So many of you have told me how you want to stop abusing food, stop beating yourself up over overeating episodes and have had enough with the guilt and angst of living this way for years.
If you think about it, it’s not just the physical act of overeating that causes this. The frustration and despair come from:
The disappointment of letting yourself down yet again
The inability to control your actions which you believe should be easy
Feeling that relying on “food” is a sign of weakness
Do you notice a common thread running through all of these feelings?
All your emotions are an outcome of not being able to live up to your expectations.
Your expectation that every day needs to be a perfect diet day.
Your expectation that after all the things you do in a day, you will still have the energy to stop reaching for that cookie.
Your expectation that the “right” way to do things is not to rely on food at all.
Where do our expectations come from? And are they the right ones to have? Are they realistic? And are they the right benchmarks to judge progress?
We believe that our expectations are fair and so we conclude that something must be wrong with us.
But what if we’ve got this all wrong?
What if WE are right. WE are okay and our expectations are unrealistic?
What if having a perfect diet day is silly to aim for because it only results in self-sabotage and bingeing? What if you could have a 70 or 80% diet day instead and not binge at all?
What if reaching for a cookie at the end of a long day is actually really normal – it’s just a topping up of energy and willpower we’ve exhausted throughout the day? What if instead of stopping ourselves, we slowly eat one enjoying it without any guilt?
What if strength doesn’t come from standing alone but by using the right resources to keep us going? What if sometimes food plays that role?
Emotional eating almost certainly comes from having unrealistic expectations for ourselves.
What if resetting some of your expectations can help you get to the other side?
Are you willing to do that? I’d love to know – tell me in the comments.