Shame, Blowing It, and Starting Over | TMOHP 010

Let's talk vicious cycles with overeating and emotional eating - and what to do about them. You can break patterns of endlessly falling off track and "starting over" each time your eating doesn't go the way you'd hoped. You can also let go of the guilt and shame and the other emotional baggage that's often a part of these overeating cycles. I have a number of "what if" questions for you in today's episode that just might change your whole approach.

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What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to move out of cycles with shame, guilt, and self-blame
  • Why self-blame is a dead end
  • Going left instead of right
  • New ways to respond when you fall off track or feel like you’ve “blown it” (you haven’t)

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Full episode transcript:

Hey, everybody. Welcome back. So the topic today may make you feel kind of heavy. And I'm guessing if you have been around the block with overeating or emotional eating more than a few times, or even a few times, you understood what this episode was going to be about because the title resonated with you today. I'm talking about shame blowing it and starting over and blowing. It is in big air quotes. Because if you know me, you know that I have a whole different take on what happens in this whole cycle, which is part of what I want to talk about today. I'm betting, you know, that feeling that moment that happens after, or that happens in the morning when you wake up or when you get on the scale or that place where you feel that it's bottoming out in your stomach and you feel like you ruined it, maybe you felt like you ate the way you wanted to all day.

And then at the end of the day, you lost yourself control, or maybe you felt like things were going so well. And then you went out to eat and you forgot what it was that you were planning to do. And you went on autopilot or maybe you saw the brownies sitting on the counter and you were just done for, and now you're at yourself, right? Shame blowing it. And that feeling of, oh my gosh, now it's all ruined. Now I just have to start over. We need to talk about where that comes from. That feeling. That self-blame, that shame, that guilt, all of that is something that you have learned from diet mentality and diet culture. Diet mentality is about blaming ourselves, telling yourself that it is your fault, that you didn't do this thing that somebody else told you or that you thought you were supposed to be able to do.

You blame yourself. You're taught to fight your urges or push them down or deny what you really want. Be strong, be happy with less, be satisfied with less. And then when that doesn't work, that really hard, difficult model that is not set up for long-term success. When it doesn't work, you are supposed to feel guilt and even shame that you couldn't make it work. Because in this model, there is something wrong with you. If this whole path to deprivation and fighting your urges and not giving yourself what you want. If that doesn't work out, diet mentality says it's because there's something wrong with you. You're not strong enough. If you've been around the block more than a few times with overeating and emotional eating, then your brain knows this stance really well. Your brain knows how to blame yourself for not being able to deprive yourself and not being happy with deprivation. But today I want to explore with you

How that can be different instead of your brain going right. Like it is so used to doing and by right, I'm talking directions, not right as incorrect, but instead of your brain going right down that long well-worn path of, okay, now I blew it. It is all my fault. I feel horrible. I'm a horrible person. I'm lazy. I don't have enough willpower. Now I need to start all over again. So I might as well just finish the brownies cause it's all ruined. Anyway. Instead of going down that right-hand path. What if we went left today? I want to talk about what is possible for you. When you train your brain to go in a different direction. When we follow the rules of diet mentality, the path is really simple and the judgments are already made. If you have a plan for the day with your eating and it doesn't go the way the plan said it was supposed to go, then it's really clear.

It was your fault. You weren't strong enough or you weren't paying enough attention or you didn't try hard enough or you weren't motivated, but all roads and in it was your fault. The problem with judgment. Well, there are a lot of problems with judgment, including the fact that that kind of self-blame and guilt and pressure often leads to just more of the same, trying to take care of yourself by reaching for more to eat, because you don't know what to do with these feelings. And it all feels so out of control and bad. That's one problem. The other problem with a tried and true path that ends in self judgment is it's a dead end when you are in that place of self blame, you've already decided what the problem is. The framework that you're in has already told you what the problem is. And so if you already know what the problem is, and if the solution is to point at yourself and blame yourself for the problem, there is no room for curiosity.

If you already know the answer, you are not going to be curious. And if you don't have space and permission, to be curious, there is no room for growth and change. And if there's no room for curiosity or growth or change, then you're going to stay on the same path, thinking the same thoughts, which lead to the same feelings, which lead to the same actions, which not only aren't getting you where you want to go, they probably feel pretty awful. So how do you go left instead of turning, right? It's easier to go left when you start to see that turning right is just a dead end path, or it's actually, uh, like a loop that takes you around and around and around on this course that you can't get off of. The key to turning in that other direction is curiosity and giving yourself permission to be curious in that moment where you feel like I blew it or it's ruined, or now I have to start over.

What if you take a step back instead? And what if instead of now I know what I need to do because it's ruined and it's all my fault. And I, I know that dance. What if instead, you just asked questions. What if you just asked, why did things go off track? What do I know about why things went sideways? What was going on before this happened? What was happening during it? What do I know about what I was needing? What do I know about what I was feeling? What do I know about how today was different from yesterday or how this afternoon was different from this morning? What was I feeling? What was I needing? What was I wanting? What if you took a step back and took a deep breath and thought the thought that there was something so valuable to learn from this moment and from this experience, what if you decided there was something to learn and you looked for it with curiosity.

What if you rejected the belief that in order for you to be successful in order for you to create the results that you want to create, whatever those are, you have to be perfect. What if mistakes and missteps and getting off track and blowing, it were simply a part of the process. And what if not only were they simply a part of the process, they weren't just something to be tolerated. They were your most profitable, valuable learning experiences. What would you learn from that last moment of falling off track or blowing it or doing the thing that you didn't want to do? If you gave yourself permission to not have it be something that's about self-blame, but to look in that other direction, where could those new thoughts take you diet mentality? Doesn't teach you this, but you are the CEO of this journey. You are the person who has lived inside of you your entire life, and will continue to do so.

And everything that comes at you, all the advice, all the wisdom, all the rules, all the sheds is only going to work. And it is only going to be powerful for you. When you filter it through your own inner wisdom, you get to choose your thoughts and how you think. And what you tell yourself will determine how you feel, which will strongly influence your next action. I blew it. It's my fault. I wasn't strong enough. I should have been stronger. I shouldn't have eaten that thing. I really wanted. Now it's all ruined. Now I'm going to have to start completely over. Those are thoughts. Other thoughts are, Hmm. I wonder what happened here. I can figure this out. This was just one day. I want to figure out what happens to me with food in situations like this. I wonder what was going on before this, that made it so difficult for me to not overeat.

What triggered me? You get to choose the direction that your brain takes and don't worry. You don't have to get it perfect. You don't have to get anything perfect. That's another part of deprivation thinking you can play, you can experiment. You can catch yourself before or during or way after something's happened and ask yourself, what are the thoughts I'm thinking about this? And are they helping me? Are they serving me? Or are they taking me down a road? I don't want to go down anymore. You get to choose your thoughts and how you think will determine how you feel, which is strongly going to influence the next action and the action after that. And they action. After that. You can stay on that path where you repeatedly tell yourself you blew it and that you should have done better somehow with some miraculous willpower that should always be there with you.

You can tell yourself that, and you can take on the shame and the guilt that follow from those kinds of thoughts. Or you can believe you can practice believing. You can learn to practice believing that you may have learned something really important in that moment. That didn't go so well. Something you need to know to move forward. You get to choose the way to get out of that closed loop. That circle of I blew it. I need to start over. It's all my fault. It all ends up with me, the guilt and the shame and the self blame. The way to get out of that closed circle is to realize it can really be a spiral. You can spiral up and learn from each new experience and move forward by asking what was valuable here by letting go of perfectionism and guilt and self-blame and stepping out of deprivation, or you can spiral down and end up back in that dead end all over again. You are the CEO. You get to own your thoughts. You don't have to do it perfectly, but right now you get to choose. I'll talk to you soon.


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