The Guilt-Shame-Beat-Yourself-Up Tango FAILS

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Emotional Eating is a behavior riddled with guilt and shame.  We know what we want to do, even what we intend to do.  Then something happens, and we find ourselves staring into the refrigerator—cue the guilt, shame, and beating-ourselves-up cycle.

I get why we feel guilty.  We have/haven’t done something we said we wouldn’t/would do.  Yep, guilty.  Once we recognize what we’ve done, we can learn from the experience and alter the behavior to reach our goals.  Simple.  Recognize, alter behavior, and move forward.

We don’t let it be that easy though, do we?  Too often, we then shame ourselves, which creates a greater need for soothing.  Why do we do that?

Oh, I know why – somehow we think that if we shame ourselves enough, we’ll change, right?   Yet it doesn’t work,  so we get stuck in this endless loop. 

Shame Is Caustic

Shame is caustic.  Shame eats away the shreds of our self-esteem  Shame isn’t about what you do – it’s an assault on who you are.  And frankly, when it comes to eating something or too much of something, it’s overkill.

Hear me:  You DO NOT deserve that.  You never have and never will. 

AND it doesn’t work.

I challenge you to step out of the shame cycle.  There are much more effective ways to break the habit of emotional eating, and none of them leave you feeling so awful about yourself. 

So what does work?

One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional eating is utilizing accountability.  Some people can do this fairly naturally for themselves. 

I’m not one of them.  To make it work for me, I need external accountability, and I needed more than a friend or family member for this work.  What finally got me off that 40-year Diet Yo-Yo was hiring a coach. 

I needed more than someone to challenge me on my food choices and tracking, although she did that.  I needed more than having to report my exercise, although she did that as well.  To change this life-long habit of eating to soothe myself, I needed someone to challenge my thinking to share a different perspective. 

See, I could fool myself about how I’d convinced myself that this little indulgence wouldn’t throw me off – just this once.

“Remind me what happened last time?” My coach asked.

I couldn’t fool her about food or situations or stress responses or anything else I might use to justify my sabotaging behavior.  It was more than a diet or exercise plan for me.  I needed the accountability.  I needed guidance to face my stuff, so I would no longer need to stuff my face for soothing or stress relief.  My heart needed healing, and it was hard work, but I’m so very grateful.

Do you know what you need?  Do you know your accountability style?  How will you arrange for facing your stuff so you will no longer need to stuff your face?

If I can be helpful, don’t hesitate to contact me. 

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