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Is All Emotional Eating Evil?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from several women in my online community who are struggling with emotional eating.

The question is:

Question:

“Bonnie, when I eat emotionally, I feel guilt. Unless of course if I choose cucumber slices and carrot sticks with hummus. Is it possible to give myself permission to eat emotionally if I really want to without the guilt?

 

What an amazing question. Perhaps you are wondering this too.

 

When feeling sad, lonely, unloved, disconnected, frustrated, bored…I could go on and on…what is your first thought? More than likely if you are reading this, your first thought is to seek comfort in food.

 

Or perhaps, you need more than comfort. You need to escape your reality for a few minutes, you need to numb out just not to feel what you are feeling for even a little while.

 

And then, more emotions flood in. This time, they are feelings of guilt, shame and despair with promises never to do this again. Until you do.

Let’s be clear about one thing. Food has an emotional connection in your life, in all our lives. It’s actually part of being human. This emotional connection starts as soon as you are born and placed on your mom’s breast to bond. You are fed by your parents, you celebrate milestones with food, such as birthdays, anniversaries and promotions, and almost every culture has food as part of their symbolic customs.

 

The problem arises when you use food to try to meet too many of your needs, and what happens is those needs don’t actually get met. It then creates an even stronger drive to continue to eat. And that’s when the guilt steps in.

 

This is most often seen in dieters and those struggling with their weight for many years who have been on and off diets over and over again. There are good foods and bad foods…there’s lots of moral judgement around food that has you making associations of “I’m good” if you don’t eat (“ooh, I deserve a reward), or “I’m bad” if I do eat (I need to be punished).

 

So you attempt to ‘control’ your emotional eating using willpower, or by restriction, and it works against you each and every time.

 

As one new client told me – “I thought I could just lose weight and I’ll be fine, but it’s the emotions. My emotions get me every time.”

 

And how you react to your emotional eating is key to your outcome. Reacting with disgust, that it is “bad”, that you are bad, in essence puts you right back into diet/restriction mode.

 

It’s time to treat emotional eating from a different perspective. From a perspective of curiosity, kindness and self-compassion. And all of a sudden, the switch flips.

 

Let’s discuss this further on today’s Facebook LIVE at 5:00 pm EST on my Facebook business page HERE. LIKE the page now so you get notification when I go live. If you can’t make it live, no problem. You can catch the replay.

 

 

 

Intuitive Eating…No Willpower Required

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday’s Question is:

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

I just LOVE this question. But before I get to the answer, let’s get clear on your dieting history. It probably goes something like this:

 

You’ve tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Weight Watchers. the Scarsdale Diet, Weight Watchers, the HCG Diet, Weight Watchers. Oh, did I mention Weight Watchers?!

 

It is SO easy to get sucked into sensational claims that come with each of these diets. But what you are finding is that they don’t work. Well, they do “work” if by working you mean losing weight, only to gain it back.

 

Yes, I won’t disagree. All diets can work in helping you lose weight. But can we agree that they ultimately don’t work, seeing you are here looking for another way?

 

Throughout all the diets you’ve been on, you’ve tried SO hard to have SO much willpower so you can resist your favorite food that the diets deem bad for you. And, the reason you’ve been sucked into many fad diets is because you only have to endure them for a short period of time and therefore only need to have a little willpower until the diet is over.  

 

Many diets proudly state “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”, or “6 weeks to flat abs”. I know this is very tempting. And you think to yourself “ok, I need to have willpower for 30 days (or 6 weeks) and that’s it…I’ll reach my goal and the diet and misery will be over.”

 

But we know that you can only resist your favorite food for so long. Maybe you can last the 30 days or 6 weeks. Or maybe you can’t. Either way, what happens? When your willpower weakens and you have an emotional trigger, you cave and have the very food you’ve been longing yet been restricting. And now you don’t just have a serving, you have several servings, and it eventually turns into a binge.

 

Next thing that happens >>> feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, failure and the negative self-talk and body bashing.

 

Well, the good news is this.

 

In the practice of intuitive eating, there is no willpower required. Yay! You learn to take all the conditions off your food and when you do, the power those foods hold over you are no more. Even better, once you learn to trust in your inner signals as your guide to eating, you will no longer need to rebel against the diets that are telling you what to eat and not to eat.

 

Because YOU are in charge!

So, back to the original question that came in from one of my readers:

 

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

There is no willpower in intuitive eating. What I want you to recognize is if you are still relying on willpower, then you are still harboring a diet mentality. And this will cause you to continue to stumble on your intuitive eating journey.

 

Give thought to how many times a day or week you think to yourself that you need to have willpower to resist a food.

 

How many times do you call up your willpower before heading out to a party or dinner with friends?

 

Call yourself out on it. Recognize it. The more you do and the more you remind yourself that you don’t need willpower in intuitive eating, the more you will see the diet mentality dissipate.

 

Grab this freebie that I have for you and you’ll be well on your way to never falling into the willpower trap again: Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap.

 

Come join me on Facebook Live today, Wednesday at 1:30 pm EST for a free training on this very topic! We will be LIVE on my business page right at this link >

https://www.facebook.com/BRGDieteticsandNutritionPC/

 

Diet Chatter at the Hair Salon

Bonnie Hair SalonIt’s interesting the conversations you overhear in the hair salon!

 

Yesterday, I was at the salon getting my hair done. As I was sitting minding my own business reading some notes in preparation for an interview later in the day (as a side note, I was interviewed for a telesummit, more on that in the next week or so), I overheard a few women talking.

 

What do you think the conversation was about?

 

Well, when a bunch of women get together, the chatter is usually about the latest diet they are on. One woman was following Atkins, the other cut out all carbs but isn’t “quite doing Atkins”, yet a third is on a liquid diet.

 

My hairdresser, knowing what I do for a living, said to me “Bonnie, you aren’t going to like this, but I have cut out all carbs and breads. I just can’t figure out how to limit it”. She went on to tell me about her experience with Cheese-its. As much as she tries to limit to a serving, she wipes out the box in a day, okay, maybe 2 she says if she really has “willpower”.

 

Ugh, there’s that word again…WILLPOWER!

 

Listen up! It’s not about willpower. Willpower is you trying to get yourself to do something that you don’t want to do. You might be able to hold off for a few days, heck maybe even a few weeks, but then it gets you!

 

Another woman commented that her friend told her that she noticed when she eats slower, she gets fuller faster and is more satisfied.

 

BINGO! That woman got it!

 

By engaging in mindful eating and tuning into your inner signals of hunger and satiety, you can trust your body to tell you when you’ve had enough to eat. And, you can eat a serving of Cheese-its and stop.

 

Intuitive eating is a process. It takes time to learn. But, what’s your rush?

 

If you need help getting started on your path towards intuitive eating, don’t’ be shy. Reach out to me here.

 

 

Willpower is a Dieter’s Word

How many times have you used the word “willpower” when you’ve been on a diet? “I wish I had more willpower not to eat the cake”. “Why can’t I just have the willpower to say NO?” I am NOT going to eat the chocolate, no, no, no! I must have the willpower!”

 

How has this strategy of willpower worked for you?

 

I bet it’s worked for a short time, but inevitably when you try to “will” yourself to not eat something that you really would love to eat, you break down and eat it. The only problem now is that you just don’t have one piece of cake or chocolate, you have many.

 

There is no place in intuitive eating for the word “willpower”.

 

I explain more in the video below. Just click and watch. Then post your comments below the video and/or right back here.

 

Willpower

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powerful Strategies to Conquer Overeating – The Final 3!

Have you been following my series Powerful Strategies to Conquer Overeating on The Diet Free Zone Show?

Last month I shared with you the first 3 strategies to conquer overeating and today I will share the final 3. But before I do, let me remind you what the first 3 strategies are.

Strategy #1: Be patient!

Forget about quick fixes. It can take 3-6 months to replace bad habits with healthy ones. You want these new habits to last a lifetime, don’t you? Then what’s your rush. Give yourself plenty of time to change, and don’t focus on perfection. If you set an impossible deadline for yourself, you will become discouraged and throw in the towel. Patience is a virtue!

 

Strategy #2: Talk to yourself!

Positive self-talk is crucial to deal with those inner voices that discourage you from making change. Remind yourself why you want to change, for example “I’ll feel better if I lose weight’. Speak out loud to yourself so you hear your positive voice, rather than just “speaking in your head”.

 

Strategy #3: Make new friends!

Do you have friends that sabotage your efforts? Or, are the friends you hang out with always interested in going out to eat? If so, find people who will support your efforts, and who are interested in going for a hike on a Sunday rather than a movie. Take a good look at who you hang out with and their influence on your eating and exercise habits. And, if needed, make a change!

 

Now, on to the next 3 strategies to conquer overeating.

 

The videos for these strategies can be found by clicking each of the images below:
Strategy #4: Forget About Willpower

Powerful strategy 4

 

 

 

 

 

Strategy #5: Set up a Positive Home Environment

Powerful strategy 5

 

 

 

 

 

Strategy #6: Cheer Yourself On

Powerful strategy 6

 

 

 

 

 

After watching the entire series, let me know which strategies are working for you!

The 3 Pieces of the Chronic Dieting Puzzle, Why it Doesn’t Work and the Puzzle that Does

Obedience, willpower, and failure are three connecting pieces to a chronic dieters puzzle. Once you have one set in stone, the other two follow. I call this a “puzzle” because as a chronic dieter you believe that you need all three pieces to feel good about yourself and to get to a satisfying weight.

 

What if I told you that this is not the case? What if I told you that these three components are actually lethal to your health, and cause you to get trapped in the dieting cycle over and over again?

 

Let’s start with “obedience”. Say for example you have a new pet (how about a dog) and you are training your dog. You teach the dog what he can and cannot do (a set of rules if you will) and when the dog is not obedient, you punish the dog for bad behavior. For example, you tell the dog he cannot enter the living room when you are not home. You arrive home and your couch is all chewed up. Now you punish the dog by putting up a gate at the living room entrance because the dog was not obedient, the dog was “a bad dog”.

 

Now relate this to yourself. You are following a particular diet this month which lists for you foods that you can and cannot eat.  You are following a list of rules with do’s and don’ts. Yet, you eat the very food you are told not to eat (let’s say, pizza) and you tell yourself you’ve been “bad”, you weren’t obedient to the rules. You vow never to do this again.  Guess what? That’s not going to happen. You will absolutely eat that pizza again at some point in time. No one or thing can tell you how you feel and what you should eat. You are the expert of your body! You should be responsible for when, what, and how much you eat. So, let’s forget about obedience.

 

The second piece of the chronic dieter’s puzzle is “willpower”. Let’s take the party scene for example. Whenever you go to a party do you find yourself staring at the dessert table, drooling over everything that you love but have vowed to never eat again? You keep telling yourself you don’t need all the calories, just have willpower. You try and walk away but end up overindulging because you have starved your body from those desserts for a few weeks or even longer. Willpower is not a component of intuitive eating. You have natural desires, we all do. And to try and will yourself away from them just ends in disaster. Forget the willpower and listen to your own body’s signals because that will bring you back to your natural instincts, which you have lost through the dieting schemes.

 

The final piece of the chronic dieter’s puzzle is “failure”. This is what you feel once obedience and willpower have once again failed you through this dieting process. So you in turn overindulge and gain back all the weight that you lost, and sometimes even more. Newsflash: you are not the one that failed; the diets are what have failed.

 

Should I say that again? You are not a failure, nor will you ever be with intuitive eating.

 

You need to start working on a NEW PUZZLE.

 

THE INTUITIVE EATING PUZZLE. There are only three pieces to this puzzle.

 

Puzzle piece #1:          A Healthy Non-Diet Mindsetweightlosspuzzleviolet

Puzzle piece #2:          Nutrition Education

Puzzle piece #3:          Caring Support

 

Does it sound difficult? Well, nothing in life comes easy. But it is truly your solution if you want to finally break free of the pain of dieting and achieve the body that you love.

 

Now it’s your turn to take action: Contact me for your FREE Break Free of Dieting Strategy Session so you can put your INTUITIVE EATING Puzzle together effortlessly.