Starting Off

Food photo

Photo by FootMassagez

Be aware right now that you are not the only one with eating habit challenges!

Recognizing that there are literally millions of people around the world today, all suffering from emotionally-driven eating disorders, can help you to understand that you are definitely not alone. The widespread nature of the problem reminds us that we really can face the challenge successfully – because so many others have achieved success before us. That’s a powerful message to start any campaign and one of the first habits to cultivate in any programmer of change – it’s the unconditional expectation of success.

Recognizing the origins of the problem

Once you realise that your eating behaviours are often driven by emotional influences, you can begin to develop awareness of how you’re feeling whenever the urge to eat inappropriately emerges. Sometimes it’s an event. Sometimes it’s an individual. Sometimes it’s simply a set of circumstances. As you become aware of what triggers your eating responses, you discover one of the great keys to changing your old patterns of behavior. Awareness is an immensely powerful habit to cultivate on the road to a fitter, slimmer, healthier you.

Keeping track by keeping notes

We need to reinforce our great new habit of awareness by keeping notes of whatever it is that triggers those urges to overeat or to tuck into the worst possible food choices. Keeping notes reinforces your awareness, encourages your brain to spot the precise events that cause the problem and builds the first foundation for taking control of your life and of your future, healthier behavior .

Acknowledge those incredible eating urges

As you make notes of whatever triggers the urge to eat, it’s incredibly helpful to acknowledge the fact that you’re really feeling those urges. Too many people pretend that nothing’s happening as they reach for the candy and cookies, ignoring or excusing their feelings as they pile into the chocolate and sugary cream cakes! Go on. Admit it. Tell yourself loud and clear that you’re craving those toxic treats. Understand what’s happening. Write it down. Stop pretending that everything’s fine when the pounds keep piling on. It’s OK. Acknowledge the problem and tell yourself that you’re taking exactly the right steps to fix it.

Learn to find out why you eat like you do

Do you have a guilty preference for one bad food rather than another? List your favourite comfort foods. Write them down. Now take a few minutes every day to think about each item on the list. Write down how you feel when you think about each of those foods. What memories are triggered by those particular goodies? Write down everything you think and feel. Join the dots. Understand how one kind of food could be associated with comfort or reward. Uncover the origins of the habit.

Learn from the Past

Eating photo

Photo by FootMassagez

Once you feel able to fully support your real need to overeat, rejoice in your new power!

It’s only in that space that you can begin to renovate, reconstruct and change your emotional eating tendencies.  Because it happens instantly, you are not even aware at this point that you have made an emotional decision.  But you have, so our mission together is to automatically slow the decision making process by looking at the gap between the experience of helplessness and the automatic and rebellious urge to eat in great detail.  This exciting and dynamic new area of your life will give you the opportunity to make powerfully different decisions which will be the springboard to move your life into a completely new direction. These are the essential mechanics of meaningful change and they apply to aspect of our lives.

Understand Why You have Failed in the Past and Why Your Life will now begin to Change!

Diets Fail Because of Out Of Control Emotional Decisions.

We’ve already concluded that Calorie Controlled Diets don’t work on a permanent basis – for you or for anyone else.  Of course, eventually, you’ll have to embrace a lifestyle where you enjoy eating delicious healthy food and pick up a fun and regular exercise routine, but first you must focus on what specifically makes you feel helpless in your life, especially in relation to eating food.

You may be feeling more optimistic at this stage, but I suspect that you’re also sceptical and may even harbour doubts about ultimate success.  Your gut may be saying to you, “Can something as intense and as strong as my emotional eating needs really be changed?” The answer, of course, is yes. Persistence is at the heart of so many habits. Focusing on your successes, no matter how small they may seem, helps to reinforce your new behaviour. Keeping a Victory Log to record every incidence of success will build up your confidence and remind you that you really are on the pathway to sustainable success.

  1. Learn that Self Doubt will help you to refocus your power!

Accept that now you will start to understand things about yourself that you may have tried to hide or conceal and, when you realise and accept these things about yourself, you will finally understand that you don’t need to let food and eating control and ruin your life. We are going to give you a mirror to reflect your behaviors, motivations, and all of the habits that are not serving you well.  Emotional overeating is destructive to your health and happiness – your focus will finally be on you and not your food. As you slow down and reflect upon what you’re eating, developing a vital sense of mindfulness, considering what you’re eating and why, new possibilities emerge, new alternatives present themselves. They were always there. Now you’re finally taking the time to acknowledge them. Every single day.

Recognise that Food has become your Over-the-Counter Tranquiliser

Focus now on that something that always triggers your drive to overeat, perhaps some kind of interaction with someone or an emotionally relevant situation in your life.  Now let’s look more closely at this subject.  It’s not the event that causes you to want to overeat. It’s how the event or situation made you feel.  At first you may not even realise or know how you feel.  As you work on getting better acquainted with your emotional self, you’ll begin to observe the situations or people around you at the moment when you tend to overeat.  Then you’ll pay closer attention to the feelings that come up for you when you’re around those people or situations. These are the steps to neutralising your old habits.

Improving your Lifestyle

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Learning to spot your old habits is a vital component in the plan for a healthier, happier life

Here’s a list of reasons that are often offered to explain why people eat. Check each of these reasons and write down your reaction to each one – if it’s relevant – after you really ask yourself if the behaviour description applies to you

I eat because I’m ravenous.

I eat because I’m bored.

I need to eat more when I’m tired.

I turn to food when I feel lonely.

I eat more because I’m married.

I get comfort from food because I’m single

I get hungry when I’m anxious

I love to enjoy food when I feel happy

I eat when I feel pleased

I turn to food when I’m upset

I eat because I usually have to pass a bakery

I eat when I’ve had too much to drink

I eat more when I’m at a party.

I eat because my mother/friend/ mother in law, business colleague cooked and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I want to eat as much as my husband/boyfriend.

I don’t want to deprive myself.

I eat when I feel depressed.

I was angry but felt so guilty about eating that I just said ‘To hell with the diet’, and went on to eat as much as I wanted.

I guess I have no willpower or discipline when it comes to food. I am just too weak willed to do what I need to do.

Now put each description into order, starting with the statement that strikes as most closely describing how you feel, and adding the others in order of relevance.

Write down the specific areas in your life where you feel that you have no control.

Now ask yourself – “Is there link between any of these areas and my need to eat?” Describe how you feel when you admit to yourself “I have no control.”  Remind yourself every morning that YOU really do have total control over what YOU decide to eat!

Ask yourself this question each time you feel that your eating was out of control:

“Why, after I made a commitment to myself to take control of my eating, did the urge to eat become so powerful that it overruled my conscious intent?”

Listen carefully to your answer and write it down because, whatever the reason might be, it’s never going to help you to achieve your personal weight management goals! Understand where the excuses come from, understand why you might’ve failed, renew your commitment to success every morning and remind yourself of your goal throughout the day

Success is very much a product of our habits.

We’re not aiming for perfection.

Failure is a normal part of life’s experience. Recovering from a slip is how we reach our goals! So, after eating incorrectly, take a moment to examine any conflict that might have taken place just before you made your food selection.

Why? Because in addition to the urge to eat, there was also a conflict occurring between two distinct parts of the mind, each part fighting over who was going to control that critical moment when your hand moved towards the candy, chocolates, sodas or whatever kind of toxic food might be screaming for your attention.

If-Then Technique

Thinking photo

Learn The If-Then Technique

A favourite amongst the cognitive behaviour fraternity, the If-Then technique relies on planning and preparation. Instead of stumbling blindly through the day, encountering temptations and impulses to do the wrong thing, all you need to do is spend a few minutes imagining all the situations where you might have a problem and then work out how you will deal with that issue. This is an extraordinary technique for dismantling negative behaviour traits and a fabulous daily habit to develop.

Now, practise your positive decision making

You’re really making the right decisions in advance, well away from the instant-grab-it-eat-it response of the limbic system! If you get stressed, then you know you have to breathe and relax. If you see or smell the comfort foods or unhealthy snacks that pile on the pounds, then you remember your goal about getting your weight under control, you visualise the horrible health problems that are waiting to plague the overweight.

Recognise your weaker moments

If someone invites you for lunch at the fast food outlet, then you know you’ll decline the invitation because you’ve brought a healthy lunch with you. These preparation strategies are surprisingly effective, intensively researched and highly recommended. One of the most effective ways of making this technique even more concentrated is to start making notes. Write down every situation where you notice you’re getting stressed or feel the need to eat the wrong things. The results might surprise you but they will greatly assist you in identifying the precise situations where your weight control plans might come under pressure.

Practise working with your executive function

Once you’ve understood where the dangers lie, you can prepare strategies to defuse the situation and turn down the impulsive amygdala response. Make these preparations an essential part of your daily routine for total weight control. Prepare for the situations where you might lapse and get out of control and decide in advance how you will deal most effectively with each scenario. You’ll have guessed quite rightly that this strategy engages our prefrontal cortex, working with your highly prized Executive Function, emphasising the advantages of cool, reasoned logic and overriding the impulses of the amygdala.

Controlling Your Environment – remove temptations

Planning and preparation can be extended into other aspects of your daily routine. There are many items on the dangerous food list that you will need to avoid. We’ll get to specifics in a later chapter. Removing those items from your home, from your working environment and from your shopping list is a vital step in sanitising your living space and putting temptation firmly out of sight and out of reach. It’s completely fair to ban unhealthy substances from your home and office.

If you want to take control of your weight, you’ll know that you’re going to make changes to your eating behaviour. It only makes sense to extend that control to your environment. You’ll feel better and you’ll start to build a strong sense of achievement, a feeling of personal satisfaction because you’re demonstrating that you really are taking control of your life. And that is a truly worthy objective.

Have a Back-Up

Build Support Systems

There are considerable advantages to be gained from having a support group to help you to keep right on track with your brilliant new objectives. Start by making a declaration of your intentions. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your colleagues. Make a declaration of absolute intent and ask your newly formed support group to do everything they can to keep you on track. Tell them to be tough because it’s such a worthy cause.

Tell them they must not accept any lapses or excuses but that they must hold you to your word. Getting nervous? Good! This is how we show the world we’re serious. Tell your supporters they have to be smart and keep you far away from temptation. Creating a group expectation can be exceptionally powerful when it comes to staying on track and in line with your mission and its objectives.

Always ensure your safety net is in place

Now your goal has been stated before a group of people who share your pledge and your commitment. You now have people to approach when you feel that your resolve is weakening. You now have an emotional safety net, a group whose purpose is to keep you in line with your goal. Let’s remember that people – just like you – have achieved the most amazing accomplishments in all the fields of human endeavour. They always started with a goal and a powerful intent to make it happen. You now have your chosen goal and a group of fans who are right behind you. Make it happen.

Summary

  • Write Down Your Goal For This Programme
  • Bringing Your belief System Into Alignment With Your Potential
  • Understanding The Link Between What you Do And What You Get
  • Learning To See Yourself As You Truly Wish To Be
  • Turning Down The Limbic Response By Calming Yourself And Breathing
  • Planning Ahead For Challenging Circumstances
  • Making Your Environment Work For You
  • Building Support Systems

Learning to Love Your Body is by far one of your best new habits

One of the questions we should consider at this point is how you feel about your body. Take your time and just reflect for a moment on how you really feel about your body. I prefer you to answer this question whilst you’re standing in front of a mirror and then you can respond to exactly what you see before you. It’s a very personal question and you do not have to share the answer with anyone except yourself. Take a good look and take your time with the answer.

To be fair, it’s unusual to receive a positive response to this question, mainly because we’re surrounded by pictures of photo-shopped bodies in magazines and adverts that look as if they’ve been designed and created by the Disney Corporation! We’re bombarded by images of impossibly perfect bodies and it’s just too easy to compare ourselves with these demotivating and unattainable examples of super human perfection.

It’s very helpful to attach a picture of your face to a picture of an idealised body because this exercise works as a positive reinforcement of your vision and goals. When we compare ourselves unfavourably to idealised images, the comparison can be damaging to our confidence, self esteem and motivation. Do you see the difference?

As you consider your reflection in the mirror, learn to accept the miracle that is your body. Say a warm thank you to your body for enduring the abuse and neglect and make a solemn promise to make things better, to treat your amazing body with all the respect it deserves.

Food is NOT Love

Do you find you forget your problem temporarily when eating comfort food? Realise this right now!

Some people use food, whether consciously or unconsciously, to numb their minds so that they won’t have to deal with the issues they’d rather not confront.  I describe this altered state of mind where food transports us as a “food high,” something I’ll expand upon later.  It’s a very important factor in the story of eating behavior issues.

Can you think of a better way to deal with your problems? Do you ever go for a walk to let your mind process the alternatives? Do you know how to relax and breathe more deeply? Do you know how to calm yourself from the fears that the problems will somehow overwhelm you? Have you ever learned to meditate? We’ve got so many ways to master the knee-jerk food response to overeating. Relaxing is one of the most effective! Take a moment every hour to relax your neck and shoulders and breathe a little more deeply. It work

Check if food has become your love substitute

If you overeat when you feel distress in order to change your state of mind, then food has become your substitute for the state of blissful comfort that babies feel when being nurtured and fed.  That’s the unconscious origin of the urge to overeat and it’s as primal as can be.  In psychological terms, food has become a love object.

Turn your love firstly towards yourself to accept yourself completely and without judgement. Learn to appreciate others too. Extend the warmth of your love from your own heart to the lives of everyone around you. You’ll feel the difference immediately and tame the urge to stuff yourself with toxic comfort food

Do you find it really difficult to turn away from your favourite comfort food?

Separating you from your food is like yanking the child away from the delightful cocoon of nurturing and feeding, destroying your private, secret sanctuary and exposing you to the unending turmoil of life.  No wonder you hold onto your emotional eating patterns with such tenacity – the alternative is too scary and fearful.  Suddenly our eating habits begin to make perfect sense!

That’s why it’s time to introduce a measure of control into the habit. If the prospect of giving up such an important source of comfort is too daunting, make a deal with yourself to cut back. That’s right. Agree in advance exactly how much you will allow yourself and write down the amount. This is a contract. When you hit the limit, write down what happened. If you don’t feel like the garbage treat on any particular day, make a note of it and describe how you were feeling. Keep your word. Respect that agreement. You’re on your way to much, much better things!

Food Addictions

Comfort food photo

Photo by Michael Stern

Finally Learn how to tame your Food Addictions

We owe much to the pioneering behavioural scientists who have dedicated their careers to examining the underlying forces that govern human behaviour and whose work has shed light on the most effective ways for humans to take control of their lives. There are countless examples of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds rising above the limitations of their circumstances by changing their behaviour and learning to control their aggressive impulses, focusing their energy on positive activities such as learning, diligent study and developing their cognitive faculties. So we know it’s fully possible.

The same methods apply to any aspect of our behaviour that needs a little help or modification. Addictions can be tamed. Behaviours can be mastered. Make a list right now of your three most important behaviours that you would like to change. Think about the list for a few minutes. Now write down the steps you can take to change those behaviours for the better. What do you need to do? Start now. Take the first step. Take control. It feels good, doesn’t it? It’s supposed to!

Discover YOUR strategies for success

Change lies entirely in our own hands. But how do we apply this knowledge to daily activities such as our eating habits? How do we tame the impulses that flare up unexpectedly, especially when we’re stressed or under pressure, emotionally vulnerable or just craving the wrong kind of comfort? Executive function holds some of the best answers. So it’s time to open up your personal success plan and start the deeper process of personal transformation.

We’ve identified all the key ingredients for success so let’s reveal your personal strategies for totally effective weight control.

Strategies for Success:

1. Belief Systems

2. Consequences

3. Building the Vision

4. Checking the Go impulse

5. The If-Then Technique

6. Controlling the Environment

7. Support Systems

Know your belief systems

Belief Systems – We and the world that we perceive around us are very much what we believe them to be. Our belief systems exercise enormous influence over our lives and over what happens to us. All those thousands of self-help books are really trying to focus on one simple message – that your beliefs are the key to so much of what happens in your life.

That’s the message.

As soon as you realise that your beliefs are only a product of your conditioning, an extension of what you’ve been taught by your society and your culture, a reflection of whatever limitations you’ve absorbed since early childhood, you’ll understand in a flash that you really can choose the kind of beliefs that are completely in tune with your new weight control intentions. Can you lose weight? Of course you can. You only have to choose right now to join me and believe absolutely that it’s possible and you’ll start to reframe patterns in your brain that will lend themselves to your goals. Beliefs are vitally important.

If you wake up believing that you can’t do something – you’re right. Most conflicts are decided before the battle is even joined. When you wake up with the light of belief in your heart, everything begins to reflect the new possibilities. It’s one of the greatest gifts that humans possess. And now is the moment to put it into practice. Choose to believe in your power to take control of your weight.

These methods initiate change at the most profound levels of our consciousness. This a powerful and deliberate extension of the prefrontal cortex’s ability to plan and achieve goals. And despite the calming, contemplative nature of the PFC, it feels really good! So, your first task on the journey to total weight control is to decide what you want. Take a moment to think about what you intend to achieve from this programme. Now write it down.

Find Your Motivation

Weighing Scales photo

Photo by -Paul H-

Stay off the weighing scales.

Yes. I know. You probably expected me to encourage you to measure every ounce of progress and perform cartwheels of joy as each pound slipped away!

But those pesky weighing scales can be a potent source of tension, even an obsession, and it would be better to ignore them for a while. The place I’d like you to notice the changes will be in your clothes. Let your waist size be your guide for now. Eliminating belly fat can be particularly satisfying as you bring your weight naturally under control and your dress or trouser size will certainly tell you how well you’re doing. Feeling energised and having more stamina and endurance are equally important ways of measuring your progress. So don’t worry about the weighing scales. Focus on your goal and that new, stunning, healthy and trim image of how you plan to be.

Summary

  • Building The Ideal Vision Of Yourself
  • Learning To Smile
  • Creating Your Personal Power Mantra
  • Using Your Posture
  • Stay Off The Scales – Check Your Waistband!

Time for you to break free from all the bad stuff

Most of our lives are experienced through habits. Habits make life easier because they save us from having to make unnecessary, repetitive decisions. We don’t have to re-learn important and sometimes critical lessons because the information becomes ingrained in our habits and into our view of the world. So we learn to respond to the environment around us with a set of programmed responses. These are habits.

Many habits are deeply associated either with pain or with pleasure. We avoid things that might be unpleasant and pursue experiences that we associate with pleasure. Sometimes the message gets confused. The things that can seem to be pleasurable – like smoking, alcohol, drugs, the wrong food – are harming us. But can we change those habits and conditioned responses?

The latest research in the field of cognitive behaviour suggests that we most certainly can. We know that some habits are a product of chemical addictions, a dependence on substances that create powerful urges in our bodies and demand instant satisfaction.

We’re going to take a look at those substances shortly. But one of the reasons why re-hab fails so often to ‘cure’ people of their addictions is that the individual must want to be free of the addiction in the first place.

Learn to recognise that much of your behaviour has been learned at some earlier point in your life, usually during the formative years of early childhood. You are not those habits and those habits are not permanent. They can be changed and adapted to work for you rather than against you. You are not your habits. Remember – you are so much more than the sum total of your behaviours

Learn to identify the kind of motivation that works for you.

Having the right motivation can make the world of difference to your plans for success and finding that motivation is a key element in changing our habits, developing new behaviours and building the foundations for complete wellness.

Ask any dieter and they’ll tell you that the moment of temptation peaks when the refrigerator door opens or when the dessert trolley is wheeled into view! The latest research in cognitive behaviour suggests that the problem is not in the temptation itself but in how the mind perceives the object of desire.

It seems that the prefrontal cortex, when engaged to deal with any source of temptation, can be incredibly creative in offering different ways of perceiving the source of the challenge. This diminishes the urge to give in and indulge the craving.  It does not require some superhuman effort of will. It requires practice, persistence and a degree of determination. Yes, I know. These ideas do not resonate very easily in an age of instant gratification. If we’re being brutally objective, it seems that our culture has lost touch with the concepts of self discipline, self control and self mastery.

Find Alternatives

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Become aware of How You Originally Got Addicted to Food

If you have an out of control eating pattern, you might wonder where it came from.  Did you become an emotional eater because you have specific emotional problems or did some genetic wiring in your brain’s appetite control centre go crazy?  Probably not.  Emotional eating is the norm at birth for all of us.  When a mother feeds her baby, the baby stops crying because the sensation of sucking on something that produces warm sweet delicious nourishment is really soothing.  Babies equate their first nourishment with immediate survival, demonstrations of love and a relaxed state of mind.  When babies don’t get their mother’s milk, they settle for a substitute – a bottle or a pacifier (dummy) for example.  This substitute teat has no warmth, taste, or nutritional value, but it’s close enough to the primal experience to soothe the baby.  It’s natural for us to continuously seek comfort from these soothing situations and easy enough, later in life, to utilize food and eating and drinking as the primal pathway that leads us back to those intensely comforting and reassuring experiences of infancy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy teaches us to become more aware of what we’re doing, to pause before we act and consider the consequences, learning to make better choices and so develop better habits.

Recognise that your craving for food is much more likely a craving for something else!

The first, and primal, regulating and controlling factor of your mood was often the assumption that you were hungry.  If your needs for food and comfort were met, then you will often equate that comfort on some level with food.  And if you were given food every time you became moody as a baby and young child instead of receiving a welcome display of love, affection and attention, then food and love will still be linked as a way to get comfort and you’ll find yourself craving food when what you really want is love.

We need to find better ways to create the feelings of love, comfort and acceptance. Learning to accept ourselves unconditionally is the solid foundation on which to build a stronger emotional support base.

Find Out What Triggers Your Imaginary Hunger?

There are two categories of influences that can trigger imaginary hunger.  The first includes situations, places, or events.  Perhaps you overeat when you have to attend professional or family functions.  For some people, it’s funerals or restaurants or sports events.  For others, it’s a boring day at work or the familiar need to release stress after work!

The second category of influences that can trigger imaginary hunger includes people.  For you, it’s probably a specific person – your friend, boss, co-worker, parent, spouse, partner, sibling or child – who triggers you to overeat.  They may trigger an eating response with a glance, a word, or even with their silence but, whatever it is, whenever you’re around them, you’re sure to overeat.

Here are typical situations where we may all are tempted to overeat:

  • Stress at school, university or work
  • Stress at home
  • Fights with others
  • Being judged by friends, family and even strangers
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Fear that you don’t measure up
  • Too much to do
  • Fear of failure
  • Deadlines and pressure
  • Promising too much
  • Arguments
  • Trauma
  • Death, divorce, moving house
  • Relationship issues
  • Children’s needs
  • Death of a family member, pet, friend
  • Anger, fear, doubt

And the list includes many, many more items!

Forewarned is forearmed! As you begin to recognise the situations where over-eating is more likely to take place, you can prepare yourself in advance and avoid the triggers that might spark a bout of inappropriate chomping! What a fabulous habit to develop in the campaign for totally effective weight control.

Fear vs Courage

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Understand the difference between Fear versus Courage (Knee jerk reaction versus intelligent choice!)

We all have two distinct voices inside our brains (normally referred to as the limbic system (LS) and the prefrontal cortex PFC). One has a tendency to fill us with hope (PFS) and reminds us how wonderful our life is, and the other fills us with doubts (LS) and convinces us that nothing is worth the effort.  Which voice do you want to win? Which voice do you really want to feed? The Limbic System’s ancient function was to help us survive. The more recently developed pre-frontal cortex permits us to think and plan. The two systems are closely linked. The more emotional our responses, the stronger the limbic influence. As we learn to think and plan ahead, the PFC cools down the limbic’s hot, knee-jerk responses and reduces our addictive tendencies.

Thinking, planning, pausing before over-reacting, breathing more deeply, working out the consequences – these behaviours favour the PFC’s ‘executive function’ and encourage more reasoned and healthful choices. Learn to think. Learn to plan. Look ahead. Work out the consequences. Engage the power of the PFC. It’s what makes us human.

Realise that when you make unhelpful eating selections you reinforce that voice that says you are helpless!

This is, of course, a very complex and fascinating area of neuro-scientific research but we now accept that these two deeply influential aspects of our brains play a major role in determining how we behave in many different situations and circumstances. Let’s run with this behavioral theory, which is supported by thousands of studies, and see how it can help us.

The two voices inside your mind are your positive sense of courage and motivation to lose weight as opposed to your experience of a sense of helplessness that leads to the uncontrollable urge to eat. We all know that the overeating voice is usually the loudest and that it usually wins.  Every time you overeat because you are feeling helpless, you reinforce your incorrect belief that you are helpless.  You feed the wrong voice. Once you understand this it will get easier to resist the urges and temptations to binge.

Look back at your eating behavior honestly and recognise your automatic comfort response

No matter how hard you try to diet, no matter how sincere your promise to give up certain foods, you can’t stop the emotional compulsion of overeating for very long.  When you do, you feel helpless, worried, empty or anxious.  Feelings of depression, resentment, deprivation and boredom begin to creep in.  If you remain unaware of how the underlying experience of helplessness is affecting you and how it automatically manifests as the uncontrollable urge to eat, there isn’t much you can do to change it.

Once you begin to recognise the fact that overeating has helped you to feel powerful in some way, you may be ready to understand that link between your long term inability to lose weight and your automatic comfort response to the stresses and challenges in your life.

As you become more aware of these old and potentially harmful patterns of thinking and feeling, you can consider alternative ways to express yourself and experience the freedom of making life-enhancing and healthy choices for yourself.