Tough Love for Emotional Eating | TMOHP Episode 021

If you can’t figure out how to stop overeating and emotional eating - despite your efforts, or if you can’t motivate yourself to try to change your eating habits because nothing seems to work, this episode is exactly what you need to hear.

Odds are that you’re used to creating success. You can probably solve most problems you set out to solve. If your emotional eating has you stuck, then you’re probably focusing (maybe focusing really hard) on taking the wrong steps.

Don’t blame yourself. Diet mentality can set you up for vicious cycles and endless trips around the hamster wheel that take you nowhere.

In this episode, I want to show you how you can coach yourself to do things differently. It’s time to ditch your inner-drill sergeant and discover what tough love really looks and feels like.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to recalibrate if you’re trying to stop overeating and it isn’t working
  • Why self-compassion may be your missing piece of the puzzle
  • Mistakes you might be making about what self-compassion is and isn’t
  • How to start strengthening your self-compassion muscle even if you don’t think you have one (and why you should)

Featured on the show:

  • Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz and find out your primary Hidden Hunger and your best place to start shifting your relationship with food.
  • Work with me to create freedom from overeating and peace with food. My 16-week coaching program combines mindset and high-performance psychology to embrace your inner power + your unique food freedom formula to create results without diets or deprivation + the strategy you need to create changes that last. Join us here and get instant access to your training formula and our live coaching schedule.
  • Visit for more tips and resources to create peace with food and overcome overeating and emotional eating

Episode Transcript

Hey you. I just ended a coaching call with a client and I’m all fired up about something, so I wanted to record this episode for you. Because I’m thinking maybe you might need to hear this too.

See, so often, when we’re trying to do something - like stop overeating, or break habits with emotional eating - and we just can’t do it, it’s because we’re trying to succeed by focusing on exactly the wrong things. It sounds crazy, but it’s true, and it’s especially true for high-achievers. I mean, think about it. You’re used to succeeding. If you aren’t - in this one area of your life - then it’s probably because your GPS has been set up to take you in the wrong direction. And if you're stubborn - or if you’re entrenched in a diet culture that tells you that the only reason you haven’t hit your goal is YOU - then you’re probably stuck in a pattern where you’re endlessly trying the same thing - harder - and getting more frustrated, and less confident each time.

Stop. Just stop.

This is the moment where I’m going to help your GPS do some recalculating.

If you want to stop emotional eating and overeating, self-compassion is a muscle that you need to strengthen. I’ll bet on that.

Self-compassion is not only that important, it’s more than you probably think that it is.

Here’s a definition of self-compassion: Self-compassion is the ability to turn understanding, acceptance, and love inward. 

Understanding, compassion, and love - not flimsy substitutions for these things.

Self-compassion isn’t cotton candy. By that I mean it’s not a flashy, insubstantial choice that feels good or distracting in the moment but leaves you feeling sticky and with a sugar crash. Self-compassion isn’t always the easy answers.

It’s not numbing or scrolling or avoiding your feelings because you had a hard day.

It’s not denying yourself what you really need because you’re too tired and it can wait until tomorrow.

And true self-compassion isn’t a pint of ice cream on the couch at the end of the day because the entire day has been taking care of everyone else.

Sidenote: That pint of ice cream may be an attempt at self-compassion, but it isn’t REAL self-compassion. And freedom from overeating and peace with food depend on you rediscovering what real self-compassion looks like and feels like for you.

Self-compassion is a strength. It’s your power tool against mindless eating, emotional eating, bingeing, or any choice with food that’s not a good or helpful one for you.

Self-compassion is strength, respect, and heartfelt understanding. It is the foundation of the unstoppable version of you that creates the success you want.

Another side note: you’ve probably been told that the foundation of success with your eating and your weight is endless effort and discipline and hard work. That’s not true. In fact, it’s probably one of the chief reasons you haven’t seen the lasting results you’ve wanted.

 When you nurture your ability to have compassion for yourself, your spirit of self-compassion, and her voice, become the coach inside your head who will gently, firmly, and persistently guide you where you most want and deserve to go. 

Self-compassion is what you use to fulfill your dreams for yourself.

Understanding, compassion, and love will take you so much further than the inner-drill sergeant that diet culture has taught you to attack yourself with.

Self-compassion talks to you SO much differently than that inner-drill sergeant.

She believes in you – and reminds you of what you’re capable of when you don’t believe it. She’s the one who says to you - in your ear, “You can do this.”

Self-compassion holds your goals and desires as valuable and important and reminds you why you need to do the hard thing. Self-compassion is a voice that says, “This is important to you. You deserve to succeed at this.”

Self-compassion talks to you with love and firmness and speaks in the voice you use with those that you love the most.

Self-compassion reminds you that YOU are worth loving too.

That yes, there’s a reason you’ve been overeating, and you deserve better.

And yes, you’re human, you’re imperfect, and that’s incredibly okay and doesn’t mean you’ve “ruined” anything.

When you avoid what you need, when you waver or hesitate to take the action you promised yourself, or when you’re not giving yourself what you deserve – because sometimes it’s hard or scary or uncomfortable – self-compassion is firm and kind. She’s not cruel or disrespectful, but she holds your desires as valuable. Self-compassion is NOT the voice that urges you to numb out or doom-scroll or just go ahead and eat it because you’ve already “ruined” your plans. You haven’t.

Sometimes your self-compassion is a taskmaster who holds you accountable to you. Because you are important. She says, “You said you’d do this because it’s important to you. You’d do it for anyone else. You can get through this tough spot. I’m holding you to this commitment because it’s important for your future self. Take a deep breath and let’s go.”

She doesn’t leave you alone to struggle. Self-compassion is tough and patient and kind.

When you falter or have a bad day, self-compassion talks you off the wall of perfectionism (that leads to being too hard on yourself, and more overeating). She’ll ask you, “What can you learn from this?” and transform your not-so-good day into an experience that will lead to more success in the future.

When you lose hope, she encourages you and cheers for you.

When you’re tired, she respects your need for rest and helps you honor it.

When you lose momentum, she guides you to see your progress, teaches you new ways of rewarding yourself (instead of chocolate), and helps you remember that you are so much more than a number on the scale.

Self-compassion is reasonable. She challenges your unrealistic expectations for yourself. She sees the value of do-able steps when you discredit them. She helps you stack small successes into towers that reach to your desires.

Self-compassion manages the distance between where you are now, and your goal of freedom from overeating and peace with food. She walks with you as you move forward one step at a time. And she speaks encouragement in your ear instead of allowing you to focus on the unhelpful thoughts

Your inner voice is so powerful. When you cultivate and lean into self-compassion, she becomes your inner coach. 

So if this all sounds divine but like a big, blank, empty spot inside of you - what are you supposed to do? 

Get curious.

Ask yourself what advice you’d give a loved one whom you already feel compassion for?

What would you do if you wanted to tone a different muscle? Focus on it. Join a program. Create a daily practice. Hire a coach. Find a community that has the same goals.

Lean into your desire to do it differently. Know that doing the same old things only creates the same old results.

Listen closely. Be willing to try and make mistakes. Take small steps.

Understanding, acceptance, and love. They’re the ingredients of self-compassion. The foundation for creating freedom from overeating. Because remember, overeating and emotional eating happen when you’re using food to address something else you really need.

What would change for you if you upped the understanding, acceptance, and love that you were receiving from yourself?

What would you do differently?

What needs and desires would you feed differently?

What’s one step you can take TODAY to show yourself understanding, acceptance, and love?

Pick a step, and then use your self-compassion muscle to push yourself to take it.

Enjoy the show?

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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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