Weight Loss Traps: Why Smart Women Stay Overwhelmed and Overweight
Peace with food and weight loss that lasts are possible, and yet, these aren’t the places where most women who struggle with overeating end up. Emotional eating and overeating can feel like a never-ending battle and a roller coaster ride of diets, gimmicks, and “new” approaches that don’t take you where you want to go.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some common traps that even the smartest women fall for and the success strategies you can use to avoid them:
1. Getting too focused on what to eat. Cycles of overeating and weight gain are rarely fixed by focusing only on the food. A focus on what to eat doesn’t address or fix the situations, feelings, or relationships that may be triggering overeating. Yes, portion size matters and sometimes food intolerances or metabolic difficulties cause weight gain. However, even these situations become clearer and easier to sort out when you start listening to yourself and paying attention to how you feel, instead of focusing your attention on every bite, calorie, or fat gram that you put into your mouth.
2. Disregarding what you really need. You know yourself better than anyone. Instead of focusing on what “should” work and what you “should” do, take this bold step that many high-achieving women skip:
Ask yourself what you really need to be successful—and then give it to yourself. You’re likely to spend less time, energy, heartache and even money in the long run when you trust your inner wisdom. Do you need the help of an expert? Be honest about that. Better tools to deal with stress or difficult emotions? Do you need some one-on-one mentoring or support? Don’t cheat yourself. Investing in what you know to be true and getting the targeted help you need will likely make more of a difference than all the self-help books you can’t figure out how to make work for you.
Too many women spend too much money on solutions that aren’t comprehensive or individualized enough and don’t really meet their needs. Not only does this lead to failure, it burns up your hope and your sense of effectiveness. Do you feel like you know what you need but it isn’t possible? Don’t let that stop you. Ask yourself what it would take to make it happen and ask what is do-able that would start allowing you to have more of what you need. Start believing that you deserve to get what you need and start asking for it. You might be surprised what shows up.
3. Refusing to ask for help. High-achievers can fall into the trap of believing that lifestyle change has to happen solo. Many women who are successful in other areas of their lives feel embarrassed and even ashamed of their struggles with overeating. They feel like they are alone in their struggles. Unfortunately, not reaching out for help increases the sense of isolation and decreases your potential effectiveness. Asking for help might be the scariest step you take in order to make peace with food, but stepping outside of your own head, your own mindset, beliefs, and traps, can start change happening—and quickly.
4. Not addressing time issues. My heart almost broke when I heard an outwardly successful professional woman tell me that given the hectic state of her life, she believed that she wouldn’t be able to focus on her own goals for the next ten years. Really? What kind of life is that and what kind of example are you living? Change requires a commitment to making it happen. Whether it’s taking the time to attend a class, listen to audios, create a plan for healthy meals, or meet with a coach, if you don’t create the time, it isn’t really a priority. Honest truth. If you need help learning how to make or find the time, or how to put yourself first, make this your first action step.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to making peace with food? Where do you get stuck or thrown off course? Please join the conversation by sharing a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Then, be bold and share one step you will take to start doing it differently. Peace with food is possible. I challenge you to go for it.