Overcome Overeating: Create Consistent Habits | TMOHP Episode 087

Losing weight is not the same as breaking overeating habits permanently. Most women know the yo-yo weight loss cycle all too well, and so many smart women struggle with how to create consistent lasting habits related to eating. In this episode, I’m sharing why this is and the simplest way to create easier, more lasting results. Let's talk about how to overcome emotional eating with consistent habits that work for you. I’m covering what to do, why you probably aren’t already doing it, and why your brain is likely resisting allowing things to work better and be easier when it comes to ending overeating and emotional eating.

In this episode:

  • How your natural (human) approach to changing your eating might be preventing long-term results
  • The simplest way to do less and get better, more consistent, and more enduring results when it comes to ending overeating
  • If the journey is miserable - maintaining your “goal” will be too. It’s time to rethink what a goal is
  • Your next action step

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Curious about what it’s like inside Your Missing Peace? Check out this podcast 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.

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody, welcome back. Today I want to talk about one of the key pieces of overcoming emotional eating and creating freedom from overeating of any kind. And that is one of the key secrets to creating co consistency. Creating the consistent habits and the consistent changes that lead to the kind of results that you can count on. Right?

The kind of results that are sustainable and that allow you to move on with your life. Because life is too short to spend it struggling and fighting with this stuff, and there is a way out. But, sometimes it is hard to see the forest when you are lost in the trees. And sometimes if you are lost in that forest, you get so intent on finding your way home, getting out of the forest that you overlook the important details that could help make that escape a whole lot easier.

So that's what we're going to talk about today. That's what I want to share with you, are ways to create consistency that feel easier and simpler and that are actually sustainable. There are a lot of women, a lot of smart, very capable women who are stuck wandering around in that forest who want to get out, but who are going in circles.

And here's what that looks like, or here's kind of how it's easy to get to that place. You decide you're ready to change your eating. You decide you're ready to lose some weight. You feel impatient. Right? You're beyond ready. You are over this. You don't like the number on the scale. You don't like the way that your pants are fitting and you want results now. 

You want 'em now. You want 'em yesterday. Even though none of us can magically make this happen. Right? You can't just shut your eyes and wish really hard and make your body be different. Make your eating be different. You're determined to make what has never worked before work this time. Right? Or maybe it has worked for a while, but it has never lasted. But this time is going to be different. 

That is the lie of deprivation mentality. That is one of the lies of diet culture that this plan that was never built to be sustainable is going to work if only you try hard enough. Right? If you will it, if you will yourself to work harder, then this time it will work. Because all those other times it hasn't worked? The lie is that it is your fault. The truth is the plan is unsustainable. But anyway, let's keep going. 

So you're determined to make what has never worked work. This time your eyes on the prize. Right? You've decided that that is the goal. Whatever that goal is, it's a number on the scale, or it's a pair of jeans that you want to easily pull on. And this becomes your project. Right? You're going to get to that goal. 

Here is a very simple, basic step that gets overlooked or completely disregarded by a lot of very smart, amazing women. And when this happens, when you skip this very basic idea, your results are going to plummet. They either will never happen or they won't last. And this mistake that I want to talk with you about today is absolutely where vicious cycles and that whole yo-yo weight loss cycle and yo-yo eating cycle? This is the place where that cycle is born. 

When you start putting into place what I'm going to share with you today, you will start creating something entirely different from that whole cycle. You in the forest going around in circles. Right? Running on that hamster wheel. Oh, so many metaphors. 

But when you start implementing what I want to talk about today, it will feel different. It will be easier. I guarantee it. And the results that you create, they're going to be so much more likely to last. The eating habits that you change will become more automatic. They will become more a part of you. 

The new ways of thinking, the new ways of doing things. You won't have to be endlessly thinking about all these new things and coming up with the will to follow through. When you implement what we're going to talk about today, you will be so much less likely to lose your way or to fall off track. Or to want to cheat on yourself when life gets busy or tough or stressful. 

And a kind of little sidebar here, as you probably know, my philosophy is that you deserve a relationship with food that you don't want to cheat on. And the simple idea in this episode will make it much more likely that you are creating the type of relationship with food that you don't want to cheat on. And a way of eating that you don't want to cheat on.

So why am I drawing this out instead of just telling you what this episode is about? Because I want you to take this seriously. I want all of you to take this seriously because what I'm going to share with you doesn't have the instant appeal of something like thin thighs in 30 days. Because it sounds so common sense.

And when I tell you about it, you might just roll your eyes. But, if you are like 95% of the smart, amazing people that I work with, you have probably been so conditioned not to follow this advice. To minimize this advice that when it comes to changing your eating habits or addressing your emotional eating, this isn't part of your plan.

So promise me you'll keep listening. The simplest way ever to do less and get better, more consistent and more lasting results when it comes to ending your overeating or changing your eating habits is to (ready?)- Make sure that what you're trying to do is consistently doable. Consistently doable. 

As simple as this sounds, I want to talk about exactly what this means and why it can be so easy to get sidetracked or even to go in exactly the opposite direction. Keeping it doable. It sounds like a no-brainer. Right? It just sounds obvious. Okay? Yes, of course you keep it doable. I mean, are you rolling your eyes yet? This is what she's going to talk about today. Keeping it doable. Stick with me.

Here's what happens to a lot of us, myself included, when we start something new, and this is so true for high achievers, when we start something new, we are ready. We are motivated to see a big impact. We want to do something that that makes a difference. Right? Especially when we are getting ready to do something and we know there's going to be a lot of effort that we're going to put in. Right? 

This is especially true when you decide to change your eating. And in part, this is actually fueled by the stories that you are probably already telling yourself about how hard or how depriving or how miserable this is going to be, or how much willpower it will take. Or how strong you're going to need to be. Or how worth it it's going to be to do the suffering because the goal at the finish line is going to be so great. This is how deprivation mentality and diet culture teach you to think about this. And they teach you that this miserable journey will lead to this glorious destination. That's not true. 

Deprivation mentality and diet culture teach you. That the prize, the prize is that final number on the scale. Right? The prize is that moment that you can zip up those pants that you want to zip up. But these things aren't true either. Because the only final number on the scale is the one you're going to have on the day that you die. You don't arrive at a weight, you don't arrive at a relationship with food. You live with them. You have that. You have a weight, you have a relationship with food for the rest of your life.

And most weight loss plans, most plans that talk with you about changing your eating, do an incredibly poor job or an unrealistic job of preparing you to maintain whatever results you get. Right? The result is this one moment in time, and then you're supposed to figure out what to do after. And by the way, there is a lot less money to be made if people actually maintain these magical results. Right? 

Here's what I believe. Here's what I teach in my program. You are not creating one static goal. You are not creating one moment in time. The results that people who work with me crave, the results that I crave are actually learning how to be the woman who is and has and lives her results. 

Actually learning how to be the woman who is and has and lives her results. Freedom from overeating means having a relationship with food, having a way of eating, and a way of caring for yourself and of listening to your hidden hungers that keeps you feeling and being the way that you want to be. The destination isn't a number. The destination is your lifestyle. And how you think about food and how you use food as a part of the life that you're living. 

But everything I just said about a relationship with food and a lifestyle and where you want to be for the rest of your life isn't what so many smart women are thinking about when they hit that moment where they decide, okay, it's time to stop overeating. I need to tackle this. Because in that moment, for so many reasons and on so many levels, we are trained, we're conditioned to want to do something substantial. We want to see a change right away. 

And a big part of this is human nature. I know that when I start something new, I'm at the peak of my energy and my enthusiasm for that project. Right? It's the honeymoon phase. And so what happens to a lot of women when you start thinking about making changes with your eating is that there's a tendency to create those first steps and to create a set of expectations that are not really the right size for the rest of your life.

There's a tendency and an enthusiasm to pick a goal and a set of steps that you're going to take that you can follow for a day or even for a week. And they feel dramatic. But they are not goals and steps that you can ever keep up with for the long haul. The plans that we tend to set for ourselves when we're coming from this type of honeymoon, excited, motivated, hyper motivated energy? They end up leaving us feeling exhausted and unenthusiastic about whatever it is that we're trying to do long before it ever becomes a habit.

And this is so critical to think about when you are specifically talking about changing your eating, because changing your eating is not a short-term goal. Again, you and I are going to have a relationship with food for the rest of our lives. We are going to be eating for the rest of our lives. So if you tend to, if you are somebody who tends to feel dread or you want to procrastinate, whenever you think about addressing your eating or your weight, this is a sign that I'm talking to you. This is a sign that you very well may be falling into this tendency. And it is absolutely impacting your motivation and your energy and your ability to create lasting long-term results that feel good and that fit you. 

One of the best ways to create successful change. Comfortable, successful permanent change is to build habits that become so ingrained you stop even noticing them. Right? So for instance, when I wake up in the morning, I walk into the bathroom and I brush my teeth. It is not a decision. It requires no willpower. It's a habit. That's the kind of ease you want to create. If you want to create lasting change with the way that you're eating. And this starts when you begin with a plan, a behavior that is something you can and will continue to do consistently.

This is the kind of ease you want to create and the way you do that, and this is backwards from how your brain is, is likely to think about it, but the way you do that is you start small enough that you can stay consistent. Not big enough that you can instantly create dramatic results for one moment in time.

Start small enough that you can stay consistent. In the beginning, the ability to be consistent is so much more important than the size of whatever it is you are trying to do. Or the size of the result that whatever it is you are trying to do is going to create in that moment. Remember, you are at the beginning.

So what do simpler and doable look like when it comes to creating freedom from overeating? Now, here's another place where this isn't going to feel appealing to that part of your brain that wants instant results. Because some of what makes creating freedom from overeating, doable, and lasting and feel good and easy, isn't even about the food. It isn't even about what or when or what not to eat. 

So much of what makes creating freedom from overeating doable is addressing the reasons that you're eating in the first place. And one of the reasons that busy women overeat is that food has taken the place of self-care and taking time for yourself.

This is a major hidden hunger that trips us up. And if you don't know about hidden hungers, I'll put the link to the quiz and the show notes because if you haven't taken it yet, you absolutely need to. 

So one of the reasons busy women overeat is that food takes the place of other things, one of which is self-care. Or, well, I guess two, takes self-care and taking time for yourself.

When you aren't getting nourished or fed in other ways, food becomes even more appealing. When you're busy or stressed or exhausted, it is so easy to conclude that there just isn't any time for you. Right? Your to-do list is a mile long and you just can't see how you'll ever be able to carve out time for yourself or nourish yourself or your spirit, or just take care of you.

When this happens, when you find yourself in this place, you might feel even more overwhelmed by how impossible it all feels. And so there's this cycle. You feel overwhelmed. You see things you need to do. You want to take care of yourself. It feels impossible. Stress builds. And you might feel even more pulled to overeat. Right? The cycle that leads to overeating can lead to more overwhelm and more overeating. 

Feeling like what we need or want is impossible. When you're in that place where you can see what you need and what you want, and it feels like it's impossible to have? That itself can be a trigger to overeat. It can also be a trigger to quit on yourself. It's impossible. I can't have what I need. I, I mean, I can't tell you how many women have told me, yes, I know I'm stress eating, but I can't do anything about the stress. Right? So I'm, I'm stuck. And that is a trigger to overeat. It's a trigger to quit on ourselves. There's nothing I can do about it. So, you know, here I am.

Feeling like what we need or want is impossible can also be a trigger to jump in with something so dramatic and unsustainable because we go into this, okay, I'm just going to do it. I'm going to grip my teeth, I'm going to just do it. I'm going to be a superhero. Right? And so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to nip this thing in the bud. I'm going to lose the weight. I'm going to, I'm going to make this drastic plan. And that is also unsustainable. 

Here is some important, oh, so important retraining for you and your brain, and it will take practice. But this is so important. When it feels like what you want or need is impossible. Ask yourself how you can make what you are trying to do Smaller.

I'm going to say it again. When it feels like what you want or need is impossible, ask yourself how you can make what you are trying to do smaller. The key is to start by doing or creating something. You can expand on it later. So if what you're trying to do is make a new habit with eating or not eating, or listening to your cravings, Or making time for yourself or checking in and asking yourself if you're hungry or how you're feeling.

The key is to start by creating something. Some little portion of that habit that you can expand on later. If it feels like what you are trying to do is impossible, ask yourself how you can make it smaller. Here's how you can implement this. Start with something you can actually imagine doing consistently. Don't get caught up in judging the size of the action or don't get caught up in judging the size of the results that you imagine it will create. 

That second piece is extremely important. You are going to find yourself telling yourself that, well, whatever you think of as smaller isn't enough to make a difference. I work with so many women who amaze themselves with the power of this strategy of making something smaller. And they have to fight back against that feeling of it's not enough or that thought that, well, if I'm going to do this, I might as well add on 12 other things that are not sustainable. Right? I work with lots of really busy women, and one of the ways we create the results that we do is we start small.

And I will tell you that one of the most consistent pieces of feedback from members of Your Missing Peace is how results sneak up on them. In fact, sometimes I get to be in the position of pointing out, did you hear what you just said? Or how long has it been since you binged? Oh, wow. Now that I think about it, I haven't binged in the last four months. Right? 

What happens is, the results sneak up on them. They are really surprised when eating and binging and cravings change. Because they haven't been working really hard to change them. And, and they hadn't been putting so much effort in that they were, you know, being vigilant about looking for the results every single day.

When they start investigating how things changed, what I hear consistently is that it turns out, and this surprises them, that it was the little things. It was the small, doable changes that they thought weren't going to make a difference. 

If you take anything away from this episode, it is this do not be afraid to choose small steps. Choosing small steps will not put you further behind. It will get you further ahead. So don't be afraid to choose small steps. So something like more me time and self-care. It could start with pausing and breathing for 60 seconds a few times a day, because that is what feels entirely doable. That's where you start. 

Doable might mean taking five minutes every morning to scratch out some thoughts in your journal or just jot down some feelings. It might be taking 10 minutes out of your lunch hour to take a walk around the building. Order, refill your water and just reset before you go into the second half of your workday.

It might mean stopping for 10 minutes before you get your nightly ice cream to check in with how you're feeling first. And to give yourself a little pause. I know it feels weird. I know it feels like it's not enough. I know your brain is going to tell you should do more. You could really do more. Because in that, in that beginning, in that initial honeymoon phase, you probably could do more. You can conjure up enough to do a little bit more for now. But that's not the goal. 

It is entirely normal for your brain to tell you it's not enough. But here's what I want you to try. Talk back to your brain. Talk back to yourself. Tell yourself you are going to experiment with one doable thing and see where it takes you.

So here's the challenge. Choose one thing in your life that you want to change. Something that you haven't been happy with. And pick one consistent, doable action that takes you just a bit closer to where you want to go. Right? The goal is doable, consistency. It's a habit that you can imagine yourself continuing. A habit that moves you even one millimeter closer to your goal.

Keep it doable because doing is how you're going to create the momentum. And actually doing consistently is how you are going to create the results. So take the challenge. Do the experiment. Do not be afraid of small.

Small results can create incredible wins. I know it sounds hokey. It sounds corny. It is absolutely true.

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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