Often people think it is a secret. So, I am offering the 6 Secrets to End Overeating a free live Webinar on Friday 7/30 at 12:00 pacific to answer that question.
Why should you attend this webinar?
You find that you eat when you are not hungry?
You end up eating more than you planned, and then feel afraid you will gain weight?
You find that you eat for emotional reasons?
You are a smart person and can’t seem to figure out how to stop the battle with food and your weight. You have tried diet after diet, and nothing seems to work for the long haul. It can seem like there is no way out of the cycle of dieting, overeating, and then feeling guilty from gaining weight. Now, you will learn how to end overeating.
Join me live on Friday July 30 at 12:00 Pacific to get all the answers to your question.
Sign up in advance to get the link. No problem if you cannot attend live, it will be recorded, and you will have access to it later in the day.
You will learn:
The 6 secrets to end overeating.
See how overeating is not about what you think it is about.
Identify a doable at the end of the webinar that will have a profound impact.
After the last 15 months of closure, a lot of the world is opening. We can try on clothes in the store, go to the movies, and gather to worship. Are you ready? No matter where you fall on your opinions about the pandemic, I think everyone has a takeaway or life lesson coming out of this last 15 months. If you have not considered your takeaways, this list is going to be a reminder of what you can take from the last 15 months into the future. I call it making lemonade out of lemons.
1. We are more social than we think we are and there is still a necessity for down time. The time of covid was an introvert’s delight. There was a permission to sit and just be. But I heard from many introverts that did want more freedom to go out. I am an extrovert, and I missed all the public places I had gone and the people I could not see. Even though I missed the time out with others, I found I cherished the downtime where I was not expected to be anywhere. Holidays at home and no requirement to drive anywhere felt freeing to me.
2. There is an interconnectedness to this world. As I heard the stories of sadness, loss, and fear, I found it so extraordinary to hear my clients and others share feelings and experiences I was experiencing at the same time with them. I felt powerless to make big changes and sitting with the feelings was my call to action often. People in the helping profession are not usually experiencing the same experience at the same time as their clients. This was profound. I had to make a conscious decision to more connected to my self-care than ever.
3. We do not always know what curve balls life will throw us. My family and I thought we had the year 2020 planned when the clock struck midnight and the new year began. We entered 2020 with a feeling of exuberance and joy. We had so many plans for the year. We dubbed it the “year of the McLaughlin’s.” I had heard so many of my friends express the same excitement for 2020 and saw it as a turning point year. The curve ball is my metaphor when life does not go the way I planned or expected. Once the year began to roll out, it was clear 2020 would not look like what any of us thought.
4. Be grateful for what you have. As I sat home with my family, I was grateful that I had my husband and child here and my parents close by. I know of people who had some many different experiences, either feeling alone or being around too many people for too long.
5.Food is comforting. We know food is comforting, but the world experienced food as comfort. I felt scared when I went to the grocery store and saw the shelves empty of food. I have never lived in a place where there was food scarcity, and this is what I experienced. We never actually went without food, but my empathy increased for people who do experience the lack of food.
6. Movement is critical. I sat- a lot. My family and I walked most every day to get out of the house and to get fresh air and to have movement. I found working from home created more time of sitting and my body hurt. My gym was closed, and they had virtual exercises. I tried to engage virtually, but I did not push myself like I do at the gym. I was grateful when the gym “opened” in early summer at the park. We were able to work out together and stay socially distanced. I realized that I need the social experience of movement to push myself to do more.
7. Routines are important- no matter what. The pandemic brought this lack of centeredness for myself, my family, and my clients. We did not necessarily have to keep to schedules because life felt upside down. Working from home and virtual school created different routine patterns and I expected less from myself. Sleep was off, food routines were off, and general life was off balance. Once I realized that having a routine no matter what was essential, life became more in balanced.
8. We can adapt to difficult situations, and we are resilient. I worried about my daughter’s school closing. I did not know how she could get the education she needed. I knew my husband and I were not equipped to be her teachers. It took time, but her school figured out how to have quality virtual classes. We were able to set up a routine for her where she was not on a device all day. She had a lot of virtual playdates where she and her friends make DIY projects, talked, and played games.
9. You do not know when your last day on earth will be, cherish the people and the moments. This was a tough year. We had a few family members who made their transition during the time of COVID, but they did not die of COVID. Actually, we knew only a very few people close to us who got COVID and no one who was extremely sick with it. I heard many stories of loved ones who died of COVID or got extremely sick. There was and is much pain with the loss of so many lives over a relatively short period of time. I was reminded that death can give us a different perspective on life and to appreciate the moments, no matter what they look like.
10. No matter what, kindness is the key. Lastly, kindness matters. It really does. I felt so grateful for the doctors and nurses who were on the front lines and did their best to assist as many people as possible. I had more psychotherapy clients want sessions than I could assist. People were feeling the stress, loneliness, and fear. I felt it was an honor to help people during this really difficult time. I had such regard for those who kept working at the grocery stores and made sure we could all get the food and essentials we needed. It was a time of helping neighbors and strangers. We were all going through this shared experience that bonded us together.
I do not know what the future will hold, and I am grateful to be healthy and incredibly grateful my daughter was able to go back to school. My gym is open, and I love my workouts and do not take them for granted.
I am embracing the lessons from the time of COVID, and I strive to not forget them. I feel changed in a way that is hard to describe.
You eat your emotions? This sounds like a strange question, right. It also means do you eat when you are lonely, angry, tired, sad, happy, or overwhelmed. I am not talking about occasionally eating over your emotions, I mean often.
Emotional eating (or stress eating) is using food to make yourself feel better, eatingto satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. … And you often feel worse than you did before because you feel angry with yourself and you have not addressed true hunger with food.
Recently, I asked my community what their challenges with food were and what they wanted me to talk about. One hundred percent of the people polled said they needed to hear more about emotional eating.
Interestingly, when I talk to people about emotional eating, initially they do not think they are an emotional eater.
They think they just eat because they have not found the right diet or they just like food too much. Once we talk about the ins and outs of emotional eating they resonate with the concept.
One way to determine if you are an emotional eater is to start noticing when do you eat. This can be extremely hard to do. If you have a history of eating mindlessly then noticing feelings that lead to overeating is exceedingly difficult.
Another way to determine if you are an emotional eater is to look at what you are saying to yourself about food. Do you criticize yourself about your food choices and say they are “good or bad foods”? These thoughts engage the part of your brain that wants to stay stuck. Really food is food, there is no good or bad food.
I think it can be helpful to know the basics of the different kinds of hunger, so you can start noticing what might be leading you to overeat.
Basically, the Four Hungers are:
Tummy Hunger- the feeling of hunger in your stomach.
Heart Hunger- this is the emotional hunger.
Mouth Hunger- the yearning for the taste of a certain food.
Head Hunger- the thoughts of food in your head.
As I stated before we are an emotional eater, we mistake emotional hunger for physical hunger. Responding to emotions for our clues to eat, will generally lead us to overeat.
What is the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger?
*Emotional hunger can be strong and can feel overpowering. It’s so easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for to help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart. Start noticing what your body feels like when you are physically hungry. Some of my clues are my tummy grumbles, low energy, mood starts to dip.
*Emotional hunger strikes you suddenly. Bam! It hits you quickly and it feels overwhelming and urgent.
Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more gradually, if you are paying attention to it. The urge to eat doesn’t feel as dire or demand instant satisfaction (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).
*Emotional hunger generally turns into mindless eating. You will tend to eat to overfull before you even notice what you are doing. You might have an agreement with yourself that you will only have one or a little, but you end up eating it all.
I hear stories all the time (this is my story too) where you have a container of ice cream and it is gone in one sitting. When you are eating for physical hunger, you can feel in control, conscious and empowered with food.
*When eating from emotional hunger you do not feel satisfied when you are full. You will notice you are full, but not want to stop. This is when we say, “It tastes so good, I did not want to stop.”
When eating from physical hunger, you don’t need to get overfull, because you feel physically satisfied. You have satisfied the physical hunger. You cannot satisfy emotional hunger with food.
*Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach.It is a sense of overwhelm and you cannot get the thought of eating out of your head. You feel compelled to eat, not matter what your physical hunger might say. You cannot talk yourself out of it.
Physical hunger is grumbling in your tummy or a hunger pain. You physically feel this type of hunger, it is not emotional.
Now that you have learned more about emotional eating it can be time to take some action. Here is a step to take NOW:
I know that overeating can be a tough problem and the solution takes one step at a time. The first step is to take the Am I an Emotional Eater quiz. After you have taken the quiz, look at the questions you have said yes to. Could it be that you are an emotional eater? If the answer is, yes, congratulations you are moving in the direction of peace with food.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster, and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Could you use more happiness? Is there actually a way to be happier?
In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she challenges us to look at happiness and see what we can do to boost it. Gretchen engages her readers in different concepts each month to build a stronger foundation of happiness.
In her first chapter, she focuses on how to find happiness. Her happiness project is fun and helps us explore the idea of happiness and how to increase it.
Happiness is the state of being happy, a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Do you know that 1.2 billion people are looking up happiness on the internet? This tells me that lots of people are trying to find more happiness.
Not sure how happy you really are? One way to determine your happiness is to take the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H).
Taking that quiz can be an eye opener to how happy you are. How did you score? Did you notice in some ways you are not happy or not as happy as you want to be?
Gretchen Rubin spends time in each of her chapters looking at how to increase happiness. I think you will find the ideas presented are helpful to boost happiness.
One way to increase happiness is to boost your energy, which entails increasing some basic shifts in your life.
First, go to sleep earlier.
Focus on getting 8 hours of sleep. Truthfully, many of us are sleep deprived. Here are some ways to get better sleep:
Turn off electronics.
Make the room dark.
Keep the room cold.
Second, exercise better (this is a term Gretchen uses)
She talks about being more efficient in your exercise/movement. I am really a just do it kind of girl. There are many hacks I try to use:
First, I call it movement. I find many people are turned off to “exercising” because they have felt so much shame over their lives about their weight and body image.
Second, I put it in my calendar. I actually have my gym time in my schedule. I find it is hard skipping a day when it is in my calendar.
Third, my movement is fun. Yes, it is fun. I make it a goal to find movement that is enjoyable. We are physical beings in a physical body that does require us to have some form of movement. Do what is fun!
Third, get rid of the clutter: toss, restore, organize:
Look around and see what type of clutter you have.
Buyer’s remorse clutter
This clutter can make you feel energetically stuck. See where your clutter is and find a way to either toss, restore or organize. You will feel more energy from it.
Fourth, tackle a nagging project.
What is an unfinished task that is nagging at you? We all have them and they help us to remain energetically stuck. I have some craft project that I either need to finish or get rid of. What about you?
Fifth, just act more energetic.
Putting out energy or effort does increase energy. I find action creates more action. It is a physical phenomenon.
After blogging and podcasting about journaling as a wellness tool, I started to journal more! I find that when I start to talk about a tool, I tend to use them more myself.
The technique I spoke about was a favorite journaling tool called Morning Pages.
I learned about this tool years ago through the work of Julia Cameron in her book The Artist Way she describes one of her daily practices called The Morning Pages.
Here are some basic tenants to the practice:
Write in your journal daily.
Write 3 pages in your journal.
Handwritten journaling, no computer
Write upon waking, in the morning.
Write without stopping: no cross outs, no need for accurate punctuation, just keep the pen moving.
Today, I want to talk about another journaling practice that I love which is more of a creative writing process that I learned from writing retreats that I have taken with Laura Davis. Laura is an extraordinary writer and cowrote the seminal book on childhood sexual abuse called The Courage to Heal.
Here are some writing guidelines that I learned from retreats with Laura and from other sources:
Here are some ways to get started:
First, your journal does not have to be pretty. I have been known to buy very inexpensive spiral bound journals at the local store. I like them because they are spiral bound, and I can turn the pages easily. This is important to me, because I like to write with one page in front of me and these journals fold into one side. I have a harder time journaling on a hard bound journal where the two sides are open.
Second, keep your inner thinking private. I make it clear to my family that my journal is private and they do not open it. I want to be able to put out all that I am thinking, and I do not want to have to temper what I say. This is not a journal that I plan to share with others.
Thirdly, set a really small reasonable period of time to write, 10 minutes, everyone has 10 extra minutes. Laura Davis introduced me to the 10-minute writing idea. It is a short period of time and you really can express A LOT in that amount of time. She also encouraged us to keep the pen moving and keep writing.
Lastly, you do not need to share everything you write with friends, spouse or family. This is your private inner life that does not, necessarily need to be shared.
One of the greatest gifts I received from my writing retreats with Laura Davis was learning to just write the worst crap ever written. I found that was so freeing and my number one rule when I write in my journal.
I find that writing allows me access to the deeper and positive parts of myself.
One technique that Laura taught was journaling through answering a question. The idea is you take one question and answer it until nothing else come to you. Then you start a new paragraph and write the question again and answer it until nothing else comes. Then you write the question again and keep writing until nothing else comes to you.
This pattern of answering the question on different paragraphs took me to a deeper level of myself.
Here are some examples of questions you could use in your journaling:
I feel most free when I…
I am most afraid…
My fears keep me from…
I love myself most when I…
My childhood kitchen was…
This type of journaling is different than others and brings up greater self-awareness, which for me is why I journal.
Once I got over the idea that my writing had to be written with others in mind, I felt freer to just write and explore what was inside of me. I encourage you to try this style of journaling and see what it does for you.
I have been focused on wellness A LOT lately. I have found that 1 year into the pandemic, I have felt worn out. It feels like all the difficulty of the year has caught up with me. Many of you have told me the same thing.
One of my favorite wellness tools is writing and journaling. I use a couple of different techniques for my journaling. Years ago, I came upon an extraordinary book, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron.