Straight Talk About What to Do When You’re Still Overeating | TMOHP Episode 102

Today we’re getting right to the point. Because too many women are expending too much effort, and are still going in circles with overeating and emotional eating and their weight. In this episode I’ve got some straight talk for you if what you’re doing isn’t working - about why this is, and what changes will help. 

But first, let me say what this episode IS NOT. This is not an episode that’s designed to blame or to leave you feeling guilty. Not surprisingly, there are reasons that it’s so easy to get stuck in an ongoing cycle of overeating or emotional eating. If you’re there, you’ve definitely got company. In this episode I’m going to explain to you why this is probably happening and what needs to change - what YOU need to change - to break your overeating habit in a lasting way.

In this episode:

  • Relationships with food and eating are complicated - and then some
  • How deprivation thinking can sneak in to your plans - and sabotage them
  • Three things you’ve got to shift to break ongoing overeating habits
  • Why you’ll never beat the cycle that you’re stuck in - and what to do instead

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Full episode transcript:

Hey, everybody welcome back to the podcast. Today I have some straight talk for you about what's going on with your eating, with your overeating, with emotional eating and with weight. But first I have some news for you. I am going to be doing a series of podcast episodes. Hopefully if things go as planned, it's going to be an ongoing series of podcast episodes that are going to be devoted to answering your questions.

Your questions about creating freedom from overeating, your questions about your challenges with emotional eating, overeating, and what it takes to create peace with food. And what I would like in order to do this series is wait for it... I would like your questions.

So before we dive into this episode of the podcast, I want to tell you how you can submit your question or the thing you'd like help with for the podcast q and a. I'm going to be collecting questions from my free private community, which is over on Facebook. Oh wait, you didn't know I have a free private community over on Facebook? Well, I do. So if you haven't joined the group over there, you definitely want to. That's the first step. I'll put the link in the show notes.

Or you can go to facebook.com/groups/TooMuchOnHerPlate, all one word. Or you can just go into Facebook and search for the Freedom from Emotional Eating and Overeating Group, just search Freedom from Emotional Eating and Overeating, a non diet community, and Facebook will lead you right to the group.

Once you are in the group, just post your question over there. And then I am going to be selecting from the submissions for upcoming podcast content. So you can get your question answered and have an episode devoted to talking about that topic.

Also, the group is a great free source of resources about all the stuff that I talk about on the podcast. It is a place to connect with about 3, 000 women now about podcast episodes and topics related to the podcast episodes. And it's a place where you can escape the diet and the deprivation talk and focus on making changes that work and changes that last.

So get on over there. Give me your questions, what you would like me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Again, it's facebook.com/groups/TooMuchOnHerPlate, or you can search for the Freedom from Emotional Eating and Overeating Group on Facebook.

Okay. Now for today's episode. Today, I have some straight talk for you about what's going on with your eating. Why you are stuck if you're stuck with your eating, straight talk about vicious cycles with food and weight and why what you're doing isn't working. If it's not working, it isn't working.

First, know this is the case. You are not alone. I just mentioned that there are 3000 women in that Facebook community alone. Where we are talking about this stuff. People who have decided to join this group because they're looking for other people who are using the same approach and are interested in the same mindset.

You aren't alone. And you aren't alone because diets don't work. I know you know this. I know you've heard this. I know you probably tell yourself this. But I also know that if you are like most people raised in this culture, there's a part of your brain that says, Oh, but they really do. Diets don't work and they often lead to weight gain instead of weight loss.

Many people who set out to change their eating never make any kind of lasting change, at least not in a positive direction. Because worse, they often end up increasing their overeating instead. Their eating habits and their feelings about their ability to control their relationship with food actually get worse.

So you don't lose weight. You do lose some other things. Vicious cycles with dieting and deprivation lead to less confidence, less motivation every time you go through that cycle. Less hope about your ability to make changes and less belief in your ability to keep your promises to yourself. It is a sorry, miserable state of affairs.

I know a lot of smart women who feel like they have been trying to change their eating habits forever. And I'm guessing that at least a part of you can relate. Also, as a side note, just think about how much money is being made by the fact that smart women like you are going in circles and endlessly starting over. It's a racket.

You're not alone. Right? You are not alone in this whole game, in this whole cycle. You know the one. You set a date. You prepared yourself. You tried. You started the program. You bought the salad greens. You cut up the vegetables. You made the plans. And you've probably had the experience of feeling like it all unraveled eventually, or right away, you got off track or things just fizzled out.

I am going to repeat something important here. It is not your fault. You've probably heard me say it before. I'm going to keep repeating it. It is pretty impossible to stop overeating and emotional eating the way that you are probably attempting it right now. That's why we're having this conversation.

And that's why you're going to hear me repeat this stuff again in the future. In fact, I'll repeat it right now. It is pretty impossible to stop overeating and emotional eating the way that you're probably trying to do it right now. Here's why. Although we don't know each other, I am willing to bet that your relationship with food is complicated.

For most of us, food has come to mean many, many complex and tangled things. Food is love. Food is a reward. Eating with abandon is freedom or a treat. It's liberation. Food is comfort. Eating calms you. When you're bored, eating is something to do. Sweets might take the edge off your anger. Sugar gives you quick energy. That extra scoop of ice cream is the way you take care of yourself. And that's just a few examples. I could go on and on and on.

We have so many habits and thoughts and reactions and feelings that have become linked to food. It is complicated. But wait, that's not all of it. There's more. This is what the rest of the picture, your picture just might look like.

You're busy. You might be functioning on too little sleep. Your stress level might be higher than you'd like it to be on many days. Or it might even feel like most of the time. You've got a ton of responsibilities and your energy seems like it gets dispersed, taking care of all of the responsibilities. And then there's very little left over.

Maybe your heart is very big or your tolerance for saying no isn't very strong and you tend to give a lot with not very much left over for you. You might very likely be operating with seriously limited bandwidth. I mean, think about all the things I just mentioned.

And now, on top of all of this, because did I mention that you're doing an amazing job at holding a ton of pieces together on a daily basis? Getting everybody where they need to go. Maybe rocking a business or your professional life and making it look easy on the outside. Now, on top of all of this stuff, you want to attempt to mess with how and what you eat.

And remember that long list at the beginning. Food is comfort. Food is love. Food is a reward. Food is something you deserve. Food is your liberation. Food is your freedom. Whatever the stories are. That we have in our complicated relationship with food. You got a lot going on and food is taking care of a lot of heavy lifting in your life, at least temporarily. Or maybe you're telling yourself it is. But food is a coping strategy.

So then in the midst of all of this complicated tangle, you do the deprivation thing. You go on that super strict new plan. Whatever it is. Right? No more sugar. No more sugar for energy. No more chips or chocolate chips for that stress relief at the end of the day. No more mindless munching to cope with boredom or frustration. No more bowls of comforting ice cream at the end of everything at the end of the too long day. No more treats on your way home from work after you do that winning presentation.

Well shoot. And you wonder why you often feel so deprived when you try to change the way you eat? It is absolutely no surprise that way too many smart women feel stuck in a cycle of starting the super strict deprivation plan and then failing because food does oh, so many things in our complicated lives.

And then after you failed disappearing into a little comfort eating or a little remorse eating or a little numbing overeating and then finding a way to start over again on Monday. Or next month or after the holidays or after vacation or after the next full moon. It is so important to see this pattern. Because I've seen it over and over again, just the way we have been trained. You can be super smart. You can have super strategic skills in other areas of your life, but if your brain is telling you this is all your fault and you need to just dive in there and hit it harder one more time and that is the key to success. You will stay on this hamster wheel. You will stay in this vicious cycle.

If you want to stop starting over and if you really want to stop overeating and emotional eating, there are a few things that you have to do differently. And I want to break them down for you in this episode. There are three of them.

The first thing is that you have to stop minimizing the complexity. It seems so easy and obvious to simply focus on the food. To simply focus on a new food plan for the week. This is what I'm going to do. This is how I'm going to eat. This is what I'm not going to eat. But actually, when you focus simply on a new food plan, you are creating a lot of stress for yourself.

Because food is rarely simply fuel. Like I just talked about, your relationship with food, while it is unique, it is quite likely as complicated as most women's. I'm betting you have a lot of habits and a lot of thought patterns around food. And you can add more greens to your plate. You can focus on the protein and the vegetables or whatever the plan is.
You can tell yourself no cookies. But if you don't address the habits and the thought patterns, those cookies will be there waiting. They'll haunt you. Because you need them. Because they've been a way for you to take care of yourself. They have been a part of your coping strategies with that complicated tangle of life and the complicated reasons that we use food for that I mentioned at the beginning of the episode.

The cookies will be there waiting. If all you do is start with a food plan. The cookies will haunt you. And the next time you need comfort or feel stressed or feel exhausted or feel unappreciated, guess what your first thought is likely to be? You're going to want a cookie.

When you stop oversimplifying and when you give yourself permission to start seeing and honoring the complexity, it actually does get simpler and clearer. That's the first thing.

The second thing you've got to do is you've got to stop trying to beat the cycle. Stop trying to beat the cycle and instead focus on changing it. I'm talking about the starting over on Monday cycle. It's probably familiar. Right? And how is that working for you? You probably know it by heart, but you know it by heart because it keeps happening over and over.

I used to think it was amazing how when it comes to overeating, smart women seem to try the same or a similar approach over and over again. Even when it doesn't work. And then I realized... It's not us smart women, it's something diet mentality teaches us to do. Diet mentality teaches that mental strength and perfect execution are the answer.

And if a diet doesn't work, or if a food plan doesn't work, you're fed this misbelief that it is your fault that you failed. You're fed the idea that if you can just get your crap together, all of this will work out. All will be absolutely peachy. You will get those results. Success is waiting for you. If you can get stronger. Right?

You are plenty strong. Just look at the rest of your life. Look at all the things that you are doing. So you've got to stop trying to beat the cycle. You can't beat it. It's a hamster wheel. It's just a wheel that's taking you nowhere. And the more strongly you show up, the faster you run on the hamster wheel.

So, instead, put your energy into changing the cycle. What I mean by that is instead of trying to beat this plan that is set up to fail, how about starting to learn and experiment with how to design a plan that fits and works for you. It's a whole different paradigm. And it changes the game.

Along these lines, here's the third and the last point that I want to make today. It is time to stop creating plans for yourself that, you know, you know, you can't follow for more than a few days or weeks, or maybe in some cases, even years. But you know they're not for you and you know they won't last. I know a lot of women who are masters at creating results or who are superb at losing 10 pounds fast or being super disciplined for 24 hours or 30 days.

I've heard so-called experts say that getting you these quote unquote quick wins is where the income is. There is money in this industry in delivering fast results, especially if these dramatic fast results are ones that you have to continue to recreate. The industry is getting results. They're making a lot of money. But you're not.

I know, and I work with plenty of women who could, when they come to me, they could write their own book on the advice and the plans they have tried to follow and the lists. The literal lists that they have in their head of what they are telling themselves they are supposed to be doing, what they should be doing.

What all these women have in common is that they are incredibly frustrated by the lack of lasting long term results that they have been able to achieve. And over time, they have found it harder and harder to get started on that starting over plan one more time. Partly because over time, it becomes clearer and clearer that it isn't going to work.

My straight talk for you today- you deserve better. And the first step is to give yourself permission to let go of what isn't working. And not just let go of what isn't working, but to stop beating yourself up for plans that are actually failing you. That's the first step. And then, and only then, when you have given yourself permission to let go of what isn't working and to stop blaming yourself for that. Start using your smarts and your discernment to begin investigating the complexity of your relationship with food.

It is a different kind of process. You have to start exploring the tangles before you can figure out how to untangle them. That is how you get somewhere. Diets don't work. Plans that start with a food plan aren't addressing what you need for lasting change. And you deserve better.

And here's the thing, when you start switching over to this kind of thinking, it sounds vague. It sounds complicated. Starting a food plan sounds so simple. Okay. Sign me up. I will do these three things and I won't do these four things and all will be right with the world. Right? Diets don't work. You deserve better. You deserve a plan that addresses the complexity of your life.

What you have been doing hasn't been working and you deserve better. Let that in.

The steps how to do it differently, that whole new approach. It may sound complicated. That's okay. Keep listening to the podcast. Check out the Your Missing Peace program. I love making these things as simple and step by step as possible and lightening things up as we do it. But start by getting off the hamster wheel.

Stop running harder.

Stop blaming yourself.

Diets don't work.

Deprivation isn't the answer.

And you deserve better.

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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