Master Your Mindset to Overcome Emotional Eating | TMOHP Episode 085

Mindset and the idea of managing “it” have become ideas that get tossed around quite frequently. Who doesn’t want a “winning mindset” - especially when you also want to stop emotional eating or end overeating habits once and for all? But like so many concepts, the idea of shifting your mindset can feel vague or impossible. What does it really mean? 

You’re busy and you have enough to focus on, so I promise I wouldn’t be bringing this up if it wasn’t important. Mindset is more than a buzzword. The direction you set your mind and the thoughts and beliefs you focus on have everything to do with the results you’ll create as you work to change your emotional eating or overeating. Unfortunately, many of us have a mind full of stories and beliefs that we didn’t consciously choose and that we may even believe are unchangeable facts (they aren’t). This episode is about how you can take your power back from mindsets that may be sabotaging you and also about how you can harness the power of your mind to create easier, better results.

In this episode:

  • What it really means to manage your mindset and what this has to do with emotional eating
  • How we unintentionally reinforce what isn’t helpful or what keeps us stuck
  • What to do if you have negative thoughts or beliefs about your ability to stop overeating that you are convinced are true

[If you love this podcast, will you take 30 seconds to leave a review? It makes all the difference in my ability to share this information!]

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Emotional Eating Quiz: 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.

Enjoy the show?

Full episode transcript:

Hello everybody. I don't know if this is true in your world, but in my world, the term mindset, and the idea of working on your mindset is everywhere. And quite honestly, it has become an overused concept, an overused phrase. Actually, that's not true. I don't think it's overused. I think it is poorly used. I think it is just like it's easy to say, hey, recognize that you're doing emotional eating or stress eating, and don't give into it. It is also really easy to say, you need to take control of your mindset. You need to pay attention to your mindset. You need to have a positive mindset.

And, while on the one hand that may be the kind of comment that causes you to nod your head and agree, it's also much like recognize emotional eating and just don't give into it. Something that makes, I guess, logical sense. But what does it really mean? What are we really talking about here?

So today I want to talk with you more deeply about the idea of mindset and how mastering your mindset, how owning your mindset relates to overcoming emotional eating. And again, what that really means. What you believe about your ability to succeed almost always comes true. I believe that deeply. So that's what I believe, and you can quote me on that. What you believe about your ability to succeed almost always comes true.

The fastest way to establish whether you are going to sink or spiral, or flail, or succeed with a new project, especially as we're talking about here, a project that has to do with changing your weight or changing your eating or changing your life balance, or your stress or your overwhelm. The fastest way to establish what kind of results you're going to have might surprise you. It's probably something you take for granted. It's not probably something you do automatically. And I'm betting 99% of the time because you're human, you aren't even aware of it. This is going to sound very simple, and again, it's an overused kind of thing that gets talked about right now. But please don't take it for granted because this fundamental ingredient sets and determines your course, your energy, your motivation, and your results.

I already gave it away. Right? I'm talking about the set of your mind, the way that you have set your mind, your mindset. The one very powerful factor that will facilitate or undermine your progress. And the approach that you're going to take with the goals that you set, the projects that you take on, the dreams that you have, that you pursue or you don't pursue for yourself. The one very powerful factor is the story that you tell yourself about them and about you.

Because the story that you tell yourself about what you want and about what it's going to take to achieve it, or what it is going to take to change, or what it feels like or looks like to change. The story that you tell yourself about who you are and your ability to change and how it gets to feel or has to feel for you to change. That story that you remind yourself, that you nurture, that you run on replay throughout your days and also probably through your nights and your sleep. That story is the one very powerful factor that is going to facilitate and add ease and grace and fun to what you're trying to do. Or undermine your progress or make it feel like you are slogging through mud. Or create a path that is way more unpleasant than it maybe needs to be. Than it probably needs to be.

So when people talk about mindset, I prefer to think about things like the stories you tell yourself. The beliefs that you have. The thoughts that you have. And if it's hard to think about that, think about the soundtrack that runs continuously in your head. We talk to ourselves practically 24 7.

And it's not always easy to capture that soundtrack. But when you do, and you can do that by listening or journaling or simply stopping to ask yourself about it, what am I, what kind of thoughts am I having about this? What am I telling this? What am I telling about? Sorry. What am I telling about? What am I telling myself about this right now? Or when something happens, what am I making it mean that this happened? Or that I have this deadline? Or that the number on the scale is whatever it is. Right?

When you stop and practice capturing the soundtrack in your mind, the stories you're telling yourself. It can be so enlightening. We all carry around beliefs or stories about what it takes to change. About our ability to succeed. About what kind of effort is going to be required. Oh, I know it's going to be a slog. I know I'm going to have to work really hard. Right? About whether we deserve to be happy or to be thin, or to be in love. About whether this is something that is in the cards for us. We all have beliefs that we carry around about these things.

About whether it can be easy or peaceful or fun. Or like I said, that it's going to have to be a slog. I'm going to have to be miserable. I'm going to have to give up what I love. We all have beliefs about whether we deserve it. About whether we are entitled to want what we want in the way that we want it. And all of these things come up when you are standing in that place of wanting. And wanting to believe that you can create freedom from overeating and peace with food.

We take these beliefs that we all have, and then we weave stories that we mutter to ourselves all day long. And I guess when I'm using the word mutter, I'm thinking about the negative stories. Right? I'm fat. I'm fat and lazy. I'll never be able to relax around food. I can't stick with anything. I never follow through. I have no self-control, no self-control at all. I'm addicted to sugar. If I want to make this happen, I'm going to have to work my butt off. It's going to have to be my total focus. I am going to have to work really hard on this for the rest of my life.

These are stories that we weave and that we come to believe. Or that we believe, and then we weave into stories. And then we tell ourselves all day long. Right? I'm no good at losing weight. I will always struggle with overeating. I can't sleep if I don't have a snack before bed. If I blow it, I might as well give up. This isn't working.

These are all stories. They're just stories. And when they get to run untethered in our minds, they shape our attitude. They shape our perspective. They shape our approach, and of course, how could they not, they shape our motivation for continuing, or even starting. Every time we retell ourselves a version of what we have decided is true, we're reinforcing it. We are reinforcing the belief. We are reinforcing the thought. We are reinforcing the story. We are reinforcing that pathway in our brain and making it easier and easier and easier to retell ourselves this story.

This is not about being critical of you or beating you up or encouraging you to beat yourself up because you may have stories like this that are going through your brain. You're a human being. We are storytellers. We create stories, we create beliefs, and we feed them to ourselves all day long. And the truth is, there are stories about food and overeating and change that discourage us. That keep us in our place, that wear us down and that make success feel like and look like, and actually they make it an uphill battle.

These are stories. There are a lot of them that absolutely erode our confidence and our hope and our belief in what is possible. Cause us to think smaller, be realistic. Right? It is so easy to mistake well repeated stories and beliefs as truth or facts. Especially right when they've been practiced over and over and over again. They become rather automatic. We just think this way and after a while we start believing these things are true facts.

But there are two important things to remember. Number one, a belief is not an unchangeable fact. It's hard to stop overeating or I'm miserable when I try to lose weight. Or, oh, chocolate ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. At the end of the day, that's my freedom. Or I'll probably, I, I will probably always struggle with eating. I'm always going to struggle with my eating. These are beliefs that are not facts that are etched in stone somewhere.

A belief is not an unchangeable fact. That's the first thing. And the second thing is, even before you start arguing with your brain about whether your belief is true or not, it is so worth considering whether it is a helpful belief to focus on. Whether it is a helpful and useful belief to be, you know, homing in on, and focusing your brain on and continually reinforcing.

I am a runner and I have told this story before. I'm sure I will share it again. I'm going to share it now because I think it's useful. I am a runner who has run a number of marathons in my life, 26.2 miles. Right? And there are all sorts of thoughts and stories and beliefs that have run through my head around the 25th mile of a 26.2 mile race.

And I can argue with you brilliantly about how all of them are true. Right? So at mile 25, Oh wow. It is perfectly normal to think I'm tired. Why am I doing this? My lungs, my legs, my body. They need to be done. I need to be done. I just want to sit down. I can't do this. I want to stop. I hate running. This is taking forever. I can't imagine running the rest of this way.

All of these are thoughts. All of these are perfectly normal thoughts to have at mile 25 of a marathon. And at the 25th mile of a 26.2 mile race, I have learned how absolutely critical it is to manage my mind. The set of my mind, the stories I am deciding to focus on. Because sometimes truth isn't the most important thing to worry about. Sometimes, the most empowering question that I can ask or that you can ask is, is this the best place to focus my mind right now? Is this the set I want my mind to have? In that moment as a runner, I can choose between I can't, and okay, I can run to that next tree. Right?

As somebody who is working to change your eating, you can choose between, you know, I worked hard all day and then I ate this ice cream and now it is all ruined. I will never get this right. And maybe a thought like, you know what? I got 90% of this aligned the way I wanted it to, and I can figure out this, this evening stuff.

There are stories about food and overeating and change that discourage us, that keep us in our place. That wear us down, and that make success an uphill battle. I know I said that earlier, but it is so important to hear. There are stories that erode our confidence and our hope. And there is such great power in our thoughts and our beliefs and our stories. And we get lost in the negative ones.

And so often I work with smart, incredibly capable women who have not been taught or encouraged to use this power of your thoughts and your beliefs and the set of your mind in this one particular area of your life. When it comes to overeating and emotional eating and creating the change that you really, really, really, truly want.

This is why such a big part of Your Missing Peace, which is my program where I work with women over six months to transform their relationship with food and their emotional eating and overeating. This is why a huge piece of that program is about taking a look at the set of your mind and the stories and the beliefs that you have, and learning how to make choices, learning to become the CEO of what you are telling yourself and the stories that you are living in. And writing ones that are better for you, that are more empowering, that make you feel like the unstoppable force that you probably feel like in so many other places of your life. Right? This is not about looking in the mirror and lying to yourself, telling yourself you things that you don't believe. Trying to convince yourself of them. Right?

This is about what I just said, the running example. Right? Sometimes it is about taking a look at, okay, what am I doing here? And is this helpful? Is there something that would be more helpful to focus on? Would it be more helpful to focus on my, my strengths, my abilities, the things that I have done right? The things that are working, or maybe the kind of support that is available to me.

There are stories, beliefs, thoughts, sets of your mind that have the potential to change the game. And I can give you some examples cuz I think that would probably be helpful. Right?

Stories like, I can do this. This is something I can figure out. I am the woman who succeeds. I keep making progress. I can succeed at this thing by taking consistent steps and keeping it doable. Success can feel easy. Oh wow. That is one that is hard for a lot of people to believe when it comes to overeating, but it is true. And you could try it on and see if you want to play with that idea.

What about I am bigger than this struggle? What about I have solved lots of hard problems. I don't have to be perfect to get where I want to go. I like this one, I can learn as I go. I can figure this out as I go along. Right? I don't have to get it perfect every step of the way. I can learn from my mistakes.

Oh, another one that people often forget is seeking help is a strength, not a weakness. I'm proud of what I did today. I'm getting better every day. One time of overeating doesn't mean I've ruined everything. Or what about the simple thought I can keep going. I can keep moving forward even if it isn't perfect.

Most of us have been around the block a time or two or a dozen with overeating and with weight loss and with weight gain and with emotional eating. And most of us who have collected a lot of stories that weigh us down, that demotivate us or that keep us stuck. And, it is never too late to start creating and to start practicing a new vault of beliefs. Imagine it like that, a vault full of beliefs and thoughts that elevate you and motivate you, and inspire you, and steady you. Especially when you're feeling unconfident or uncomfortable or unsteady in your results. Or is this working? Right? Especially when you're feeling unsteady.

And if you are having a hard time with this, if you feel stuck with, how can I even do this? Know that we all have blind spots. The service of this podcast episode might be right now for you highlighting, okay, this is a blind spot. I, I'm starting to realize I'm talking to myself in a really unhelpful way. And I don't know how to replace those thoughts. And if you want help with that, come check out Your Missing Peace that, like I said, that's a huge part of the program. It's a huge part of what we do in the coaching calls, and it is transformational.

And another thing that you can think about doing is if you feel stuck in terms of how to tell yourself better stories. I would challenge you to think about what you would be telling somebody that you love and you care about and you respect. Because I bet you, you would not talk to that person the way you are talking to yourself in your head. I bet you if you were looking at someone that someone that you love and respect and care about, if you were looking into their eyes, you would find another thought to focus on. One that felt more kind and loving and compassionate, and yes, more helpful.

So mind set. The set of your mind is important. And it is not just an empty concept that you know, a feel good thing to tell yourself to do. You can go deep with this, and you start by looking at what is my soundtrack? How am I talking to myself? We see what we are focusing on. We notice the details that confirm what we already believe.

So paying attention to these beliefs, paying attention to these stories, it is life changing. It is more powerful than you might ever imagine. If you want to fail, tell yourself you can't tell yourself. You won't tell yourself. It's just too hard. Tell yourself it will feel miserable. Tell yourself it will be too expensive. Tell yourself it will never last.

And if you want to get what you want, then start feeding your beliefs. Start strengthening your confidence. Start practicing news stories. Start talking back to the old unhelpful ones. Begin building a mental path that will create momentum toward your goals. A literal path. Right? This is a habit, a habit path, a new way of talking to yourself. But that habit path, the thoughts and the beliefs that you create actually creates new pathways in your brain.

Play with this. Find some beliefs, find some thoughts, find some sets of your mind that feel fun. That feel good. That elevate you. That give you a happy feeling in your stomach.

It is possible to change your eating and have a good time doing it. Start looking for those thoughts, start looking for those beliefs. I cannot overestimate how powerful this is.

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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