Are you ready to declare your independence from overeating?
As I am writing this, Independence Day, with its obligatory potlucks, parties, and late-night reverie, has just passed.
Many of us are waking up feeling bloated and full -- full of food and also full of regret.
Many of us are tired of being full. We are tired of harsh self-criticism, dissatisfaction with our bodies, and skepticism that we will ever be able to overcome our tendency to overeat and the powerlessness that we feel over food.
For many of us, holidays can be a trigger for emotional, mindless or binge eating, which can be a trigger for all kinds of self-criticism and negative self-talk.
The next several newsletters will address how learning new skills can help us change all of that.
Awareness is the first step.
Self-compassion is the second.
Curiosity is the third.
And then there are the skills. Learnable skills that most high-achievers and overeaters never learned -- but they can be learned and practiced and internalized with amazing results.
If you are frustrated with your weight or with your tendency to overeat as you start your day today, I assure you that there is hope for recovery, hope for an end to chronic dieting, and hope for finding more enjoyment in a life without overeating. Today, I encourage you to simply notice your feelings and name them without judging yourself. Becoming aware of your patterns of behavior (such as, "I tend to overeat at barbeques and potlucks and it makes me miserable the next day,") without piling on judgment and shame allows you to get curious about why you eat the way you do. Suspending judgment makes us more receptive to information that may have eluded us in the past.
Next, speak compassionately to yourself. Instead of telling yourself, "I blew my diet again. I'm a failure," you can choose to say something like, "I am disappointed that I overate at the potluck, but I will never give up on myself. I have accomplished plenty of challenging things in my life, and I will figure out how to eat in my own best interest, too." Two totally different messages to your psyche -- with completely different results.
You can learn the skills you need to end overeating and love yourself to better health. And it all starts with a daily practice of awareness and self-kindness.
Please feel free to leave comments, questions or suggestions once you have some experience using this tool. It can be refined as needed, based upon your individual requirements. Enjoy!
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Until next week, my friends,
Here’s to your deliberate life!