As a coach who specializes in helping women put an end to emotional eating, I’ve heard a lot of stories:
- I’ve been overeating because this was a hard year for me; my husband lost his job.
- My kids were sick a lot and I couldn’t stay away from sweets.
- I didn’t connect with the man of my dreams this year, so I became really close with my friends, Ben and Jerry.
And on, and on…..
No one said life was easy.
In fact, my colleague Linda Spangle wrote a book called “Life is Hard, Food is Easy”.
But the way most of us look at things is that life is hard, and food is hard, too.
The fact is that even for the most blessed person, life gives us curve balls.
That’s true for everyone.
But it’s what we focus on and how we tell our story that colors our world. It even determines our weight.
It’s pretty common knowledge that whatever we focus on is what we get more of.
So, if we focus on this year’s difficulties, we’ll go through life with heaviness in our hearts.
If we focus on how hard it is to lose weight, and keep it off, and all the REALLY strong excuses we have, I can guarantee you that it will be hard. For sure.
And if you tell yourself that when things get tough, you need sugar, or bread, or ice cream, when you aren’t even hungry, then you’re setting things up so that you will automatically strengthen those habits.
So, what’s the answer?
If you overeat when life seems hard, and you tell yourself that life is always hard, what can you do?
You focus on the bright spots.
- What are you doing well, in any area of your life?
- What nice things has someone done for you recently?
- What can you be grateful for?
- What tiny bits of good fortune did come your way?
And here’s a bonus question I love: What are you doing that has prevented you from weighing 20 pounds more than you do? (Hint: you are doing SOME things right.)
Look at this past year and name these bright spots.
Think about them. Focus on them.
And now focus on your eating with these thoughts in mind.
Create your new story.
There are things you do well.
There are things that are going your way.
There are things you can be grateful for.
Suddenly, your new story will feel good and natural and you will start getting different results.
And finally, remember this: if anyone can learn to eat from hunger, instead of from emotions, and can stop when they aren’t hungry anymore, then you can too.