Solving Your Overeating Puzzle: Find Freedom Forever | TMOHP Episode 100

When you think of the word “freedom” you probably don’t conjure up a lot of limitations. 

Freedom feels expansive. Freedom is something you can relax into. Freedom - the idea of it - probably doesn’t come with a time limit. When I talk to women about their overeating and emotional eating, they aren’t seeking short-term changes. What they’re craving is freedom. Lasting freedom from overeating.

There is a way to get there. For each of us, it’s a puzzle that needs to be solved. The problem is that most women are attempting to solve their overeating puzzle while missing some of the essential pieces. And to add to the frustration, diet culture has thrown in some “extra” pieces. We can spend our life endlessly trying to fit these extraneous pieces together, but they won’t ever help us create that end product we desire.

Willpower plus tough love plus deprivation plus self-blame will never equal feelings of peace and freedom.

So let’s talk about what WILL allow you to create lasting freedom from overeating and emotional eating and real peace with food. In this episode I’m sharing the four key pieces to address (none include a specific food plan) and how we implement these pieces inside the Your Missing Peace program.

In this episode:

  • Overeating is a puzzle and you may not have all the pieces you need to solve it
  • How deprivation thinking can lead you to try to solve the wrong puzzle, with the wrong pieces
  • The four key pieces you need to create lasting freedom from overeating

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • 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 to the podcast. Today, we're going to talk about the puzzle that is overeating. I know we talk about the puzzle that is overeating in all these episodes. But today I want to talk about what it really takes to solve the puzzle. And maybe why it has felt so complicated or impossible for you to solve the puzzle in the past.

So if breaking patterns of overeating or emotional eating was as easy as just eat less, and if this was actually helpful advice, well, wouldn't that just be wonderful? The truth is we start creating a relationship with food and with our eating from almost the time that we're born. And so many factors, cultural factors, familial factors, historical, individual, all of these things make that relationship or those relationships pretty complex.

Lots of things can get tangled up and, embroiled in the way that we approach and use food and eating and the way we relate to them in our lives. And so creating freedom from overeating and peace with food is really like solving a puzzle. 

Now, when I start a puzzle, I dump all the pieces out on the table and, you know, I start to get a feel for them. I turn them right side up. I noticed the common colors. Maybe I sort them into different piles. I search for the edge pieces. And as I get a feel for what it is I'm dealing with, I start to create a strategy to solve the puzzle. 

We're solving a puzzle here. I often tell my clients or members of my program that the first step is not jumping blindly into some arbitrary plan. Right? What am I going to do? It's getting an understanding of the pieces of the puzzle that you are dealing with. 

I literally named my program where I teach my approach, I named the program, You're Missing Peace, although it's spelled P E A C E. It, it is named this because we are literally solving a complex puzzle. That's what's necessary to create peace with food. 

And this is really important. Not only is your ideal relationship with food a puzzle that you want to solve, but you are probably missing some of the pieces. This is not a problem because you're not good at puzzles. You're probably missing some pieces. 

Most women are. And this is the reason behind so many vicious cycles and failed attempts and that feeling in the pit of your stomach that this is going to be something that I'm going to struggle with forever. This is unsolvable. Or maybe you have that gnawing feeling that even if you do make the change in your eating or you do lose the weight, the old habits will always come back. It's not because you're not good at puzzles. It is probably because you're missing some pieces. 

We live in a world, in a culture that encourages women to diet. To deprive themselves to go without, and then to blame themselves when these deprivation plans lead to inevitably, inevitably lead to failure and vicious cycles. I know that you can end this. You can end the cycles. You can step out of these ways that don't work, and you can do this permanently.

But it starts by making sure that you have all the pieces necessary to solve the overeating puzzle. And I also need to say here that deprivation mentality has probably had you endlessly trying to fit together some puzzle pieces that you don't actually need.

Not only don't you need them, they are not helpful at all. They won't help you permanently break free from overeating. And these pieces, these puzzle pieces that you have probably been told are necessary, but aren't going to create the finished puzzle that you really want, are... Willpower, discipline, oh and you know, blaming yourself. Right? That wet noodle that you lash yourself with. You don't need these pieces. You can throw those pieces out. Okay. 

So let's talk about the missing pieces, the ones that will get you where you do want to go. The effective ones. And not by coincidence, of course, these are the four pillars, the four key modules that we dive deep into inside the, Your Missing Peace program. Right? Missing pieces. In this episode, I want to give you an inside look at what these pieces include and why they're so important. 

We talk a lot about what doesn't work or what not to do. Right? I'm not going to focus on depriving myself or telling myself I'm lazy or I'm not going to live on willpower. I'm going to throw those pieces out. I'm not going to go hungry anymore. But that actually leaves this vacuum. Right? So many women feel stuck because they don't know what to do. What do I do instead of those things? I know those things don't work. I know diets don't work. What do I do instead? 

So this episode is a high level view of the key pieces to create freedom from overeating. The key pieces to unlocking or, or solving the puzzle. The key pieces that diet culture never taught you.

Okay, so there are four key pillars or areas that you're going to want to address to create freedom from overeating in a way that lasts. I'm going to tell you what they are, and then we'll go through each one and take a deeper dive into what that looks like and what that means. 

So the four key pieces are number one owning your mindset, creating mindset freedom. Number two, creating an empowering relationship with food. I call that food freedom. The third one is becoming the CEO of your time and your energy. And the fourth is about getting serious about what you need. Not what you'll do, but what you need to create lasting change. And I call this piece forever freedom, forever freedom. 

Okay. So let's take a dive into the first pillar, owning your mindset or mindset freedom. In Your Missing Peace, we call this module embrace your power. And it really is the first step. It needs to happen first. And not surprisingly, most people skip this step, which is why people get stuck. We are conditioned. We are wired to actually skip this step. 

The human inclination when you want to make a change is to jump right into making changes. Right? So if you want to make a change with how you eat, if you want to change your eating, then it makes intuitive sense. What am I going to do? I want to do something. What am I going to eat? What am I going to not eat? 

But the truth is your mindset, your thoughts, your beliefs, the stories you tell yourself have everything to do with your mood, your motivation, your focus on your goal, how you set your goal, what your goal looks like, what you tell yourself is going to be required of you and how you feel about it. And whether or not you succeed.

All of these things are fueled by your mindset, your thoughts, your beliefs, the stories. You cannot do the outer work, which is changing your eating habits. You can't do that outer work if you are approaching it with a self defeating mindset. Psychology comes first. This is where the power is.

Inside Your Missing Peace, embracing your power, finding your power, reclaiming your power, and then divorcing that deprivation mindset. These are the first steps that we take. Because nothing will set you up for self sabotage faster than a plan that is just oozing deprivation. That makes you miserable from the very beginning.

And you have probably incorporated so many beliefs, so many shoulds, so many so called rules and wisdom that doesn't fit you. So many ideas about what is supposedly necessary. Or what is supposedly the right way to eat in air quotes. Right? Deprivation thinking disconnects you from you. It, it tells you that the wisdom and the truth comes from the outside. The knowledge is something that you have to accept from outside of you. 

Deprivation thinking leads you to forgetting about what you know about yourself. About what you know about what you need. Deprivation thinking robs you of your confidence. And incidentally, it leads to a relationship with food that feels depriving, it feels out of whack, or it feels unattainable and it feels stressful.

Deprivation thinking and diet mentality, these are not paths to freedom. You're going to create peace with food and a way of eating that works for you when you're able to begin making decisions instead of feeling like you have to submit to rules. When you get to be the decider. When you get to be the one who knows. When you learn how to trust yourself. When you learn how to, or remember how to tune into your own inner wisdom.

You're going to be able to create freedom from overeating instead of deprivation when you give yourself permission to do what's right for you. And listen to yourself when you, when you're able to listen to yourself to start to discern what's right for you. When you learn, or when you remember how to make promises to yourself that you can and will keep. 

When you truly understand what it means and understand how to embrace your power in this one area of your life, in your relationship with food, everything you do after this is going to feel so different than it did when you were stuck inside a deprivation mindset. Ditching the negative stories about yourself, the negative stories about change and what is required and what it takes and examining the beliefs that you have about what you are going to have to do or have to give up. 

Being able to cordon off your inner critic? These kinds of things create space for you to take back your confidence, your spark. And again, your trust and your belief in yourself. This is so huge embracing your power also includes losing a lot of emotional baggage, some of which you probably don't even know you have. Letting go of things like self blame. Forgiving yourself for things that you have yourself on the hook for when it comes to your relationship with food and maybe choices that you've made in the past, letting go of doing things the hard way.

 Embracing your power means giving yourself permission to lean into the things that work for you and to lean into your strengths and your talents and your unique style. If this sounds outrageous or impossible, believe me, it is not. This idea, this concept, this, this need to embrace your power it is a piece, it's a missing piece. And it is a place where support can be super helpful. Because it's so difficult to see our own mindset. It is so difficult to see the certain way that we are thinking. 

I will guarantee you that you have thoughts and beliefs that are not serving you, that you haven't realized are just thoughts and beliefs. This is what happens for human beings right now. You have thoughts and beliefs that feel like unchangeable facts. 

It might be. I'm lazy. I don't try hard enough. I can't stop eating at night. These aren't facts. They are thoughts. So is something like, ugh, eating less is just going to suck. It's going to be miserable. So is I never stick with anything. So is, ugh, I can do this, but I know it won't be enough to make a difference. These are thoughts. These are beliefs. 

The mindset piece is the most important piece of the puzzle. And when you start to shift this, even in small ways, everything begins to change. As your thoughts and beliefs change, or as you choose to focus on different thoughts and beliefs, the path that you choose changes. The steps that you see as necessary change. How everything feels, the energy behind things changes. And these things change everything. 

Because one of the things that is important to remember is the journey the journey that you're taking toward whatever your goal is around changing overeating and emotional eating, that journey is at least as important as the destination you aren't heading for some goal. That is like a single day. Right? You're not heading for a single day where you like your eating and where you like the number on the scale.

You are in a lifelong relationship with food. You are creating a journey. And so the journey is just as important, if not more important than the destination, your mindset has everything to do with whether you're creating freedom. Or whether you are building this gilded cage that is going to leave you waiting desperately for your cheat days. Because you don't like the cage. You don't like the relationship with food that you are in. 

I know I'll get questions about how, how do you do this? How do I embrace my power? And I won't lie, this is a deep piece of the work. And because it is deep and also because it's so important and it's so rich, it's one that you practice. And it may be the place where you want to get some support. But you want to practice it. You want to play with it. You want to pay attention to what your thoughts and your beliefs are.

Addressing that mindset piece embracing your power is a giant piece of the coaching that happens inside Your Missing Peace. Because working this through with somebody else, you know, something that I coach members on all the time, because it's hard to see our own thoughts and beliefs.

Other things that are in the program. That you can think about using on your own or, or you can join us in the program. I use guided visualizations. Those are available in there. We do some journaling work. We do some mindfulness work. There's a ton of video material and workbook exercises with the goal of really identifying what's going on currently? What are your blocks? Where are you not taking your power? 

And also practices for stretching and growing your thinking in new and different directions. So that you can grow into the power that you already have that you can start taking it back. Okay. 

The second pillar, let's move on to that one. The second missing piece that you need to solve your overeating puzzle is all about what you need to create in terms of an empowering relationship with food. And I call that piece food freedom.

Creating an empowering relationship with food is a mouthful and it's kind of a fancy way of saying what you do after you ditch the diets. Creating food freedom is the missing piece that we devote the entire second month of my program to. Ditching the diets and then figuring out how you eat in a way that is going to work for you.

You know, I just did this podcast interview with somebody else and I was saying that there are very few things I know are 100% true. And one of those things is, that I know is 100% true, is that there is no right way of eating that works for everyone. Once you take your power back, you get to find your best way. I can guarantee you it's not going to be a diet. 

So in Your Missing Peace, we start by really weighing what matters. And I suggest that you do the same. What does that mean? It means beginning to take the time to connect your dots. Get curious about the reasons that you overeat. Get curious about what triggers your overeating and emotional eating. 

Focus on what needs attention. Focus on what needs compassion. Start building strategies. What can I do instead? How can I feed my hidden hungers? So that you can break the cycle of overeating. Break it. Break down the cycle instead of constantly needing to be wary and strong and kind of hold the cycle back. Okay. Take care of the reasons that you're using food. Instead of just trying to have a magical amount of willpower so that you can push back when the cravings are really strong.

It takes trial and error. It takes experimenting. But you can lose the urge to overeat. 

Ditching the deprivation and that whole idea that willpower is queen, that is so important here because getting rid of the urge to overeat, losing that urge, taking your power back and deflating the power that food has in your life? This requires things like giving yourself permission to seek out, to look for the tools and the strategies that are going to help you address whatever the root causes of your eating. Right? 

The difficult feelings, the situations that trigger you, the hidden hungers. Giving yourself permission to look for better answers. Instead of listening to that inner voice, which is really inner deprivation mentality that tells you, you should just tough it out. Right? You should just get through it. You should just white knuckle it. 

Give yourself permission to look for real solutions. There are better ways. Right? And I hope you're hearing how you having the power, having taken your power back is essential to all of this. You get to drive this bus. You get to be in charge. You get to call the shots.

There are better ways than diets. Than crazy, strict food plans. And that's really important to remember at this place in the journey, because at first, when you leave the diets and the diet thinking behind, you might feel lost. You might feel like you're in this vacuum. When you have been told forever that there is a right way or a wrong way to eat, it is normal to feel like you don't know how to eat. Or you don't know how to think about food if you aren't doing it the old way. Right? The way that you have been told you should be doing it for a very long time. 

One reason that that mindset work is so important is that true freedom from overeating, it only happens when you are able to reconnect with your inner wisdom. That is the only way, ultimately, you're going to find a way of eating that works for you.

You can collect all the nutrition wisdom in the world. But it is only when you filter that through what you know about yourself that you're going to find a way of eating that works for you. That works for your life, that works for your goals. Again, it may sound impossible right now. It might. From where you are standing, this might feel impossible.

And that's because you probably haven't fully taken your power back. You probably fully have not embraced your power. You're probably listening to this episode with at least a part of a deprivation mindset, and this isn't a jab. I'm not, I'm not picking on you. If you are a woman who has grown up in this culture or in a similar culture, it's completely normal. You have not been taught to be powerful in your relationship with food. 

This new approach, this new way, really is possible. And there are layers to it. It is a process to shift your thinking and to shift your approach. That's one of the reasons Your Missing Peace is a six month program. Because you need time to learn. You need time to implement. You need time to clear out some of the stuff that's in your head and make room for new ways of thinking. To experiment and to customize things to fit you.

And then you need time to reinforce these things. And to get comfortable with them. You actually even need time to fall off track because nobody's perfect. And then learn how to keep going. Learn how to do this imperfectly.


Initially, this freedom approach, it feels like a shock to your brain. It feels like a shock to any brain that's been marinating in diet culture and diet mentality. But don't let that shock convince you that it's not possible. I'm going to be right here continually telling you that it is. It is possible. 

Okay, the third missing piece of the puzzle that is so important for creating freedom from overeating is you need to become the CEO of your time and energy. So the third piece is learning how to do that. Or relearning how to do that. Taking your power back in this area of your life.

Again, this doesn't get included when you are trying to use a diet or to solve overeating with deprivation mentality. But think about hidden hungers. Think about the reasons that smart, busy women overeat. Stress, being too busy, needing rest, going without sleep, having a lack of me time, needing self care, needing compassion.

You cannot create freedom without owning your time and your energy. Especially in this area of your life. This is definitely an area we cover in depth inside the program and not just the importance of it, but the things that can trip you up. Things that get in the way of owning your time and energy like perfectionism or guilt. Or beliefs that can keep you from feeding your real hidden hungers and needs, and that actually contribute to a cycle of using food instead. Right? To a cycle of overeating or emotional eating. And then beating yourself up about it. 

So creating freedom from overeating means approaching your time and energy like a CEO, like the CEO that you probably are in so many other areas of your life.

Okay. The last piece, one more piece that you need, and you actually do need this, or you will never solve your overeating puzzle. And I actually mean this literally. Because I don't meet women who are looking for a fix just for the short term. I talk with women all the time who are so tired of starting over. So tired of finding themselves back in a cycle with overeating that they thought they had ended. 

The final missing piece is forever freedom. Creating forever freedom. And this means getting serious about what it is that you need to create lasting change. High achievers can be so good at starting. Right? And it's setting ourselves up to do the hard thing for as long as we can. Right? We'll tough it out. But just about every woman I talk to is so ready to stop starting over when it comes to food and overeating and battles with the stuff.

Creating forever freedom is that piece of the puzzle that focuses on taking those old vicious cycles and transforming them. Moving out of them and creating a lifestyle with food, a relationship with food, one that fits you, one that is comfortable. Right? That fits like this great comfy pair of yoga pants.

Forever freedom is it's again it's about your power. I hope you're so into this theme of you being the one who gets to be in control because this is what it is all about. Forever freedom means that you've, again, you've promoted yourself to CEO. Not just of your time and your energy, but CEO of your wellbeing. You are the CEO who focuses on building the habits. And on shifting her thinking and beliefs in a way that put her in control. Instead of feeling constantly reactive. 

You cannot have forever results if you are constantly in reaction mode. If you are constantly chasing your to do list. If you can never fit yourself in and... Probably using overeating to compensate. Right? Food as a, as a band aid because you're never getting what you need. 

Forever freedom means you are the CEO. It means permission to be yourself. Forever freedom means instead of hoping that you can follow some plan that someone gave you perfectly? Forever freedom is a huge shift from that. It means creating an approach that acknowledges your life. Acknowledges that challenges and hurdles and unexpected events are very, very real. They are not aberrations. They are not times when you have to go off your plan. Your plan includes these things. Life will be busy and stressful and messy.

Including forever freedom means having resources that support you when life goes sideways. Acknowledging that your life is going to go sideways sometimes and being able to stay on the path because the path includes that. The path is built for forever. Solving for forever freedom is the opposite of the perfectionist belief that you have to get everything perfect to succeed.

You have a plan that will work for you forever. Which doesn't mean you're going to do the same thing forever. You're going to adjust. I mean, actually, that's part of forever freedom, the freedom to adjust and to experiment. To get support when you don't know what to do. To ask for help. Forever freedom is a real plan that addresses your real life.

How radical is that. Right? That's freedom. That is free ing and it is essential to creating results that are going to last. And a way of being that is going to last and a relationship with food that is going to feel free. 

I know there's a lot of freedom talk here, but I got to say, I have talked to hundreds of women, hundreds of women about what they want in their relationship with food and that is the word that comes up the most. I want to feel freedom. I want to be free of this stuff. I want to feel free. It's such an important word. It's actually a very empowering word. Right? Which is, kind of brings us full circle. 

So let me end with this. Solving your overeating puzzle, it isn't rocket science. But it can feel complex. And it's a lot easier when you have the right pieces to put the puzzle together. The pieces that I've talked about, they don't actually fit like a jigsaw puzzle. These pieces overlap. And your behaviors and your choices are influenced by your thoughts and also by the daily events that can set the tone for both of those things.

So creating freedom from overeating sometimes actually quite often, it feels like a dance between the mindset work and the food freedom creation and fine tuning as you go so that things are going to be set up for endurance. Right? So they're set up to last. 

It is so important to give yourself time and give yourself grace. And not to lose hope. And if you want support and help and the exact set of tools that I've designed to make this as easy as possible, then definitely come check out Your Missing Peace. 

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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