Overcoming Psychological Barriers to Ending Overeating | TMOHP Episode 077

Making changes isn’t easy. Our brain likes familiarity. We are creatures of habit who revert to what we’re used to. When you’re at the beginning - or even in the middle - of changing your relationship with food, it can feel lonely and challenging. Sometimes we make this even harder by neglecting the psychological barriers that almost always exist when we try to change our eating habits, emotional eating, or anything else.

Psychological barriers will lead us to create more barriers (more doubt, more isolation, more difficulty). What we believe is possible has a dramatic impact on the results we achieve (and on the way these results are created).

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve spent a minute (or years) steeping in diet mentality, then it stands to reason that ditching all that deprivation thinking and beginning to create peace with food may feel awkward - or impossible. But did you know you can stretch and grow your beliefs over time? In this episode, I have a pep talk of sorts for you, as well as some practical advice on how to take inventory of the soundtrack currently playing in your head and how to install some upgrades.

Take a listen.

In this episode:

  • The importance of separating thoughts from facts when it comes to creating results
  • The soundtrack in your head
  • The power of belief and what to do if your beliefs aren’t helping you stop overeating
  • How to grow your belief and confidence in what’s possible

Featured on the show:

  • Come join the Freedom from Emotional Eating and Overeating private Facebook community!
  • 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, or welcome if this is your first episode of the podcast. As a psychologist who has helped people make changes for well over 25 years, I have this very interesting vantage point. I get to sit back, I have this big picture view where I can see what has happened for my client. I can see what has happened for the hundreds of other clients that I have worked with. I can see the landscape of change happening, and that makes it so much easier to be in my seat and see the possibilities. 

And I know that when you are in another seat, in your own seat, inside your own skin, trying to make changes, sometimes a little pep talk is helpful. Sometimes you can see the goal, you understand the process, but in the moment, you, we, any of us, we need some help staying motivated or maintaining our perspective. So today I have a pep talk for you. 

I am someone who became a runner when I turned 40. So today I'm going to tell you a geeky running story. You may have heard about Roger Banister. It's a story that's widely told. Once upon a time, it was held as a truth. It was held as fact that human beings could not run a mile in under four minutes. And this was a fact. It was believed, it was taught as a fact. It was believed to be a physiological impossibility. Until 1954 when Roger Banister ran a mile in three minutes, 59.4 seconds. He did the impossible. 

As amazing as that accomplishment is, and it's pretty darn amazing. The real story is what happened next once beliefs changed, once the possibility of running a mile in under four minutes became a reality to people. Once the psychological barrier was breached, things changed and they changed pretty quickly. Remember, before Roger Banister ran this mile, it was taught that it was physiologically impossible that human beings could not run a mile in under four minutes. But just 46 days after Roger Banister ran that mile in three minutes, 59.4 seconds, the record was broken again. 

And then even more amazing, just a year later, three runners broke that four minute time barrier in one single race. Three of them did it in the same race. What we believe is possible has a dramatic impact on the results we achieve. It's so important, I'm going to repeat it again. What we believe is possible has a dramatic impact on the results we achieve.

What you believe will affect how you feel. What you believe affects how you feel, and these things together impact our actions. They impact your choices. They affect your persistence. They affect how far you stretch yourself or how little you try or how little hope you feel. The things that we tell ourselves are possible? That changes everything. Once we believe something is possible, there is so much energy and momentum created, and this can dramatically affect your results. 

Perhaps even more critical and important to pay attention to is that what we tell ourselves is impossible, stops us in our tracks. If Roger Banister had believed that you can't run a four minute mile, would he have tried? So what do you believe? What do you really believe is possible when it comes to creating your personal freedom from overeating? What do you believe? And then what are you telling yourself? What are the thoughts or the stories that you repeat repeatedly? Repeat repeatedly, repeat repeatedly in your head.

We all have a soundtrack and so many of us are so used to the soundtrack that we don't even consciously listen to it. What are the thoughts or the stories that you are repeating and repeating and repeating in your head? Are they serving you? Are they working for you? Do they help you keep taking productive steps or are the thoughts and the stories that are on repeat in your head, actually putting a layer of static between you and the thing that you want to achieve. The feelings that you want to have. The habits that you want to grow. 

If you aren't getting where you want to go, it is time to take a look at what you believe and how you're talking to yourself. Your thoughts, your beliefs, your own personal soundtrack that is where change starts. The thoughts, the beliefs, the soundtrack that you have in your head, they will flavor and impact the energy that you carry forward with any action that you decide to take. So do you believe all the way down to your toes? Do you believe that real lasting success, that achieving your goal with overeating or emotional eating or the scale or whatever it is, do you believe that it is possible for you?

Can you see yourself achieving your dream? When the going gets tough, can you talk yourself through it in a way that motivates you or reminds you of the path you want to be on? What we know, what we believe, and the messages that we tell ourselves grow. 

And no, you cannot just snap your fingers and automatically change your beliefs. But you can take an inventory, you can pay attention to that soundtrack and what it is that you are repeating over and over to yourself. And you can ask yourself questions like, is this serving me? Is this a useful thing to be saying to myself over and over and over again? You can't snap your fingers and change your beliefs, but you can choose how to focus and manage your mind. 

Because the beliefs that we repeat the thoughts that we, we keep on that loop in our head, they can motivate us or they can suck the oxygen out of our dreams. If you don't believe that what you want is possible for you, then it is absolutely time to get serious about the psychological barriers that are in your way.

So what does that look like? Well, are you hanging out with people who model confidence? Who model the kind of confidence with food that you want to have? Are you nourishing yourself with things and ideas and thoughts that inspire you? Do you have the mentors and the support in your corner who can help you stretch and grow and see the possibilities that feel elusive right now? That can help you step into a new set of beliefs, uh, a higher level? And by higher level, I mean they serve you better tier of beliefs and possibilities for yourself? Are you surrounded by the kind of support or the social network that reminds you what is possible when you feel tapped out on your own belief? 

I will tell you that too many smart women are isolated and lacking in the kind of support that would really help them flourish because they are stuck in the myth that they are alone in this struggle. That other smart, successful people have figured this out by now, and that if they haven't, there's something wrong with them. I am here to tell you that is a myth. That is a lie. 

As I'm recording this podcast episode, I'm in the midst of an online event where I am teaching women how to create freedom from overeating. . If you are telling yourself the lie that you are the only one that struggles with this, you need to know that there are over 600 people participating in this event from just about every state in the United States. From a total of at least 20 countries. There are four continents, represented. You are not alone in this struggle.

So if your thoughts are telling you that there is something wrong with you and you need to isolate yourself again, it is time to look at the psychological barriers that are in your way. Too many smart women believe the absolute lie of diet mentality, that if you're still fighting with food and overeating, there's something wrong with you. There's something wrong with you. You're weak or you're lazy or you're undisciplined believing these things will never solve the problem. Having these thoughts on repeat will keep you stuck and you can get into an argument in your brain about whether they are true or not. The truth is, they are not serving you.

My 2 cents, put yourself in rooms real or virtual rooms with people who believe in bigger, better possibilities. Put yourself in situations where you can see other people creating and living with freedom from overeating and peace with food. Do a detox of your inbox and your social media streams, and you may need to do a social detox. Eliminate the stuff that fosters the beliefs and the thoughts and the diet based actions that don't work and that don't feel good and that keep those deprivation thoughts looping in your brain. 

Roger Banister didn't believe the rule that a four minute mile was impossible. So stop endlessly repeating things to yourself that limit you. I am saying this with loving firmness because I see it happen all the time. All too often. You are the only one who was put on this planet to live your unique life. You get to decide what your best relationship with food looks like. Yes, you may want support, you want, may want help. You may want some resources to figure that out, but stop telling yourself it's impossible. Stop telling yourself that you don't get to have a good relationship with food. 

Your best version of your life is what you and the world deserve. And if there is a gap right now between where you are, and what it is that you want to achieve. You've got it in you to start taking the steps to make it happen.

Do you believe it? Can you start working on believing it? Can you start building that belief step by step? Could you even say, it's possible that I have it in me to make these things happen? Your best life is counting on you. 

So enough of the pep talk. Melissa, what do you do if your brain is now telling you that you don't know how to do it differently? You just don't know how? 

Number one, take inventory of the soundtrack that is playing in your head. We all have one. You're a human being. There is a flow of thoughts that just talks to you practically 24 7. Pick some thoughts that you actually believe. That are helpful, that are more helpful than maybe the worst offenders that you discover.

So this can be very simple. This, I'm not talking pie in the sky ideas. Pick some thoughts that you actually believe that are more helpful than some of the worst thoughts that you have on repeat. And they can be very simple, like, I'm doing my best, or I can ask for help, or maybe I can give myself permission to be kind to myself.

Here's a good one. I can forgive myself if I eat too much and I can just keep going. I don't have to scrap it all and completely start over. Take an inventory of the soundtrack and then start upgrading it. One simple thought at a time. 

If you want support and help and encouragement and a comprehensive set of tools to ditch that old deprivation approach and to really create freedom from overeating that fits you and your life, then absolutely consider joining Your Missing Peace. We will spend six months together. Working together to make that happen in a way that fits you. And if you're not ready to do that, there are other resources. Stay plugged into these podcast episodes. Listen to them, and then share the ones that you like and talk them over with a friend. Grow your support. Grow the set of beliefs and the thoughts that you have by talking about these things. By joining my free Facebook community. I will put the link to that in the show notes. 

Or if you don't have the show notes handy, you can just go on Facebook and search Freedom from Emotional Eating and Overeating. It's a non-diet community. So search that freedom from emotional eating and overeating and non-diet community. I know it's very long. Search that on Facebook and join us. 

Take it one step at a time. One step at a time. Grow your belief. Transform your belief. Move out of deprivation and into freedom mentality. One belief at a time. One step at a time. It can be this simple. In fact, you can have that thought that you practice in your brain. It can be simple. It can be simple. It doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to be miserable. It doesn't have to be a slog. Grow your belief one step at a time. Step into a new possibility. 

Freedom from overeating is absolutely possible for you. 

You've got this.

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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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