What I’m about to share is exactly the opposite of what everyone asks me for:
(But I’m telling you this so you don’t have to spend one more day suffering from guilt or frustration.)
If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so hard to lose weight, there’s a “hidden” truth to discover.
It comes down to one word:
Using Food To Avoid Discomfort
“Now hold on, Dan, I struggle because I LOVE sugar. Cake isn’t uncomfortable, it’s delicious!”
I get it. Ice cream and pizza are two of my favorites. And it’s easy to think that food equals pleasure.
And it does…..kind of.
What’s MORE IMPORTANT than simple pleasure, though, is the DISCOMFORT THAT FOODS LETS US AVOID.
This shows up in two ways:
1) Using food as a distraction from uncomfortable emotions.
If we’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, lonely, angry, ashamed, or any number of unpleasant feelings, our brains will do just about ANYTHING to avoid feeling like that.
So food gives us something else to think about for a minute or two. And junk food tastes good too, so we get a plus instead of a minus. Way to go, brain!
But eating every time we feel bad leads to disastrous consequences, as I’m sure you’ve experienced. So let’s work on healthier ways to cope!
2) Avoiding the discomfort of *not* having something you think you want.
If you see a cookie in the pantry, now you have to decide whether to eat it or not. And denying yourself something you want feels bad. So eating the cookie allows you not to feel the discomfort of not having it.
There’s a life-changing perspective on all this.
My clients do it all the time; the phrase they use is that they’ve “changed their relationship with food.”
What that means is that we’ve reframed how we view healthier eating and unhealthy eating.
They no longer see healthy eating as “denying themselves” or a source of discomfort.
— Do they have more willpower than you?
— Do they have a secret that you don’t know about?
They’ve just learned to change how they think about food. They see healthy eating as a way to *avoid* pain. They’ve learned healthier ways to deal with stress, overwhelm, and boredom.
Healthy eating is no longer hard 🙂
We can make amazing changes together! Let me know if you want to be next.
Your friend and Coach,