This is a question I hear all the time, and, the answer is: it depends.
There are different kinds of changes and different situations when it comes to things like overeating, emotional eating, and mindless eating.
The first thing we need to consider is what you know about why the change you’re seeking hasn’t occurred yet.
Here are a few common scenarios:
I honestly don’t know what to do to change things. (I need tools and strategies to be able to end overeating.)
I know exactly what to do (or at least I think I do), but for some reason (time, motivation, overwhelm, etc.) I just can’t get myself to take action. (Hidden Hungers have hijacked my overeating.)
I just feel like I’m in a vicious cycle of starting, getting off track, and restarting (and doing a lot of overeating in between steps). I can’t stick with things. (I don’t have habits, routines, and a mindset that keeps me consistent.)
It just seems like what I need to accomplish is so daunting, and it doesn’t seem like anything I do will make a difference. (This is a mindset issue, made worse when we take on too much at one time.)
I am my own worst enemy. I self-sabotage and my attempts at change never work. (Mindset, beliefs, and the wrong kind of “motivation” are likely at work here.)
What do you know about why the change you’re seeking hasn’t occurred yet? Take a minute to write down your thoughts.
Logistical problems are usually the easiest to solve.
If you’re missing a tool or a strategy, there’s a straightforward solution. If you need to dig a hole and someone gives you a shovel, your problem is instantly much easier to solve. Trying to solve the overeating puzzle without the right tools and strategies sets you up for a losing battle. This is exactly why I created the Missing Peace Program – so you can create your own Overeating Freedom Formula and put it into place in your life.
One thing that makes overeating and emotional eating more complicated to solve is that most of us have gathered an arsenal of tools and strategies that aren’t helpful.
In fact, we now know that many plans that restrict food, calories, etc. actually lead to weight gain over the long term. When you combine the wrong tools and strategies with beliefs, feelings, or ways of thinking that work against you (think shame, perfectionism, self-blame, guilt spending time on yourself, or a tendency to work harder, not smarter), it’s easy to end up trying to change things in ways that leave you feeling frustrated, demotivated, and less confident each time you try.
Mindset, motivation, and the thoughts we believe (and reinforce) play a big role in ending or struggling with overeating.
Moving away from diet-culture thinking that’s based on deprivation and focusing on what you won’t do and toward a way of eating that’s based on thriving and vibrant wellbeing is key if your goal is to end struggles with overeating and make peace with food for good.
Getting clarity on the surprising ways your life, your thinking, and your routines may support overeating habits and making changes here can have a profound and sometimes unexpected impact.
The problem? We usually can’t see the way our own thoughts and beliefs might be different or that things might be easier.
Repetitive struggles, feeling stuck, and a lack of motivation – especially if you think you know exactly what you should be doing, are often an indication that personalized help, like coaching, would be helpful.
Give yourself time to make imperfect changes.
When I talk with someone about individual coaching, I tell them this:
“We want to work together long enough for you to try on the new skills and tools and strategies. You need time to try out new habits and routines and see what works and what doesn’t. You need time to make them yours. You need time to figure out how to make them comfortable and automatic. Time to fall off track and learn why this happens and how to plan or adjust so your results are better.
“Odds are, you can make changes. If you’re motivated enough to get started, then you can probably do “all the right things.” The problem is, you may also be tired and burnt out from a history of being successful in the short term, only to feel like your results don’t last.
“Real change is created when we can work together long enough for the rough spots to happen. When we can work together long enough for you to: get discouraged, lose motivation, feel overwhelmed, doubt yourself, feel like you’re sabotaging things, or whatever the thing is, that often happens…
“When we can work together through that time – the time when you think you’ve blown it, or ‘this didn’t work either’ or whatever that negative voice in your head says … That is the time when we get to the heart of creating the change you crave and the change that will last.”
How long does it take to make changes with overeating and emotional eating?
What are the places or situations or feelings that tend to block your success or throw you off track? Write these down too. When you know how to ride smoothly through these challenging spots, you’ll have increased your power tremendously. To end overeating for good, you want to give yourself enough time to experience your toughest recurring challenges and put your new skills in place during these times.
We’ve got this,