How to Rewire Your Brain to Quit Overeating (like a badass)

If you’ve been overeating for years- or even decades- you may be skeptical that rewiring your brain to quit overeating is even impossible. But it absolutely is.

Overeating is first off an action.

When we overeat, it is often in response to a feeling (discomfort, anxiety, anger, impatience, frustration, inadequacy, excitement, etc).

While feelings themselves are harmless- they are just vibrations in your body– if you haven’t spent time learning to allow feelings to exist without stuffing food on top of them, then you may be overeating in response to any emotion, whether it’s negative or even positive.

When it comes to emotions or feelings, a lot of people think that they emerge from people or life events outside of you- your husband, kids not doing their homework, mother-in-law is too demanding, your boss talks down to you– all likely the culprits, right?

Or are they?

The truth is, everything these people do or say has little to do with our feelings, but how we process what they do or say has EVERYTHING to do with our feelings.

Have you ever told someone a story that really enraged you, and they responded with little or no reaction, so you explain more, so they get how “bad” the situation really is?

That, my friend, is your story.

Anything more than facts is your story.

We think our stories are facts, but actually, our stories are the mechanisms we use to justify our feelings and actions.

How does this relate to overeating?

Because overeating starts in the mind way before you’re in line at the drive-thru.

Think about it like this: when you want to lose weight, and you start your day off with your lunch packed, it’s not because you’re planning to ditch it at some point in lieu of McDonald’s right?

You pack your lunch because you told yourself (maybe the night before) that you want to eat a healthy lunch that will help you lose weight.

So where’s the gap between between the healthy lunch and the drive-thru?

Let’s say it’s your boss.

She emails you that some work you’ve done needs revisions within 15 minutes. She is energized and as soon as you receive her email she calls you to make sure you saw the email.

You can see her email and phone call as intrusive, demanding, outrageous, or even offensive.

What if you knew just prior to her email, she was informed of a last-minute change that she had to do, and was so rattled for her meeting she needed you to make the correction because you are the most reliable person on your team.

Pretty different story, eh?

Now, you may be protesting that you know that wasn’t why your boss came to you, but notice how your thoughts change.

When we change our thoughts, we show up for life differently.

So when a situations emerges that may be triggering, ask yourself, how can I show up for this in my life and still get results?

Get curious.

Be like a nosy neighbor– be up in your own business.

Great questions inspire us to find a better outcome for ourselves, instead of allowing our brain to run it’s default programming.

This is important because your default programming (aka habits) will tell you to do what you’ve always done– assume your boss is taking advantage of you, feel angry and resentful, and therefore eat a venti Starbucks cup filled with peanut m&ms (not that I’m speaking from experience— *clears throat* 😉

But next time you are in that situation remember…

The keys to rewiring your brain to quit overeating are:

(1) Hit the pause button— maybe even say outloud “STOP” as soon as you notice uncomfortable feelings surface.

(2) Before leaping out of your chair to the pantry you ask yourself “what would a badass woman who shows up big in her life do in this situation?”

When you ask yourself powerful questions, your brain gets to work on powerful solutions.

So what do you do?

My first response is “a badass woman who shows up big in her life just takes care of business. She gets the job done, and doesn’t let a moment of feeling weird about an email derail efforts she is committed to.”

What is your response?

(3) Follow the badass– she always knows best.

Notice how thinking about it from this perspective puts you in the driver seat.

It puts you in the place of power.

When you are in the power, you decide exactly how you show up in EVERY area of life.

If this is work you want to do more of and you need help, click here to schedule your free solution session with me.

Coping with Anxiety and Depression

The other day, my friend Madison asked people on Facebook about how people are coping with anxiety and depression in these insane times.

I posted a somewhat brief response, and read through the 46 comments to see if there were any common threads.

Faith, mental health support, finding activities, limiting news, baking, drinking, and connecting with others were all popular answers.

People also acknowledged they are still working through it, still struggling, still needing support.

I was really moved by the encouraging words people had for one another, so I asked Madison if she wouldn’t mind if I wrote about it, and she agreed– thank you 😉 .

This post really got me thinking because sometimes when life happens, especially in the way it has recently, it can feel seemingly impossible to pull yourself out of the pit.

Before I dig into that, I think it’s important to acknowledge this:

Life is 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.

I know this because it is reality. And as Byron Katie says, “when we argue with reality we lose, but only 100% of the time.”

People think that because I’m a life coach that I go around telling people to be happy all the time. And while there certainly is enormous value in being positive, it is misaligned for times when real hard life happens.

Think about it for a second– do you WANT to be happy when someone dies or your child gets injured? No! You want to choose, in that moment, to have a feeling like sadness or fear.

This is clearly a time when emotions are running high, and people are growing weary of quarantining, face mask wearing, social isolation, and all the things, so I won’t tell you to be happy, instead I will tell you this…

  1. Allow the ugly feelings to surface.
  • Feel sad.
  • Feel bummed.
  • Feel lonely.
  • Feel whatever is coming up for you.

It’s ok. It’s totally normal.

When we allow feelings to emerge we can process them. Many people have a fear that if they sit in boredom or sadness that they will implode. You won’t. Or that they will be uncomfortable. You will. But being uncomfortable is okay. Nothing is wrong with being uncomfortable.

Let me say this again… nothing is wrong with being uncomfortable.

I reiterate this because discomfort was a feeling I used to deeply battle, and whenever I felt any uncomfortable feelings (loneliness, frustration, sadness) I would binge eat.

I got so good at coping with discomfort by binge eating, that as soon as an uncomfortable feeling emerged, I would automatically get a gnawing sensation within me that felt incessant– like I had to do something immediately– I had to silence it! And to bury the feeling, I would stuff it down with food until I literally felt sick.

Learning to allow uncomfortable feelings to surface without trying to bury them was the key for me in breaking my binge eating habit, and creating transformation in my own life, which is why I now help other women overcome their weight struggles in this area as well.

2. Focus on what you can control

Many people want to argue about what is happening right now as a right/wrong/should/shouldn’t situation. We want to blame someone or something right now, but all of “the things” happening right now are out of control for the large percentage of the population.

Instead of fuming about what you can’t control, focus 100% on what you CAN control. Our perspective is everything right now. You can be the victim, or you can be the victor– you get to chooose.

3. Manage Your Autoplay

If you’ve been telling yourself terrible thoughts over the last several months like:

  • This is the worst time of my life!
  • Things will never get better!
  • 2020 can suck it!
  • I can’t do anything right now!

Notice how you have been feeling.

Our thoughts create our reality, so (as I mentioned before), I’m not going to tell you to be happy, but notice that when the autoplay comes up, and your thoughts start looping on a negative track, that you have to intentionally shift your focus elsewhere if you want a different result.

Our brains like to avoid pain, seek pleasure, and be efficient, and if the story you’ve been telling yourself since March is that this is the worst year ever then you will take subconscious action to ensuring it is the worst year ever for you.

Instead, you can take this opportunity to notice when your brain offers you thoughts like “this is the worst year ever” to hit pause on the autoplay, and start a new track that sounds something like:

  • I’m going to take this opportunity to call an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time.
  • This is a good time for me to start on that great business idea I’ve had.
  • Since I don’t have to commute to work anymore, I can start going for a walk and cook healthy food.

See what I mean?

We all get to choose how we are being in this time.

We all get to create the results we want.

So let me ask you this?

What is the reality you want to create now?

Whatever you want– it’s waiting for you.

You just have to consciously choose it– on purpose.

If you’re curious about going deeper with this work, set up a free 30 minute solution session with me, by clicking here.

Why Am I Quaranteating and How Do I Stop?

Quarantineating?

Let’s be honest, the Quarantine Fifteen is becoming a real thing, and if you are like most people, you may have had more than one day over the past 6 months where you’ve found yourself plowing through snacks like a maniac.

No judgement.

But if you’ve found yourself in a place where you are realizing that living in your Lulu’s has led you to outgrow your work pants, then I want to share with you some insights that may help you better understand what is really going on.

But first, some woo…

Our throat chakra is the center of communication.

It’s where we speak, we feed ourselves, and express our desires.

In a usual situation if we dislike something we use our voice to acknowledge it, to meet our needs.

But right now that voice may be making requests for needs (for things like getting back to normal life, desiring clean air, walking freely without a mask, traveling wherever you want to go), but due to our current circumstances, the requests are not creating freedom.

We may be voicing our needs audibly or internally, but it’s like the universe is saying, I hear you and no.

When those beautiful words are not allowed to get out in a way that provides relief we are seeking, the emotions we experience get repressed; they go inward and start looking for an outlet within the body.

Welcome, discomfort!

We all know that a quick resolution for discomfort is eating– particularly eating highly palatable foods that taste really good.

When we eat, we dull out the vibration of emotions because our body switches focus from feeling emotions to gaining pleasure from food.

Essentially, we’ve given our body a new job: disregard emotions– focus on eating.

While eating may feel pleasurable momentarily, it does not resolve the fact that we are still silenced, so what happens?

More eating. We then train ourselves to follow the dopamine hit we get from eating rather than feeling the discomfort of energy running through our bodies.

So what do we do???

  1. Pause & Breathe: Take a deep breath- nothing has gone wrong. Your body is simply responding to a stimulus it wasn’t prepared for.
  2. Feel: In your pause you will notice that there may be something else going on– there might be some kind of static, gnawing or discomfort that you want to escape from– if you are super uncomfortable then you are right on track.
  3. Explain: Take some time in your feeling to explain to yourself what is happening. Do you have tightness in your chest or neck? Is there a pulsing or a fluttering?
  4. Identify: If this motion in your body were a feeling, what would it be? If you have a hard time identifying emotions and feelings, then use a tool like this wheel below to start identifying what that motion feels like.

Once you’ve identified your feeling, I want you to notice it, and continue to explain it to yourself, and watch the urgency behind the feeling dissolve.

I also want to assure you that it’s acceptable to feel uncomfortable feelings.

The human experience is truly 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.

Feeling negative emotions or uncomfortable feelings doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong. You just have to decide how you want to show up when those feelings surface.

You may not be able to control circumstances, but you can control how you show up for them.

So the next time you notice that you are showing up for an eating event that is not aligned with your goals– mindless snacking in the pantry or eating a whole meal of whipped cream from a can while standing in front of the fridge— take the pause, and go through the steps above.

30 Days of Gratitude

Our brains love to have something to focus on. Believe it or not, our brains like to work– to have a job. For the last two months, the job our brains have been doing a lot of work processing information about a virus we don’t know a lot about. Every day there is something new, so we have been glued to live updates to learn more. This is our brains new job- learn the things, stay safe, don’t die. Got it.

While I am with you in this, I think we can do better. He’s how.

If we create more of whatever we focus on, when we spend all of our energy focusing on the pandemic, we create more thoughts and feelings about the pandemic.

Thoughts like “this is the end!;” “who is getting it next?;” “am I going to die?”

Guess what these thoughts create? FEAR! TERROR! ANXIETY!

Instead, I wanted to offer your brain a new job. For the next 30 days starting today (April 4th), join me for 30 days of Gratitude. This means that if you are in the bay area, where we are sheltering–in-place. Each day between now and the end of the order (May 3rd), you will have an opportunity to find something you are grateful for. Think of it as your Gratitude-in-Place order instead.

When we focus on gratitude, we bring more amazing feelings into the world. Feelings like LOVE! COMPASSION! GENEROSITY!

Each day, I will post one of the prompts from the Gratitude Challenge, and share with you what I am grateful for. I offer this because the more we can focus on what we are grateful for, the more gratitude we will share with the world.

I invite you to join me on this journey, and share it with your friends as well.

Let’s see if we can not only shelter-in-place, but Gratitude-In-Place as well.

What to do When Your World Feels Like it’s Spinning out of Control.

Do you ever feel like when a few things are out of your control that it’s easy to let EVERYTHING feel like it’s out of control?

My hand is raised!

As soon as I heard that a shelter-in-place warning was issued, I had a sudden urge to eat ALL OF THE FOOD.

I thought things like:

  • This is the end.
  • I have to get it now while it’s still here.
  • There may never be X again. And when I say x, of course I mean fro yo.

So what did I do when I heard that I would be confined to nowhere but my home for the next two weeks? I did what every other human in the world did, ran to my favorite shop and got a frozen yogurt the size of my head… and I ate it.

Then I got home and started thinking about how I want to be in this situation.

I realized that I may not have control over the government, or orders to stay in one place or the other, but I can sure as hell control what I put in my mouth, what I choose to focus on, how I nourish my mind, and how I use my body.

I decided that instead of freaking out and spinning on all the negative thoughts I just listed above, I would instead to decide to choose calm and balance in this time.

For so many people, times like these feel like all or nothing. We think that because we can’t have access to gyms, or because we can’t get the brand of almond milk we are used to that we may as throw the baby out with the bathwater.

But what if instead we focused on all we DO have access to:

  • Fresh air
  • Clean Water
  • YouTube videos with home workouts
  • Free meditation apps (I use insight timer)
  • A hair brush and shower (don’t let working from home bring out your funk 😉
  • Pen and paper to write a letter to a friend or relative

What if we focused our time on what we can accomplish?

What if we started actually doing things on our to-do list?

If you are spinning, then I encourage you to stop right now and ask yourself this question, “what is 100% within my control today?”

Now write down your answers and make a list of everything you CAN do!

Changing your thinking changes everything, my friends.

If you’d like to schedule a free 30 minute solution session with me to discover how you can get back in control, click here to access my personal calendar.

Let’s Talk About Feelings

Let’s be honest, there is no class in school that teaches us how to process emotions.

We are raised to think that other people are responsible for our emotions– that their actions are what create our feelings, but the truth is our thinking creates our feelings.

Regardless of the source, if you are like most people, a feeling may arise within you and suddenly you want to hit the panic button.

Feelings may show up as tightness or pulsing. It may be in the belly, chest, or throat.

It feels like something has gone wrong because you cant describe it, so you use the tools you have to make it go away.

What is your tool?

Overdrinking, overeating, overspending?

Here’s the good news…

Feelings are just vibrations. The more we buffer (with over-anything) or distract, the more we drown out our signals and numb the real messages our body is telling us.

So what do we do if the only tool we have is buffering?

  1. Stop Buffering
  2. Allow the Feeling

Notice it.

Be Curious.

Ask yourself what you are thinking when you feel the vibration.

Where is it happening in your body?

What does the sensation feel like?

At first it may feel intolerable. But let it be, notice how it feels.

Imagine an ankle cramp.

What if I told you that the key to anything you want in life meant that you had to be willing to experience an ankle cramp for 15 minutes a day. Could you allow it?

Of course you could.

Every other feeling is exactly the same way.

Have a great day my friends. Go feel some feelings 🙂

If you’d like to dig deeper on how to feel your feelings, schedule a solution session with me by clicking here.