Yes, habit change is a simple process of persistent effort to change my behaviors, but _________________. How did you fill in that blank?
Don’t you just hate having actually to name that?
And it may be hard to identify or admit, but it’s an essential element to overcoming emotional eating, to overcoming whatever blocks you from your goals.
As an emotional eating coach, I help clients dig DEEP into this one. It can be the crux of the matter, and it’s hard to see on our own – particularly when it isn’t traumatic.
So find a quiet space and think through these questions:
Reinforce: What is my goal?
Reinforce: Why do I want to reach it?
Now dig: To reach my health goals, what habits or behaviors sabotage my efforts?
What’s going on when I fall into those habits or behaviors?
What alternative behaviors can I choose to help me toward my goal. How do I remind myself to incorporate them?
What are my triggers to eat to soothe myself? Is it a place, a particular food, a situation, certain companions, an emotion that pops up, or something else?
Easy way to identify it: When ___________, I __________.
Commit this to paper. It’s harder to avoid it thereafter. I know – also not our favorite.
Logically, knowing what we need to do, and simply not doing it makes no sense to us. But it’s not based in logic. It’s not really based in our heads at all. It’s somewhere in our hearts from an experience, a connection, a good or bad situation, something denied us, something given freely, something we either don’t recognize or will not see, a strength we value or a weakness we allow or don’t see, and myriad other things. And it is unique to you.
How can you use the alternative behaviors to either overcome the triggers or build a bridge over these blocks?
How will you counter your “yeah buts” and focus on making these changes permanent?
When you counter your internal arguments and practice the new behaviors, they become your natural response to the stimulus. I know this isn’t an easy process, and initially, it won’t quite do it for you – the food connection is strong, but it’s not the only option. It’s just easy, and I KNOW you have more about you than that.
Renée Jones is a counselor and coach specializing in overcoming emotional eating. After 40 years on the Diet Yo-Yo, she struggled to find what worked for her while emotional eating sabotaged every attempt. When she finally overcame that emotional eating to lose her weight, maintenance on a low-fat diet left her tired, hungry, and cranky. In April of 2015, she found the ketogenic lifestyle and later Carrie Brown’s recipes, which freed her from the Diet Yo-Yo and dark mood swings.
Now she helps others get free of their emotional eating and other baggage so their hearts can heal along with their bodies. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling with certifications in both traditional and contemporary models as well as Horse-Assisted and relaxation methods. She has an international counseling and coaching practice.
Author of What’s Really Eating You: Overcome the Triggers of Comfort Eating
Connect with Renée!