I guess before I tell you to stop overeating, I should explain why I’m writing this and what this has to do with you. In my own terms, overeating is eating past the point of being full or eating when you’re not hungry. There are many reasons why we might overeat, and in this article, I’ll dive deeper into why we overeat and why you might consider stopping. I will not be going into depth with medical diagnoses. Here, you’ll find information to manage your mind. Please see your doctor for medical questions or concerns. Now on to the fun brain stuff!!!
Why We Do It
I can’t get in to each one of your brains to see why you overeat. In fact, sometimes I don’t even know why I do it! However, there are some overarching reasons why you would eat past being full or eat when you’re not hungry.
Here are a few reasons of my own and some that I’ve heard from others:
-Food tastes good
-I don’t realize I’m full until I’m stuffed
-I don’t want to stop eating
-I like eating
-Food is my distraction from boredom, discomfort, anxiety, sadness, etc.
-Because it was there
-I don’t know when I’m actually full
-I’m afraid of feeling hunger
I’m sure there are more, but you get the gist. This would be a good time to be curious and have compassion with yourself about why you overeat. (If you’ve read any of my previous articles, then you know that I believe strongly in figuring out why before we move forward. If you haven’t read any previous articles, then get to it because they are here for you dear reader!)
You may have noticed that the reasons I listed above are all thoughts. This is a very good thing! If we know the reasons we’re overeating is because of a thought, then we know we can change it with, you guessed it, a thought! But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re not at the point of changing anything yet because we’re still being curious.
Math vs Drama
Brooke Castillo uses the term math vs. drama. I have adopted this idea in my life wholeheartedly. (It’s the putting-it-into-practice part that becomes difficult.) Basically, there’s the math of the situation and the drama of the situation. The math is the facts, the rest of it is the drama that we create with our minds.
For example, let’s say you made your meal plan for the day and it looks like this:
9am- eggs and bacon
1pm- chicken and veggies
That’s the math. You made the plan, it’s laid out clearly, and you know what you’re going to have and when. 1+1=2. Easy.
But it’s not easy, right? Because what does your brain tell you at 12pm when you’re having a long day at work and you’re frustrated? It tells you that a bag of chips would make it all better and that it’s not a big deal to eat it because lunch is in just an hour, right? (This is my own personal example by the way…) That, my friends is the drama.
That donut that a friend brought into work this morning isn’t part of your plan, but you think to yourself: “Oh but I love donuts! There’s no way I could turn this down!” Sound familiar? The math of the situation says there is a donut and your meal plan for the day does not include eating a donut. The drama is all the thoughts you’re having about eating the donut or not eating the donut.
As we go over these examples, I’d like to remind you that we are being curious and compassionate with ourselves. I would never offer to you that beating yourself up or talking down to yourself is a solution. Ever. In fact, I believe we are most effective when we work from a place of curiosity, compassion, and overall love.
Why Stop Overeating
Eventually, I’d like to help you on your journey of stopping overeating if that is what you want to do, but it is a journey and it’s not going to happen overnight. We have to understand what’s going on in our brain and our body to even know what to do next. One step at a time friends.
So, here’s what I’d like you to do if you have interest in stopping overeating: next time you eat past being full or the next time you eat when you’re not hungry, simply ask yourself: “what am I thinking about?” or “what was going through my mind when I did that?” Both are fantastic questions to get to know yourself better and see what’s going on in your brain. This will help you get really skilled at separating the math from the drama. Because that’s where it starts, I promise.
Why would you want to stop overeating? I’m not sure I can answer that for you. I decided to stop overeating because I wanted to be done with letting food control me and using food to feel better. I’m on this journey, being curious with my thoughts about food, choosing new thoughts about food to believe and think about, learning about math vs. drama, putting it into practice every day, and learning how to feel frustrated and bored without eating, all because I want to.
Do you want to lose weight? Lower your cholesterol? Get out of feeling controlled by food? To feel better? Look better? Be an example for your family?
Whatever your reason, start with being curious and having compassion for yourself. You’ll be much more capable and confident on this journey if you start there.