Why Overeating Leads to More Overeating

Overeating and OverwhelmedWhat triggers you to eat more than your body wants?

It all starts with a thought.

That thought leads us to a feeling, good or bad, it doesn’t matter.

And that feeling leads us to take action.

When we take action, we get a result.

Overeat often, and the result you’ll get is extra weight.

This is basic Cognitive Behavioral Psychology.

Now picture this scenario: you have eaten past hunger, past comfort.

Physically you feel overstuffed and uncomfortable.

Your emotional feeling might be something like shame, regret, depression, anger, or hopelessness.

All of those feelings come from your thoughts.

So after you overeat, as soon as you start to feel these negative emotions, you feel uneasy.

As these bad feelings begin to arise, resistance also arises. You don’t want to feel shame or depression or hopelessness.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Eat more.

Overeating begets more overeating because of what we say to ourselves.

When we start beating ourselves, our survival instinct kicks in and we want relief.

We want it now.

We want to feel better.

How can we do this?

The easiest way to drown out a bad feeling if overeating is your modus operandi, is to overeat some more. (If you overspend, or overdrink, or over-anything, your M.O. will be to do more of the same.)

And this cycle can go on and on until you are really physically ill.

After we overeat, we commonly think, “Oh well, I blew it, I may as well keep going and enjoy this food and start again tomorrow.”

I think there’s more to “I blew it” than meets the eye.

After you ‘blew it’, do you really enjoy what you are continuing to eat?

Really?

“I blew it” implies you goofed, and now you may as well give up.

I say “I blew it” is a cover for “I can’t stand this discomfort one moment longer. I need food.”

So you eat.

And now you can focus your thoughts and your energy on what you just ate, how you blew your program again, and what’s wrong with you. Mostly what’s wrong with you.

It’s a never ending cycle.

Sounds crappy.

Feels crappy.

Imagine this: next time you overeat, and you’ve completed the first round of food, just sit. Get away from the food, and set a timer for 15 minutes. See what you feel. Notice what you’re thinking. (Here’s a worksheet to help you do this… click here to open.)

But here’s the deal: don’t go to your usual feeling-squasher. Sit with it. Let it pass though you. Here’s where you have the power to stop. To turn things around.

You don’t have to complete this overeating episode in the way you always do. You can break the chains that bind you any time.

What if you completely changed your perspective?

Instead of thinking that you boarding a fast-moving train and can’t get off, think of this:

You overate.

But it’s what you do after that will pack on the pounds of shame. Dr. Stephen Gullo, a diet guru to New York City high society, calls it the ‘slip to sleep syndrome’.

After your first slip, your first bite of something you didn’t have hunger for, your first phase of overeating, if you stop, you can minimize the damage to your psyche. Not to mention your body.

But what most of us do is continue the damage until we go to bed that night, bloated and wounded, adding insult to self-injury.

You’ve never blown it.

What does ‘blown it’ mean, anyway?

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4 Responses to “Why Overeating Leads to More Overeating”

  1. Louise says:

    Great post Cookie. Great worksheet too!

  2. Thanks, Louise! Let me know if you use the worksheet, and how you like it. C.

  3. Kelly Hoffman says:

    Awesome blog, Cookie. It complimented the worksheet well!

  4. Thanks, Kelly. What I love about using this worksheet is that you have several options to try. It’s like trying several keys until the door opens!