, and how do we, how do we make that less of a problem in the future? That's how relationships work. 

Think about the idea of a custom fit. Something that requires tailoring. Right? The most significant piece of clothing that I ever purchased was my wedding dress. That's what it happened to be. And I know that in order for that to fit me perfectly, it needed quite a bit of altering. Right? They took in a little bit here. They shortened this. They played with that. 

Your approach to creating peace with food and freedom from overeating deserves at least the same amount of customization. Your relationship with food is worth so much more than some 10 step article. Do this, do this, do this, do this. Right? You deserve to have a relationship with food, with eating, with how you feed your hungers that you love. That fits you.

Really take that in because you might not know this all the way down to your toes. You may not know this in your bones. Diet culture fills us with so many messages about how your role with food and with your bodies is to control, to be strong, to deny, to give things up. And I don't know about you, but to me, that does not feel anything like freedom. It doesn't feel fun, it doesn't feel joyful. It feels hard and miserable, and certainly not like the relationship I want in my life.

You deserve to have a relationship with food, with eating, and with how you feed your hunger that you love. You deserve to have a relationship with food that you love. Take that in. So important.

You deserve to have a relationship with food that you love. So here are some key points that I think would be helpful. These are key points that we work with inside Your Missing Peace, which is my group program for creating peace with food and freedom from overeating. And they are different. They are so different from deprivation mentality and diet mentality.

And I really believe that they're key to creating that relationship with food that you love. They're key to creating success with your goals for your eating, the things that you want in a way that you want to maintain them. And they're key to creating not just a feeling of freedom, but a feeling of freedom that lasts.

So let's talk about what these pieces are. The first thing is to recognize from the beginning that creating a custom fitting peace with food is an important project. It is something that you deserve. It is, it's custom, and it deserves your respect, your time, and also some trial and error. And that's important. You deserve the effort and the thought and the deliberateness that goes into creating something that fits you. 

You've probably been taught that your job is to get it right. Right? To get it perfect and not make mistakes. And this reframe is really important because when you give yourself permission to think about the mistakes and the adjustments as tailoring, as creating a custom fit, it can change so much.

If you want to change how you're approaching food or what you're eating or how much you're eating or when you're eating or why you're reaching for the gummy bears all afternoon while you sit at your computer, that's awesome. That's great. Declare your goal. Dream about how awesome achieving this thing is going to feel. Let yourself feel it. 

And then start by designing what you think right now might be your best approach to achieving this thing that you want. Write it down. And then notice how you feel about this idea, this plan that you've written down before you even start. Just notice how you feel. If you're like a lot of us, if you've got a lot of deprivation thinking and diet mentality and false starts with trying to change your eating, your first attempt might sound magnificent in your head, but overwhelming when you try to plug the details into your real life.

It might feel impossible, like, okay, that's a great plan, but I could never do it. Or maybe just a little unrealistic. Or like, you know, when you really sit back and think about implementing this plan, it might feel like in order for this thing to work, you're going to have to have magically, gotten a new personality in your sleep because the person that you are cannot do this plan that sounds so perfect in your head. 

Yeah. Diet mentality teaches you to aim for this unrealistic, unattainable, perfect version of things. Perfect results. Perfect results, and perfect progress. You know, no mistakes. That don't take you into account, that don't take your life into account. Diet mentality teaches you to set yourself up with these plans that are not a fit for you.

The relationship that you want with food and with eating is better than this. Stop thinking that there's something wrong with you because you can't attain these crazy deprivation plans. You deserve something better. 

If it doesn't feel right, you've got permission to throw it out. Play with your ideas. Don't be afraid to pay attention to hunches, or things that feel slightly off. Or to throw out the quote unquote wisdom that never really fit you. You get to make the plan. You get to create your rules. 

Be real with yourself, be real about what is doable for you. What might work? What do you know about what you need? What do you know about what you need if you want to try this thing? What's going to be necessary to make it happen? Give yourself permission to make this your plan. If you're in a cycle, let's say, of eating all the things at the end of the day when the house gets quiet, what do you know about what might start what might begin to break the cycle? 

Give yourself permission. Think about what you might try instead. Think about maybe exploring your real hidden hungers and feeding those. Maybe think about distracting yourself. What could, what could get me off that line of thinking? Or maybe mixing up your routine? Think about asking your wise self what you do know. The ideas that you do have. And giving yourself permission not to get distracted by fears of failing. Or fears of not getting it perfect, or maybe all the things you don't know. We all have a lot of things we don't know. What do you know? 

Take your power back. This is your plan. This is your relationship with food. Don't be afraid to start smaller or easier. What's one step you could take? Build the habit of taking steps. Instead of getting stuck in, I can't do all the things or it won't work or it won't be perfect. What's one step you can take? Build the habit of taking steps. Build the habit of trying things. 

And then here's some secret sauce for you. When you're ready, commit to a plan, listen to this, commit to a plan that you're willing to try for one week. Not a forever plan. Commit to a plan that you are willing to try for one week. Seven days, that's it. This is not your forever plan. This is an experiment. 

And here's something to pay attention to high achiever. If you find yourself hedging about committing for seven days, then you have some evidence that this is not putting you on a path to a more permanent approach with food. Right? If it doesn't feel doable for seven days, it's important to take a look at that. Pay attention to your reactions, pay attention to your feelings, learn from them and then use them to adjust and to improve your ideas. Remember your tailoring. You're looking for that custom fit. 

Inside Your Missing Peace, we have this private community and it's called the lab. And it's called that because we know that not only are you the expert on you, your relationship with food is, it's an evolving experiment. Your relationship with food is an experiment, and your best steps are almost always going to be experiments. 

So, you take what you know, or you take your ideas about what you might know, and you set up a short experiment. Decide to try something for a week. Do not make forever decisions. Very few things related to food need to be forever decisions.

So commit to trying whatever this thing is for a week and follow through for a week. And then learn from your results, no matter what the results are. If your experiment goes wonderfully, however you define wonderful, that is fantastic. Then consider, you've taken this, you've had this wonderful experiment, consider what it will take to keep moving that thing forward. What's the next step to go further? How can you do more of that? If you want to. 

But an experiment, and this is so important. An experiment isn't just about what works. If you did an experiment, if you're trying to break that habit of eating all the things at the end of the day when the house is quiet and you had a few ideas about what to try, and there were a few hiccups, it did not go as well as you had hoped it would, you know, unfold day by day. If you had some hiccups, that's good too. But it is only good and helpful if you allow yourself to consider them, learn from them. If you don't shut yourself down. Learn because, oh, it didn't go perfectly, so the experiment didn't work.

It absolutely worked. Something happened. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, or it didn't work at all. So, allow yourself to consider what caused the, what caused the breakdown. Or what caused it to not work. What didn't work? What did you learn from what didn't work? What do you want to do differently based on the data you collected? Because whatever the results of your experiment, you collected data. How could you get better results? What were you lacking? What could you add in? What could you subtract? What kind of support could you have? Are there skills you need to learn? Do you need to spend some time brainstorming?

Take your data, pay attention to it, be curious, make adjustments, and then create another seven day experiment. 

Here's another thing that is so important. Keep going, don't quit on yourself. And we need to talk about this idea of not quitting on yourself because it is so important. This not quitting on yourself has a whole different flavor than the old diet mentality idea of not quitting.

This is something that we talk about over and over and over again in Your Missing Peace and it is a point that I really want to make sure that you take away from this episode. Within diet mentality, the idea of don't quit on yourself, that message, it's about keeping the pressure on. Inside diet mentality don't quit on yourself is about, you know, staying strong, keep applying the pressure. Apply the willpower. Ignore how exhausting it is. Just do it. That is not the don't quit on yourself I'm talking about here. 

This is not the don't quit on yourself message that is going to create freedom from overeating for you. Inside Your Missing Peace and inside the overeating freedom formula that I teach, you have to retrain your brain. You've got to reframe this thing. 

Not quitting on yourself does not mean continuing to expect yourself to tolerate things that feel like deprivation. That doesn't work. That is not the path to long term results. Because in the end, if we're feeling deprived, if we're functioning on willpower and strength, we're always going to have a day where we don't have the strength or we don't have the willpower.

In freedom from overeating, not quitting on yourself it means, it means something entirely different. It means keeping hold of what you want. Not quitting on what you deserve. Not quitting on yourself is not quitting on that belief that you deserve that feeling of peace and freedom, that this is something that you want, that this is something that's important to you.

Not quitting on the goal that you have, but most importantly, not quitting on the way you want your relationship with food to feel. Not quitting on how you want your day to day interactions with food to feel. Not quitting on the way you want maintaining your goal to feel. 

These are radical ideas, and there is so much power and energy in holding on to these ideas and in not quitting on yourself in this, in this such important way. The prize is not quitting on the goal of how you want your relationship with food to feel. And if you're like most women I work with, you want to feel free. 

Freedom. It's such a big word, free of the obsessions. Free of the guilt and the self-judgment. Free of struggle. You want to feel joyful and easy about eating or about not eating. If you're like most women I work with, you want to feel in touch with how to make this work, like connected to this.

You want to know how to listen to yourself. You want to be kind to yourself. You don't want to feel hungry or deprived or overstuffed. You don't want to feel bloated. You want food to bring you joy. You don't want to feel like the chocolate in your desk has all the power. You don't want your mood to feel defined by the number on the scale.

You want to feel confident. You want to feel powerful with food and around food and with your eating. You want to feel the way you feel the power and the strength and the ability and the capability that you feel in so many other areas of your life. That's what I mean by keep going. 

This is what I mean by not quitting on yourself. It's taking your power back. It is holding on to the belief of what you deserve. And allowing yourself to believe that you deserve really fantastic things in your relationship with food. It's not settling. 

You deserve the custom tailoring and the time and the effort and the imperfection even that is required to get you there. Something has to not fit quite right in order for you to take it in and make adjustments and make it fit you that much better. 

Creating a peace with food and freedom from overeating, these things are a marathon or marathons. They're not sprints. Right? And they're worth it. Achieving it when you get peace with food, when you have that relationship with food that fits you, it frees up energy. It creates more ease and space and joy in your life. It feels really, really good. 

Now, I understand listening to this it may feel impossible from where you are standing right now. And you should know that that is probably because the framework that you have been taught and the framework your brain gets caught in is one of deprivation. It's about diets. It's a framework that steals your power and devalues your wisdom and your ability to make changes. 

Your path, the one you are creating now, and the one you continue to create, your path to achieving freedom from overeating, it is going to be uniquely yours. And like everyone else who has done it, you're going to do it imperfectly, and that's going to make it better. You're going to learn awesome things from your mistakes, powerful things, empowering things, and you're going to move forward one step at a time. 

You deserve this. It is so much better and bigger than any diet or any 10 steps to getting to your goal weight article that you've read. And if you want help and you want support and you want a community of women to share your journey with, then definitely come check out Your Missing Peace.

We're doing this work. We are readjusting out of deprivation thinking and into real freedom every single day. So be sure to check it out. I'll put the link in the show notes. 

You deserve a relationship with food that works for you, that fits you better than any piece of clothing you have ever owned.

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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