Will This Work For Me? | TMOHP Episode 045

How do you believe you can change your overeating or emotional eating habits when you’ve been unsuccessful so many times in the past? Why is it so hard to get yourself motivated to start making changes again? Is the fact that your overeating always comes back a sign that this just isn’t meant to be?

These are questions I hear all the time. When your relationship with food has been a battle, it’s easy to start believing that lasting change isn’t possible or to lose your confidence in your ability to create the results you want.

Should you really invest hope in the possibility of creating freedom from overeating? What’s standing in the way of finding something that works? These are the questions I’m addressing in this episode of the podcast.

What I cover in this episode:

  • Why you might feel afraid to believe you can change your eating or your relationship with food
  • How being imperfect helps you create freedom from overeating
  • Why I don’t believe in cheat days
  • A plan that works FOR you vs. a plan you have to perfectly work

Featured on the show:

Episode Transcript

Today I want to talk about a thought or a belief- I guess it's a question really that a lot of people have, that's hanging out at the edge of their brain and it may be hanging out at the edge of your brain while you're listening to this podcast. That is the question, "Will this work for me? Will this really work for me?" 

I was thinking about this because this week in the Missing Peace program, we had a coaching zoom. There was somebody new who had joined the group in the last week. And she came to her very first coaching meeting and she had clearly made a very thoughtful decision to join Your Missing Peace.

She said, I've listened to your podcast for a really long time. I bought your book several years ago, clearly she has spent time learning about me, learning about this approach and spent time deciding if joining Your Missing Peace was a good fit for her. And she came to her first coaching meeting and she said, you know, I've been in the program for seven days and I haven't started doing any of the training modules. I haven't watched the videos. I haven't been working in the workbook or listened to the guided visualizations or any of that. I haven't started. And, as we talked about and took a look at what that was about, she said, you know, maybe I'm afraid that this won't work. Maybe I'm afraid that this won't work either.

The question of will this work for me is a big one because the truth is that trying something, stepping into a program, deciding “Okay, I'm going to change my eating. I'm going to readjust and realign my relationship with food.” Trying something like this is an investment of hope. That's the biggest investment and it's a big deal.

Hoping is a very big deal and a vulnerable thing. We are evolutionarily wired to protect ourselves from failing. And that comes from the time when failing meant getting eaten by a lion or a tiger or a bear. It meant danger. We are evolutionarily wired to protect ourselves and we protect ourselves from failure and from experiencing that feeling of failure that hope can be. This is one of the reasons that having support is so important and also empowering because support helps us feel more supported. It helps us feel less vulnerable. It gives us a container that props up our hope or can help us reinforce our hope when we are not feeling like we can do that for ourselves.

We also get in our own way and also protect ourselves from failing sometimes with these ideas of perfection. We get in our own way by setting success up as all or nothing, especially when it comes to changing your eating and changing your relationship with food. And then when you have a bad day or you get off track or you make some kind of misstep, then you're quick to tell yourself the story that you failed.

It's all or nothing. You failed. It's ruined this didn't work either. This didn't work for you. That's not true. Well, maybe it's true. If you have a program, if you are trying to work a program that tells you that you can never mess up and that you need to be strong and vigilant and track and track and track and track and count, count things all the time, then maybe it is true because a plan for perfection never works.

I just released a podcast episode about vacation eating and overeating on vacation. And what I didn't say in that episode, but I think is so spot on is this, you should not need a vacation from your relationship with food. You shouldn't need to be like, “Oh, I'm on vacation. I'm forgetting that stuff and I'll get back to it when I come back.” 

You shouldn't need a vacation from your relationship with food. You shouldn't need a cheat day because you shouldn't need to “cheat.” Your relationship with food, if it's workable, includes vacations and treats, and also includes days that don't go so well. Your winning relationship with food, the one that works, the one that creates freedom from overeating, it honors the reality that you are a human being and as a human being, you are adorably wonderfully imperfect, just like all of us.

Okay. So back to this question of, will this work for you? A plan that expects perfection. It won't work because you're not perfect. You are a human being. And if you failed enough at plans that told you that you needed to always have perfect discipline or willpower, then investing your hope in your ability to change your eating is going to feel like a very big, very vulnerable investment for absolutely certain.

Here is what's true- you can create freedom from overeating. It's also true that you will fail. And by that, I mean, you're going to take missteps along the way. You'll probably fall off track sometimes, and this is perfectly okay.

You can create freedom from overeating, but only if you have a plan that includes imperfection. Only if you start by expecting imperfection and by the way, mixed results, imperfect results are actually a really good thing because it's often by discovering what doesn't work, that you can figure out how to do what does work when you hit a snag.

When you have something that pulls you off track, you can make adjustments so that your approach fits you better. Unless you do that thing that you've probably been taught to do by diet mentality, with perfectionism, where you hit a snag or you get off track or something doesn't work, or you eat the thing you said you weren't going to eat and that perfectionism tells you it's ruined. You blew it. You need to quit or really, because you've blown it, your brain tells you you've already quit and now you're going to have to start over and you're going to have to start over doing the same old thing that clearly didn't fit because you're telling yourself it was your fault. And if you could just be different, you could make this thing that clearly doesn't fit work. 

Back to that question. Will this work for you? My answer to that is only if you take that question seriously, will this work for you? Freedom from overeating happens when you learn how to succeed and to fail and to move forward one step at a time so that you create a relationship with food that works for you.

Will this work for you? Are you creating a relationship with food that feels wonderful, that works for you, that works for your life, that works with your schedule? That works for the things that you like about food? That includes the things that you like about food, where you don't need a vacation from it where you don't need to take a break from what you've told yourself is your relationship with food? Because it fits you like a custom tailored piece of clothing. 

Your relationship with food does not have to mean that you do the same thing over and over and over again every day. Your winning relationship with food, the one that creates freedom from overeating, it includes the things that are important to you. Like vacations. 

It includes the things that are realities, imperfect realities in your life, like days where you didn't get enough sleep. And maybe you had an out of control carb craving. Your relationship with food fits. And the normal quirky things about you and your life, they get to be contained inside that freedom from overeating inside that relationship with food that is yours. Those quirky things about you and your life are not exceptions to your relationship with food.

Will this work for me? You can only answer that question in the positive when the. That you want actually does work for you and includes all of you and all of the pieces of your life in a way that is realistic and honest and doable. And yes, absolutely not expecting 100%, 24-7 perfection. 

The member of Your Missing Peace that I told you about at the beginning of this episode- she was afraid to get started because her expectations of what she had to do were unattainable. Her question wasn't really will this work for me, it was who do I have to be to make this thing work?

So we made it doable. Here's what I told her and what I am telling you as well. Start. Do not be afraid to start small, do not be afraid to be realistic and to ask yourself, what can I do? Can I do this really hard thing? I told her to expect to mess up, expect to not know the answer when you're trying to do something differently than you've done it a hundred times before the answers are not going to come automatically.

And it doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. It means you're learning. I told her to expect, to do a lot of discovering about what doesn't work along the way, be excited when something doesn't work because you've learned something. It is not a sign of failure. It's a sign of discovering more about what will work. Expect to mess up, expect to have things not go well, because that is what works.

That is what leads you to a relationship with food that creates freedom from overeating. Will this work for you? Yes. Will it sometimes not work? Yes. And that is a wonderful thing. It is okay to hope. It is okay to mess up. It is okay to be imperfect. It is okay to want what you want. And it is okay to believe that this will work for you.

If you want help and support and training and coaching on how to create your own freedom from overeating in a way that fits you, instead of stresses you out, then you should definitely check out the Missing Peace program, because that is what we are doing imperfectly in a messy way. One step at a time.

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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