But What Do you Really Want?
“If I ate whatever I wanted, I’d be big as a house and probably explode.”
This is what a client told me last week. She’s struggled with her weight since she was a kid. She’s been on every diet ever known and feels like she’s failed all of them. She came to me because she’s sick and tired of being sick and tired, and wants to learn how to stop overeating.
“I just don’t know what I should do,” she said. “Tell me what to eat.”
She certainly didn’t expect to hear what I told her.
“You can eat whatever you want,” I said. I wasn’t even snarky about it.
“You have got to be out of your mind,” she said.
Well, I may well be out of my mind, but I know a thing or two about the psychology of eating. I know that healthy eating is about more than calories and macronutrients. We eat for lots of reasons. For nourishment, to check out, to scratch the itch, to soothe the feelings, to experience pleasure.
The key is to think big picture. What do you really want?
After you take a pause and a deep breath, ask yourself if you are physically hungry. If the answer is yes, then eating is what you really want. If it’s not physical hunger, food won’t fix it. What you really want is something else, something that isn’t food.
I’d suggest that it’s not eat, but feed, that you’re looking to do. You’re looking to feed yourself on the deepest levels.
What the hell is this woman talking about? (That’s the look my client gave me).
You want to stop feeling sad, lonely, bored, tired, stressed, unappreciated, overwhelmed. Eating food is a good distraction, but it’s not what you really want. You want to feel comforted, balanced, nurtured and nourished.
Outside of being physically hungry, food’s not going to get you what you really want. In fact, it’s going to take you further away from what you want, since eating when you’re not hungry often leads to overeating and guilt, to feeling stuffed, defeated, and sticky.
My client and I talked about all that, really sussed it out. We came up with a strategy she could use anytime she feels the allure of overeating, and made a list of things she can do to get what she really wants in those moments.
It was wonderful to hear her say:
“I kept looking for “rules” or lists or measurement tools… instead I’m learning to listen to my inner cues and respond organically to fatigue, ennui, depression, etc.”
Want to learn how to feed yourself? Want to be free of overeating? Let’s talk. I’ve developed a program that will help you identify your self sabotaging thoughts and habits around eating and learn a new approach to food that will truly nourish you. Get more info at www.FoodAndMoore.com/The-Program