Today, I spent time on the phone with several new coaching clients who were voicing the same belief. “If I’m going to lose weight, I need to work harder.” I also heard the all-too frequent assessment, “I’m just lazy. That’s why I overeat.” This is a major mindset trap for high-performers and I wonder if you’ve ever fallen prey to it. I’ve certainly been there. When I’m not seeing the results I want to see, it’s so easy to fall into the mentality that I need to do more or that I’m not doing enough.
The problem is, when it comes to emotional eating, working harder is hardly ever the answer.
In fact, if you are a busy woman, your busy life and your hard work probably contribute to a tendency to overeat. In fact, you may actually be working too hard. Stress, exhaustion, feeling rushed and overloaded, and like there’s no time for YOU – these can create a perfect storm for stress eating, comfort eating, and a dozen different strains of emotional eating.
Do you tell yourself that you overeat because you are lazy? I personally meet far too many women who are anything-but-lazy and are feeling discouraged and frustrated because they are pushing themselves hard but still can’t stick with their program or just aren’t seeing results.
Working harder won’t help with overeating if you’re doing the wrong work.
And that’s the hard truth. Overeating happens for a reason. Something triggers or drives or awakens our hunger. Something – a feeling, a need, our physical state, or a difficult situation – contributes to why food seems so darn compelling and the need to eat feels so strong.
And most of the information that we have in our heads about how to make the scale budge doesn’t address any of this. A food plan isn’t going to be much help if the real issue is that you are stressed and overwhelmed and just need some easy comfort.
If we don’t address the reasons we’re overeating, it’s like applying a bandage and ignoring the wound.
There is a way out of struggles with food and weight and overeating, but if you haven’t yet found it, the odds are that it isn’t going to be a food plan. It’s going to be a different approach and a kinder, more compassionate (and much more effective) mindset.
Instead of getting mad at yourself or driving yourself to conjure up more willpower, I suggest focusing on creating a real solution to what’s causing you to eat more than you want to by taking a respectful look at what is driving you to overeat. That’s the first step. I say a lot more about this and outline the next steps in my free training – Smart Solutions to Overeating. If you haven’t yet checked it out, click the link to get started.
In the meantime, let’s be real. Let’s stop blaming ourselves and start identifying reasons we can start to address. What’s one situation or feeling that tends to trigger overeating for you? Leave a comment and share it. It’s the first step to making things better.