Do you know what’s missing from most approaches to overeating?
It’s the importance of psychology – our mental states, our thoughts, and the strategies we use (or don’t use) to succeed or to get in our own way. Quite often, the psychology that keeps us stuck boils down to the things we tell ourselves, and the energy this creates.
Stories and thoughts lead to feelings which lead to the actions we decide to take (or avoid).
As high-achievers, it’s easy to concoct stories that your next move must be big, or complicated if it’s going to make a difference.
Most of us are really good at this. We also react to our latest missteps with more drama than we need to.
“I screwed up!”
“I blew it!”
“Now I need to start over!”
Which often leads to a series of choices that are worse than the one we were originally upset about, because “starting over” has to be a big, dramatic deal too. One that can often only occur on Mondays, or the first of the month, or when all the stars are aligned.
The truth: Your power with food is in this moment.
It’s not in the past, which has already happened. And you can’t do anything about the future until you get there.
We are notoriously bad at paying attention to the power that we have in the present. We tell ourselves that any choice we can make right now is too small, or won’t matter. But that’s not true.
Peace with food and freedom from overeating happen in small, subtle ways. They arrive from a series of choices, many of them surprisingly easy. And in the present moment, you can always choose.
But wait – there’s more!
What if, in the present moment, your choices don’t boil down to eating or resisting the urge to eat, or filling your plate with baby carrots?
Last year, members of Your Missing Peace helped put together a list of choices you can make in the moment when you have the urge to overeat and I thought you might find it useful too.
Because your power with food is in this moment. And in every moment when you have an urge to overeat, or reach for food you can choose:
- To taste
- To savor and relish
- To postpone
- To make a trade-off
- To enjoy
- To dance instead
- To give yourself permission instead of guilting yourself
- To take a nap
- To go for a walk
- To call a friend
- To stop or continue
- To pause
- To be mindful
- To pace yourself
- To slow down
- To investigate your hungers
- To put on music
- To take deep breaths
- To eat with reverence
- To do nothing
- To say an affirmation
- To investigate other options
- To substitute
- To feed your other senses
- To put the fork down
- To put this moment in perspective
- To choose a new story
- To act or think outside the box
- To step out of scarcity thinking
- To investigate your longing
Each moment is fresh and full of choice and possibility. You can always take a new step.
Which will you choose?