If you’re on a hamster wheel with overeating, I’m willing to make you a bet.
I bet that the path you see to freedom and peace with food is more complicated and overwhelming than it needs to be.
I bet your mind is too full of things you should be doing.
Maybe the requirements for a “good day” are too strict or unrealistic.
And probably, the plan you believe you should be starting feels just too overwhelming or difficult for you to actually fully commit.
I’m willing to bet that freedom from overeating is easier than your mind wants to make it.
1. It’s unlikely that you’re overeating twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You really don’t have to change everything. In fact, I bet you have routines and habits that already work pretty well.
Make freedom from overeating easier by targeting one time of day or one situation where you can either easily make an impact (i.e. start bringing a healthy lunch from home so you don’t get overly hungry and then overeat junk food) or where you’ll get a big bang for your efforts (i.e. target your evening routine if that’s when the bulk of your overeating happens).
2. Give yourself permission to figure out what works well for you. Just because someone else said it was a great strategy doesn’t mean it’s your great strategy and trying to fit yourself into a plan that isn’t right for you is a recipe for stress, overwhelm, and falling off track.
Freedom from overeating should feel freeing. Give yourself permission to experiment with new strategies and ways of doing things and then to adjust what doesn’t fit you well. Don’t focus on lifetime commitments and things you “have to do forever.” That’s a lot to wrap your brain around. Until you know something works well, focus on making seven to fourteen-day commitments. Try something out as an experiment and see how it feels, whether it works, and how you’d like to improve it moving forward.
3. Focus on small, do-able changes instead of trying to overhaul everything at once. You’ll feel calmer, less stressed, and you’ll be able to see success build. You’ll also increase the odds of creating changes that will stick by creating new habits at a pace and size that you can easily incorporate into your life.
Freedom from overeating is usually built on a foundation of small changes. This may be hard for you to believe if you’re a high performer who expects big things of herself, but it’s true. Pick a small change that you can easily make and commit to it instead of feeling guilty about the list of things you can’t seem to “make yourself” do.
4. Freedom from overeating is so much easier when you approach it through a lens of transforming and enhancing your life instead of as a project that’s going to require a lot of vigilance and deprivation. If the plan you have in your head is exhausting or stressful to think about, it definitely could be easier (and potentially a lot more freeing!).
Freedom from overeating feels good and creates ease. It adds more goodness to your life. Instead of a constant focus on what you won’t do, won’t eat, and will give up, try focusing on the areas you want to build in your life to create more freedom from overeating and peace with food. Examples of this might be: better tools to cope with emotions, growing a support network or finding a mentor, creating new habits that help with stress, or strategies and tools that help you feel better than reaching for something to eat.
Stop grading yourself based on how much you’re trying to change at once. Stop using the word “should” and replace it with the small, do-able commitments you are willing to make this week. Create a mental picture of what you want to build and strengthen with tools, strategies, and new habits instead of focusing solely on a number on the scale. Celebrate each and every milestone.
Freedom from overeating happens step by step. It’s a path that feels freeing to be on – even before you arrive at your goal. And it can almost always be easier than your busy brain wants to make it.