How To Get Help For Emotional Eating And Overeating | TMOHP 019

How can you feel hopeful about getting help for emotional eating or overeating when it feels like your past attempts to get help haven’t been … helpful?

Unfortunately, much of the help out there is misguided and focused on exactly the wrong things. And the “support” of others - even our most loving allies, can be heavy with deprivation thinking and steeped in the belief that the only way to change your eating habits is to force new habits, be strong(er), and conjure up an endless resolve of willpower. And if you can’t be strong all the time - well, that means there’s something wrong with you. No wonder so many smart women keep their battles with overeating to themselves.

This episode of the Too Much on Her Plate podcast is about how to get emotional eating help (and overeating help) that is actually helpful.

Join me while I share my thoughts on why it’s important to be clear on the kind of help and support that will meet your needs and be helpful to you - and how to let go of the “help” that isn’t helpful at all.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How help and support can reinforce old habits, or help you break them
  • The importance of clarifying what you want to be helped WITH
  • How you can use help to reinforce, repeat, and remind you as you create a relationship with food that works for you
  • Ways to recognize support that isn’t helping and may be making things harder for you

Featured on the show:

  • Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz and find out your primary Hidden Hunger and your best place to start shifting your relationship with food.
  • Emotional Eating and Overeating Help - Your Missing Peace - my group coaching program. 
  • I cover the process of embracing your power and the other three steps to creating freedom from overeating in The 4-step Plan to Stop Overeating and Emotional Eating (a free on-demand masterclass) it’s available here.
  • Visit for more tips and resources to create peace with food and overcome overeating and emotional eating

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. And if this is your first episode, welcome and prepare to start learning a whole new approach to creating freedom from emotional eating and overeating and by freedom. I mean real freedom today. I want to talk about how to get for emotional eating and overeating. But I think as, as with most of these episodes, we're gonna take a little bit of a turn and be a few degrees off from maybe where you expect we're gonna go getting help and support for emotional eating and overeating is something that I see a lot of smart women coming to late in the game. It is not an intuitive thing for a lot of women to seek help for overeating patterns or for emotional eating, because it's not unusual to have a voice in your head telling you I shouldn't need help. I should be able to figure this out.

I should have figured this out by now. Right? There's something wrong with me that I have these struggles with that. I'm not eating the way that I wanted to. There's something wrong with me that I've gained the weight. If weight is a part of this for you, there's something wrong with me. And it's hard to seek support, especially if you are a high achiever who is used to being successful and knowing the answer to things when you feel lost. And when you feel like all the arrows are pointing at you, it's all your fault. <affirmative> if you're not clear on this already, it's not your fault. It is not your fault. There is a reason for any eating that happens. There's a reason we eat. There's a reason we get in patterns with emotional eating and overeating and blaming yourself and getting stuck in that dead end of guilt and shame and self blame.

Doesn't help you solve the problem. It's not your fault. There's a reason that you overeat. So getting help is not something that a lot of women come to intuitively, or that feels comfortable for a lot of women. And another reason for this is that getting help for emotional eating and overeating. It doesn't always feel helpful. So today I wanna talk about not just how to get help or that it's okay to get help for emotional eating and overeating. It's so okay. To get help. And it can make things so much easier, but how to get help. That actually feels helpful. And what that looks like. What, what, what support that is helpful includes and looks like, and feels like, and why some of the help and the support that you may have gotten in the past, doesn't feel helpful at all. May have been absolutely the opposite of helpful may have made things worse and may have left you feeling worse about yourself and about your ability to make changes in your relationship with food.

So let's dive into this. I'm gonna share with you the ingredients or the kind of a checklist, I guess, for what I think is included in really high quality support. But before we do that, I, I think it's very important to take a step back before we talk about getting help or getting support and talk about what it is that you are actually looking for support with. If you have listened to any episodes of this podcast, if you're familiar with me, you know, how strongly I feel that everything we do begins with the mindset that we bring to it, the thoughts and the beliefs that we have, the stories that we tell ourselves, and this is so true when it comes to changing your relationship with food. If you set yourself a up on a path that is all about deprivation and needing to have willpower and needing to be strong and needing to do this for the rest of your life, this being a really hard thing, right?

If you set yourself up for a struggle, guess what? You're gonna create a struggle. If you believe that in order to the changes that you want with food and with eating in your life, you are gonna need to deprive yourself. If you believe that you are gonna need to give up something that is very important to you, or that you're gonna lose out in some way, if you believe that this is always going to be hard for you or that it is harder for you than it is for other people, if you believe that food, what gives you the, the reward that you need, or the comfort that you need, and that it's, it's going to mean being strong and doing, without those things, you are gonna be creating a path that is based on deprivation and not much pleasantness and a path that requires a lot of strength and willpower and forted chewed and <laugh> is, is one that is, is difficult to imagine maintaining with joy for the rest of your life, right?

On the other hand, if you believe that creating peace with food, peace with food and freedom from overeating is possible. If you believe that this is something that can be done in a way that feels good. If you believe that you can do this without struggle, think about the different kind of path that you are going to create for yourself. Think about the different options that might feel possible for you. If you feel like, okay, it has always been a struggle for me trying to change my eating, but I think there's a possibility to do it differently. I think there's a possibility to get past the struggle. Guess what? You start to open new options for yourself. If you believe I would like to change my weight. And I think I could do it without being miserable and feeling hungry all the time. And I don't know exactly what that looks like right now, but I would like to figure it out.

Guess what kind of different path you're gonna create for yourself versus if you think I am going to really need to struggle and go hungry and be miserable, and this is gonna be really, really hard. So when you are thinking about getting help for changing your relationship with food, getting help for emotional eating and overeating, the foundation of that is really thinking about what are the thoughts and the beliefs and the values and the stories that you want court with your thoughts and your beliefs, the things you believe about food and the things that you tell yourself about yourself. These are the things that shape the direction that you're aiming in. They shape the trajectory of your journey, and they are gonna define what the journey, what the path toward your ends up feeling like. And guess what? The destination that you arrive at, whatever that goal is, the destination ends up feeling like the path you took to get there.

So if you create a way of getting to your goal, that feels really, really hard and makes you feel miserable and makes you wonder how long you can keep going with this. Guess what that doesn't make magically transform when you get to the end. And if you create the kind of support that helps you reinforce a belief in, think about the words, peace with food, feeling peaceful with food, taking your power back from food, learning how to lose your cravings so that you're not struggling with cravings all the time and doing it in a way that fits with the rest of your life. That feels doable or even enjoyable sometimes. And, oh my gosh, maybe easy. If you create support, that reinforces that kind of framework, which comes from reinforcing the beliefs in, in, in what it is you wanna believe is possible. You change the path and you change where you end up.

And most of all, you change what the whole thing feels like deciding you're gonna change your relationship with food means deciding you are gonna change the thoughts and the beliefs and the stories that you have. And it's not a one shot deal. It's not that you wake up and you say, okay, I am going to decide that food is not the ultimate comfort anymore, because guess what, if you are using food for comfort, it is doing something for you. And I'm betting that you probably don't have options that feel as good or as accessible, right as possible for you right now. And so using food for comfort is helpful in some ways in your life. And if you can cultivate the idea that wait, there are, there are better ways to feed myself comfort. There are better ways to nourish my, my need for comfort and by better, I mean, ways that actually better and serve me better and are more comforting in the big picture than reaching for something to eat.

As you nurture that belief that will also lead you toward learning these new ways of doing things and being, and, and these new comfort strategies. And as you do those things, it will take your power away from food. On the other hand, if you're nurturing the belief, I just shouldn't need to comfort eat. I need to not be so weak. I need to not comfort eat after work. I need to be strong. Again, you're nurturing a path that is based on doing without which I call deprivation thinking. And that requires being strong. And instead of feeding and nourishing your real need for comfort, right? It creates a path where you are required to deny the need that you have that triggers the overeating and be strong and kind of push through it. And guess what? That never lasts, especially when you get to a place where what you really need is comfort.

So changing, emotional, eating and overeating requires nurturing this new relationship with food, which requires learning about starting to discover new ways of thinking new beliefs, that you can actually believe stories that you can tell yourself ways that you can talk to yourself, new thoughts that you can practice. It requires catching those old thoughts, right? And this can all seem really theoretical. And it, it can also seem really hard and really impossible. Particularly if you're doing this by yourself, right. It is, it is, it takes practice and it is sometimes difficult to take a step back and watch your thoughts, especially when you're in the middle of an emotional situation, or when you're in that kind of situation that tends to trigger overeating. And that is why having the right kind of the right kind of help when you're trying to make these changes can be so valuable. I mean, think about it. Imagine that you are in a low spot, imagine that you have been working really hard, trying to do some new things, to change your relationship with food, to stop over eating at night, let's say, and you're having a really hard week. What do you want your support system to do for you? Imagine that whatever help you are getting, whether it's a book you're reading or a coach that you're working with, or a friend who is supporting you, imagine that that help is whispering in your ear during that vulnerable time.

Can you see how critical it is to think about what, what do you want them to be whispering when you are feeling vulnerable? When you're feeling most in need of help and support, what are the things you want them to be whispering in your ear? Do you want them to be reinforcing that old, die it thinking, do you want them to be reinforcing the deprivation thoughts? Right? You can do it. You just need to be strong. I know you screwed up, but we'll start over on Monday. Maybe if you cut your calories or your points or your carbs or whatever, it is just a little bit more this week, you know, maybe if you just get a little hungrier, we can help you reach your goal. Is that what you want them to be whispering? What if instead, the people who were helping you or the program that was helping you, or the resources that were helping you were whispering and rein forcing thoughts like, huh?

Okay, wait a minute. You, you took a misstep, but it's not the end of the world. And actually, maybe this can be helpful. Let's take a step back and, and take a look at what happened here. Why did you eat that whole bag at ships this afternoon? What was going on? How is it different from yesterday? If you, you could take a deep breath and think about it. What do you know about what you were needing when you ate that bag of chip? If you hadn't been mindlessly eating, what would you maybe have been thinking about what would be different for you if you had those kind of voices and messages being reinforced in your ear instead of the constant deprivation and diet mentality, talk that most of us are exposed to over and over and over again, through the media, through advertisements, through weight loss programs and through diet culture, creating real peace with food, putting an end to emotional, eating and overeating that doesn't work for you.

You being the CEO of all of this stuff is absolutely possible. And it does not start by doing the same old thing over and over again. And creating a team behind you that will help you say, you can do it <laugh> you can do it go you right, creating that kind of freedom from emotional eating and overeating happens by nurturing a new relationship with food. And that calls for reinforcement and repetition and reminders of new thoughts and new beliefs and new approaches to food. You know, the old ones in your brain, those old paths, the neural pathways in your brain, your ways of thinking have been so reinforced and they're very comfortable. And so one of the most powerful things that help can provide for you is that reinforcement that repetition and those reminders that there's a different way to do it. So let's go over this support checklist, cuz I think it would be helpful.

Let's and let's use that to look at your current environment and the kind of support that you are or aren't getting so that you can start identifying what's helpful, what you would like more of. And also, so you can start seeing the places that might be reinforcing exactly the things you don't want reinforced, right? Where it might be helpful to set some boundaries and where boundaries cutting out some of the noise and the static and that reinforcement of the old ways of thinking might help you get where you wanna go and, and might help you start reinforcing those pathways toward real freedom and peace and ease. And the kind of thinking that serves you and the relationship with food that you want to have. So let's start by thinking about, you know, what, what is your support system? What is the help that is available to you for, um, for the changing your relationship with food, let's start really simply with who is in your corner, who's in your corner, who can you rely on to stand with you and to support you in your current goal, right?

And who's in your corner, whispering stuff that isn't very helpful to you, who are the people who want you to achieve what it is that you want to achieve, who get it or who are willing to get it. And who is in your corner, who doesn't get it right? That's, that's important to know. And it doesn't mean they're bad. It doesn't mean they don't care. We have all been brainwashed by diet, culture and diet thinking and this scarcity mentality, right? And having someone in your corner who can whisper the helpful things to you is so powerful as is having somebody in your corner. Who's whispering the stuff that takes you in exactly the direction you don't wanna go. Another piece of help is accountability. So who holds you accountable? Ask that question first, who holds you accountable? And also what is the type of accountability that is helpful for you?

What do you want to be held accountable for or on? And what isn't helpful? There is so much unhelpful accountability out there when it comes to a overeating and emotional eating. When I'm asking you to think about helpful accountability, I am not talking about the self appointed diet police out there, right? There are a lot of people who are misinformed or you know, that may have the best intentions in the world, but who seem to think that somehow pointing out to you, what they think you ought to be doing with food is, is how helpful, right? I'd invite you to consider accountability in a different way, who is willing to hold you to your goals in a kind and helpful way who is there, who is willing to hold you to your goals, who is willing to see that destination with and help you stay on the path that you wanna be on in a kind and helpful way who's out there for you or what would it look like to have somebody out there for you?

Who helps you make sure that you follow through, right? Who asks you about what it is that you said was important to you in a way that's helped, not shameful, right? Who calls you to task when you're not showing up for yourself in the way that is really important to you to show up again, not with shaming, not with guilt, not with judgment, but with love and not holding you accountable to an old deprivation way of thinking, but to creating this new path, to creating a peaceful relationship with food, having that kind of accountability so powerful right now let's talk motivation because this is a huge place for support. And there you can go left or right here. Um, motivation within old diet thinking is so deprivation based. It is so linear. It is so based on achieving this, you know, like what is the number on the scale? How did you do on the way in right? We're doing it differently now, peace with food. Isn't about success or failure. Peace with food includes imperfection, right? It includes trial and error and learning as you go.

And like we've been saying, it requires thinking new thoughts, which, which is challenging. So having somebody that you can and rely on to remind you why you are doing this, why you're making the changes, what it is that you really want, what that destination looks like, which is so much bigger than a silly number on the scale or a size of your pants or something, right. You're doing it because you wanna feel free because you wanna have peace because you are tired of being so hard on yourself. You're doing it because you want a path that is sustainable, that you wanna be on for the rest of your life. Instead of feeling like every eight weeks, you need to beat yourself up and start over again and dig yourself out of a hole. Right? So who do you have or do you wanna have somebody, do you wanna add somebody who is providing that kind of help to you? Who's to contributing to your motivation, who reminds you, how far you've come and all the ways your efforts are showing up and paying off instead of just this single number on the scale. And at the same time, it's really important to look at the kind of help and support that isn't so helpful in your life right now, right? So who are the people who, again, maybe from a place of love are misguided in the way they are trying to support you with motivation.

It's important to ask whether there are actually people in your life who are depleting, your motivation, who, who pep talks leave you feeling bad, right? Or who's pep talks. You really don't want. So take a look at motivation and what kind of help you're getting in that area can be very helpful. Another big piece of the support puzzle is having someone that you can celebrate with when you achieve victories along the way, and having somebody you can celebrate the new victories with, right? Because the milestones to creating peace with food and freedom from overeating, don't look like the old deprivation based milestones. It's not that you were, you know, able to stay on this cleanse for eight days, right? You were able to be strong. Those are the old miles milestones. As you start creating freedom from overeating, you're gonna have victories that look very different.

You are going to have victories where, you know what, I, I felt my feelings today. I realized I was heading into the kitchen because I was feeling really anxious. And I, I sat with it and I asked myself what I needed. And I did something different. That's a huge victory. You're gonna have a milestone along the way, where, what you did was not something you were happy about. You, you had a misstep, you ate the stuff you didn't want to eat. And guess what? Instead of going down that spiral and it, you know, beating yourself up and deciding that you had blown it. So you might as well really blow it, cuz you're gonna step have to start over on Monday. That's the old way of thinking. You're gonna have a milestone where things didn't go exactly as planned. And maybe it took a deep breath or maybe it took an hour or two, but you decided, you know, oh, well I don't have to be perfect.

Here's my next step. Who's gonna support you and remind you that, oh my gosh, that wasn't a horrible day. That was a win. That was so much different than it was. You know, it would've been a year ago. That was a victory. Look at all the, the spiral overeating that you didn't do. Look at the new thoughts. Look at the new beliefs who is going to help you see that and support you, you in that, because that is the way that you really create a path to change. When you can see that your efforts are getting you somewhere, here's another kind of support who believes in you and who believes in this path that you have chosen for yourself, right? Who are the people in your support system, who know your cap of achieving what you've set out to do, who can help you remember exactly why you have what it takes to be successful.

They know your strengths, they know your good qualities and they can help you see how you can keep leveraging them and how you are leveraging them to get toward your goal. Especially when maybe you see those things for yourself. When you are not believing in yourself, who believes in you. And when you're thinking about getting help with emotional eating and overeating, it's really important to think about, okay, are there people in my life that are, are working against my belief in myself? Are there messages that I am getting? And it may not just be people, right? It maybe things that you're exposed to or things that you're reading or, you know, media that you're digesting on a regular basis. Are there things that are undermining my belief in myself and my belief in my ability to really be free from this stuff and to do it in a way that fits me and that doesn't include deprivation and misery beating myself up all the time.

It's important to, to think about where you're gonna get support for your new beliefs and also take a look at what might be undermining those or eroding those, or, um, just continuing to reinforce the old beliefs that aren't helpful for you. Right? Having examples is another kind of help and support. I work with a lot of high achievers and oftentimes the women I work with are kind of, they're the leaders, right? They're the leaders of the path, the one who motivates everybody else. They're really good at being the example for everybody else at making it look easy at being the, the cheer team, right. For the other people around them. Do you have somebody in your support system who's one or two steps ahead of you or who has already achieved the kind of piece with food that you're looking for? Do you have somebody that you're watching or learning from who is an example to you or does it feel like you are inventing your own wheel?

Right? Do you have the ability to learn from the wisdom of others to learn from the new beliefs and thoughts that other people can offer to you? Or does it feel like you have to figure it all out on your own? I know you know this in other areas of your life, but we tend to forget it when it comes to making changes in our health and our wellbeing. And especially with changes with food. The truth is that we tend to see more possibilities and we tend to grow more when we're surrounded by people who in encourage us to stretch our ideas, to stretch our thoughts, to stretch our beliefs and then help reinforce, right? The things that we're trying to do. One of the things that I hear over and over again from participants in the missing piece program, which is my group coaching program, uh, one thing that surprises a lot of members is how much they take from being on a, in a group coaching meeting.

We do these group coaching meetings on zoom and being in a group coaching meeting where they're not participating. So they haven't asked the question, they're not being coached, but having an example, watching somebody else learn and grow. And, and maybe that person is a month or two ahead of them in the program, or maybe the person is struggling with an issue that is so similar to theirs. And they never thought that anybody else had that issue, right? They think they're the only ones who struggle with food in that particular way. Having an example, being surrounded by other people who are ahead of you and with you and, and can remind, remind you of things by, by showing you what it looks like in their life can be such a powerful kind of help and support. So take a look at the examples that you have around you and whether they are really nourishing the kind of beliefs that you want, or whether they are creating stories.

You know, if, whether you are using those examples to create stories about how you should be doing it differently or how you should be harder on yourself or how you should be stronger or, or, you know, are the examples that you have serving you, could you use more examples or different examples? What do you want, what would be helpful to you? So as we talk about how to get help, I wanna ask you if you've noticed, how much of this struggle with food goes on in private, in your own head, how many conversations have you had with yourself, right? How many thoughts do you have that just go around in circles? How many places do you, you feel like you're at a dead end, cuz you don't know what else to do when you are looking at getting help and changing your eating and creating a different path for yourself, with emotional eating or overeating.

It's really important to ask yourself, who's your sounding board? Who do you talk things through with who do you go to, to brainstorm strategies or to adjust plans that aren't working for you? Who do you go to to get advice or who do you go to, to just blow off steam? Right? Who can just listen, if you say, I don't want advice, I just wanna, I just want you to listen. Do you have that in your life? And is that sounding board that you have or what you're using right now for a sounding board? Is it working for you, give yourself permission to ask yourself that, is it working for you or would you like something different? Guess what? Sometimes you can get something different just for asking for it. Sometimes your sounding board just needs to be told, Hey, I don't want advice right now.

I just want you to listen to me talk, can I just run this by you? And just, I just need to decompress. Sometimes a sounding board can do that for you. And all of us have had the situation where we have a sounding board that really isn't a sounding board. <laugh>, you know, maybe they just wanna hear themselves talk or they don't know how to be helpful, or they feel so strongly about their own agenda. That no matter how much they care about you, they, they just aren't capable of being helpful to you. It's really important to look at who you are using as your sounding board. And are they helping you reinforce this new path that you wanna be on or are they undermining it maybe purposefully, maybe not, or are reinforcing old thoughts and beliefs that you are wanting to move away from.

And then here's the, the maybe the most powerful piece of having help with emotional eating and overeating, but it only works if you have enough of those other ingredients that we've already talked about, who do you have? What kind of help do you have that tells you the hard truth? I wanna be really clear here about what I'm talking about when I say the hard truth, because diet thinking deprivation thinking is just rife with this, this ideology of, you know, suck it up, be, be strong. You just need to do it right. You need to just need to push through it. You just need to get out there and, and do that hard thing. And, and that is exactly how you create patterns with food, where you've got something going on. You've got a reason that is motivating you're overeating and you're pushing through and ignoring it, right?

You just need to not stress eat. You know, it's stress, you know, you're trying to stress eat and that's not gonna be helpful. So just don't stress eat. Guess what? When you do that in that way, you don't ever address the stress. You don't address. The reason that you are turning to food in the first place and nothing gets healed. You're not healing your relationship with food. You're not learning how to take care of yourself in ways that are better than food. You are not taking your power back from the cravings or the triggers. What you're doing is a hard thing. The hard way, for as long as you can maintain the willpower to keep doing it, having somebody push you and be hard on you is not what I'm talking about. When I ask you to think about who tells you the hard truth.

I'm asking you to think about who you have in your corner that you trust. Who's going to tell you in a way that is supportive and helpful to you, and we all have different ways that are supportive and helpful to us. But who do you have that you trust? Who's going to tell you in a supportive and helpful way when you're missing the boat. When you're getting in your own way, when you're telling yourself stories that aren't helpful to you when you are rationalizing in the way that only high weaves can, right? Talking themselves out of a situation in a way that just isn't serving them. I work with a lot of strong, highly capable women. And I will tell you being one myself, right? That strong women can also be very good at sending out this vibe that we're fine. We're fine. I've got it under control.

It's okay. I, I don't need help. The truth is we all need help sometimes. Who are the people that you trust and who care about you that are gonna call you on your stuff? Who are the people who will call you on it when you're out there trying to go with on your own, when you're trying to convince everybody that you're okay. And you're really not. When you need something that you are not allowing yourself to have, who tells you the hard, real truth. And again, be honest, are there people who think they are fulfilling that role in your life in a way that isn't really helpful to you? Because there is high quality support. There is help. That is really helpful with emotional eating and overeating. And there is help in quotation marks. That is exactly what you don't need right now, take some time to think about what kind of high quality help you are getting, what the help and support is that's available to you. That is gonna help propel you toward the goals that you have with food and with eating and creating a different relationship with food and give yourself permission to be honest about what isn't working for you and where you would like changes. And as always, if you would like support, if you would like coaching, if you would like to work with me and the group of women who are a part of your missing piece, then join us. We'd love to see you there.

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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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