This question came up recently as I was talking with a new client. If you are like many women who’ve spent a lifetime (or what feels like one) struggling with weight and overeating, words like “breakthrough” may sound like unrealistic hype.
For many women who are worn out with food and weight struggles, a breakthrough may feel impossible. Why? Their current mindset is one of “struggle.”
Breakthroughs with food and weight aren’t hype and I’ll tell you why. If you are struggling or yo-yo dieting or feeling hopeless about your weight, a breakthrough is EXACTLY what you need. Anything less than a breakthrough is likely to involve you working up motivation to do more of what you’ve been doing.
The truth: more of the same just keeps you where you already are.
So what exactly IS a breakthrough with food and weight?
A breakthrough is a brand new approach. If you’ve been stuck on the diet hamster wheel and getting nowhere—it’s learning how to step SIDEWAYS off the wheel so that you can do things differently. With overeating this might mean learning to shift from days defined as “good” or “bad” eating and using new strategies and tools to defuse stress eating, comfort eating, and other types of emotional eating.
A breakthrough is NOT working harder. In fact, a breakthrough usually eliminates unnecessary struggles and creates more ease. Breakthroughs with weight loss usually involve developing effective strategies that keep you motivated and feeling satisfied (not deprived) and letting go of strategies or weight loss plans that weren’t working for you in the first place.
A breakthrough is BIG. It might feel uncomfortable or even a bit scary at first because it’s very different from the way you’ve been doing or thinking. One breakthrough I often see is the change that happens when a client realizes that they don’t have to go hungry and be hard on themselves in order to lose weight. This new approach changes everything—and it’s big.
A breakthrough involves a change in mindset. Clients in the Missing Peace program give examples of letting go of mindsets that were holding them back: perfectionism, self-blame, and self-sabotaging beliefs. They are amazed at the energy that’s freed up and the changes in motivation that happen with these mindset shifts.
Breathroughs often happen when you try something new or engage a support system. It’s hard to see things in a new way or envision a different way of approaching things when you are alone with your own thoughts and familiar ways of being and doing. This is one reason that coaching programs and mentors can be so effective at creating powerful change.
No matter your goal, it’s important to evaluate whether the path you are on is working. What do you need to get where you want to go over the next six months—more of the same or a breakthrough?