How to Stop Giving In

When I first started creating a new habit around food to replace my binge eating habit, I stocked up on “safe” foods. I figured, if I lost my control and went bananas (pun intended), at least the “damage” wouldn’t be that bad.

So, instead of focusing on the behavior (overeating sweet stuff every evening), I focused on the types of food.

Every evening, I would feel my urges kick in around 9PM . I felt my brain rationalizing getting something sweet to eat, and then rationalizing that even if I did, it would still be mostly healthy.

I would think the same things ANYONE thinks when they’re trying something new:

▪ “Ugh, is this really going to work?”
▪ “Who am I kidding? I’m useless when it comes to this.”
▪ “I’m never able to eat like ‘normal’ people do.”

The words in my head were related to FEAR. I was insecure about trying a new approach.

Looking Back Now…

Now I look back and it seems pretty silly. I wasn’t even considering doing something different in the face of my urges. I felt I eventually would lose control…and I did. But not as often. And I kept studying how the brain works, what motivates us and what drives habitual or addictive behavior.

At least I got started. And over time, the more I learned, the more control I had. And I kept going. My binge eating no longer “had” me. I had it.

The key here is focusing on what you can control.

I couldn’t do anything about what was working for other people, but I could work on studying more about what was working for me.

It’s More Than Just Food

By the way, focusing on what you can control isn’t just about eating food.

It’s easy to complain about the taxes, but when was the last time you sat down and got clear with your accountant to optimize your payments and investments?

Anyone can complain about the inequity and expense of getting a university degree, but have you checked out a book from the library to improve on your skills? Or emailed a mentor to take them out to lunch?

When I talk to my successful friends–successful in relationships, health, business, lifestyle design or otherwise–the truth is, most of them didn’t start with a grand vision and a huge reservoir of confidence that they could accomplish their goal. They just got started and kept going.

Ever Heard of Kris Carr?

Have you heard of Kris Carr?

Kris is a wellness activist and a two-time New York Times bestselling author with her two books, “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” and “Crazy Sexy Diet.” She founded Crazy Sexy Wellness, a company that helps people by motivating them, sharing resources and leading them to a healthier life.

But if you’d asked Kris a few years ago, she would have had no idea she’d be a wellness expert and entrepreneur.

In 2003, Kris was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. She decided to focus on the things in her life she could control…like getting back to nature, the garden and her kitchen. As she healed herself from cancer, she went on to write books, build a thriving business, get featured on The Oprah Show and help hundreds of thousands of people.

Kris focused on what she could control, started and kept going.

What About Sara Blakely?

Have you heard of Sara Blakely?

She’s an American businesswoman and founder of Spanx, a multi-million dollar undergarment company. She is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. At age 27, Sara was working as a door-to-door saleswoman, selling fax machines.

Living in Florida and forced to work in pantyhose in a hot climate, she disliked the appearance of the seamed foot while wearing open-toed shoes but liked the fact that the control-top eliminated panty lines and made the body appear firmer. She cut off the feet of her pantyhose, but still didn’t have a great solution because the pantyhose kept rolling up her legs.

Sara took the $5000 she had in savings and spent the next two years researching hosiery patents and visiting craft stores to find material for her idea.

Once she created what she wanted, she was turned away by numerous hosiery factories that didn’t see the value in her product. She kept going, and eventually found success pitching to a buyer at Neiman-Marcus by showing her Spanx in person. Soon the other major department store chains followed by buying Spanx.

In November 2000, Oprah Winfrey named Spanx her favorite product of the year and sales took off. Today, SPANX products, from open-toed pantyhose to slimming bodysuits to back-smoothing bras, are ubiquitous — in more than 11,500 locations including SPANX stores, on celebrities like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow, and on the runway at New York Fashion Week. SPANX sales reached a reported $250 million in 2012.

Again, here’s an example of someone how focused on what she could control: first her own comfort in her business suit, then the manufacturing of her own product and patent, then pitching her product repeatedly until someone finally bought.

She got started, and she kept going.

Now, back to you…

So, bringing this back to food: I encourage you to focus on what you can control.

While your thoughts and urges to eat may feel out of control right now, you are still in charge of your actions. You are the one making a decision to act on your thoughts and urges.

You can also make a decision to feel the urges, listen to the thoughts…and then do something else.

Focus on the things you can control, and take small steps. Little victories add up to a revolution over time.

If you want to learn how to break through your habit of overeating or binge eating, my Binge Eating Breakthrough ebook is for you. You'll learn powerful tools and distinctions to be able to understand and overcome your urges to eat more than you want. You'll also learn step-by-step strategies for managing your cravings and feeling control with food.

 

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