Ep #27: Emotional Eating Manual

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If you’ve been listening to this podcast, then you know I’ve been talking about the importance mindset lately. (If you haven’t, then you want to start with THIS episode) You may have uncovered that other people are a trigger for your over-eating. Someone upsets you, so you grab a cookie in anger, and then another and another until you feel absolutely horrible. Or maybe your own negative self-talk drives you to the scenario. Yet, consuming your emotions creates more problems than it solves.

If you find yourself upset with yourself or someone else and then using food to comfort yourself in that moment, then you probably have an Emotional Eating Manual like I did. You may have started writing it as a child, continually adding ever since without even realizing it. When other people don’t follow it, you feel unloved, unworthy and you reach for food to soothe those feelings. 

If your manual isn't helping nurture yourself or your relationships then it's time to give it up. Ditching it will lead you on your path to self-love, happier relationships and an end to emotional eating.   

If you like what you heard today, please go to Apple Podcasts and leave a revie. The more reviews we receive, the more women will learn about the podcast and learn from these lessons. If you know someone who is struggling with food, send them a link to the podcast and maybe they can find something here they haven’t heard before!

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How to identify if you have your own Emotional Eating Manual.
  • What the manual really does for you, your relationships and your body.
  • Why you should give up your manual.
  • The types of questions you should ask yourself so you can start letting go of your manual.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Full Episode Transcript

With Your Host

Pat Beaupre Becker

Welcome to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight. A podcast for women approaching 60 who have been successful at everything, but reaching their weight loss goals. Tune in each week for tools and strategies to help you lose weight, create a strong body, and support a healthy mind. Here's your host, certified weight and life coach, Pat Beaupre Becker.

Hello, my dears. It's another beautiful day in paradise. Summer is just so amazing and I just went out and picked some lavender to have here so that I can smell it and feel great and relaxed. Now today I want to give you another tool that's going to help you to uncover the way your brain may be operating that leads to over eating.

Now if you're irritated or disappointed with the people in your life, you may use that as an excuse to over eat. Irritability, frustration, lack of control over others, right? "They just won't do what I want them to do. And in my frustration and feeling of powerlessness over all these people, I decide I'm going to have control over my own self, right, and I'm going to eat what I damn well please."

Now, this is such a crazy and irrational move, but when you have a mindset that someone else causes your feelings, this is almost inevitable. Consuming your emotions, eating because you feel bad seems like such an effective and such a good idea in the moment, but afterwards who suffers? We do.

So, I want you to think of the people in your life, maybe somebody close to you who really pushes your buttons or you may even say, "They really trigger me." Because what they do, you believe causes you to feel bad and that's why you eat. Now, I remember early on in my marriage I used to get so upset with my husband because I thought he didn't seem to need or want the same things that I did. I wanted to have deep, meaningful conversations at breakfast, in the car, or maybe even on our way to Safe Way, and when this didn't happen I blamed him and I judged him for not being a caring person, not being deep enough, and basically not loving me. And quite often I was thinking, "What a mismatch. I gotta get outta here," but at the same time there was so much love between us and if I really think about it I had these same criticisms about many other prior relationships, right? No conversations that are deep and meaningful, but with my husband I knew we had a lot going for us. We shared values, a sense of humor, lots of affection, and certainly a bunch of lustiness.

But when I had this expectation for him to make me happy, we were headed for a blowup. Now that feeling of not being loved, the truth is, that's been a big driver in my over eating all my life. That feeling of never being enough, never being worthy of love, or even worthy of even having success in a relationship. I know you get it, right? It's the same old blah, blah, blah, blah, but it's a different formula. It always led me to eating tons of sugar, which just fed into my negative identification of self and also put me in a really bad mood.

So, then I learned this concept of the Manual, and that's what I want to share with you today. You see, I had a Manual for my husband and once I saw that, I had a peek into the way my brain operates and, of course, it made perfect sense. So, let me share with you how the Manual worked for me.

Let's say I have this Manual for my husband and in my Manual, chapter one about engagement, and the rules were number one, so upon command you have to stop what you're doing, look me directly in the eyes, listen patiently, agree with me, give me words of wisdom, and then when I'm ready, when I'm finished, just go about your business and give me space. This was going to happen whenever I needed, right? Whether it's first thing in the morning as I shared my crazy dreams. "Of course you're interested." After breakfast, before we started out for a days’ work, in the car driving anywhere, because in my Manual knowing that you were truly interested in everything about me, meant we were compatible, and I felt love if you behave this way. So, if you did those things then I felt love.

Now, in my Manual chapter two on compassion. The rules were number one, notice when I was unhappy. Number two, ask me why am I unhappy, and number three, offer to do whatever I wanted to make me feel better. So, noticing my feelings without me telling you, meant that you were truly compassionate. I felt seen and loved if you behave this way. So, if you did these things then I felt seen and I felt love.

In my Manual chapter three on love, the rules were number one, look at me with love with every glance. Number two, notice what I liked when it came to clothes, jewelry, books, movies, what colors I liked, what food I liked, everything about them, and then you should like them, too, just like me. Because knowing my every desire meant you loved me. If you did that then I felt desired and love. I remember when I was growing up and it was like men did 50, women did 50 percent, right, and if somebody did 49 percent or 48 percent then the problem had to fixed in the relationship.

And so, when I read these expectations and these Manuals it doesn't even seem that crazy to and maybe some of you would even agree with me. If he did all those things, life would be perfect, and isn't this what I truly wanted? And wasn't that intimacy? If I wrote, printed, and distributed this Manual and gave it to him when we started dating, surely, we would be happy the whole time and happily ever after, but one thing that's kind of embarrassing is that you may notice a pattern here, right?

So, by giving my power of happiness and feeling loved over to my husband and his behaviors, it actually was very similar to what I was hoping and expecting from my parents. I had the same expectations of my mother and my father and my friends. I just needed someone else to show me that I was loved and if they behaved a certain way, I would then believe I was loved.

Now, with 65 years into this life, you know what I ask myself now? What's my job in all this? Is my job really to sit here expecting other people to make me happy, and then judge them when they don't? That seems easier, but the truth is it feels terrible and it doesn't make for an intimate, loving relationships. And what do I want? What's my goal in a relationship? Really, it's intimacy, but true intimacy, which I looked up in the dictionary and it's actually belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature.

So, if I can accept your deepest nature, accept your essential self, and value it isn't that true intimacy? If I allow you to see my real true self, isn't that intimacy? Now, we are each separate human beings and though we thrive with connection and we are connected, there is a way in which we are each have our own deepest nature. And the reason I know this is because I have been observing for all these years that people get to do what people do. Again, if I want true intimacy, isn't that understanding your deepest nature? And isn't that yours?

Now, the truth is I have tried and I cannot figure out a good way to make everybody do what I want, to make them follow my Manual. So, instead what I'm doing is I look to where I have true influence, and you know where that is? With my own thoughts, my own feelings, and my own behaviors. And that's no walk in the park, but with my own creative heart and soul and with my joyous crazy mind, I am going to create a life that makes me happy. That isn't about someone doing something in order for me to be happy.

I'm learning to love myself. I have to say that loving myself leads me directly to the path where I take care of my body. It really does. There's no desire to hurt myself. There's no desire to seek pleasure other than the pleasure of well-being.

So, what about your Manual? I know many of us have these very long and complicated Manuals and we've been adding chapters to them every year since childhood. We have them for our boss. We have them for our parents, our siblings, our children. Now, don't get me wrong, making requests is a beautiful thing. So, making requests without expectation, now that's one thing, but if I'm trying to manipulate you to get what I want, that's a whole other thing.

The good news here is that this works both ways because when you give up your Manual you get to do what you want to do. Really, it's your choice.

You can request your partner, friend, or parent do something or say something, but when you decide that if they don't do it, it means that they don't love you. That's on you. The one thing that I know is that your feelings are yours to feel and you're in charge of them and you create them with your thoughts.

So, you can ask yourself, "Do I love myself? Am I treating myself the way I'm expecting other people to treat me? Am I kind and loving toward myself?" Because when you are kind and loving toward yourself you will feel loved.

How do you tell if you have a Manual? Really, there's some simple clues. If you're saying to yourself, "If he would only, then I would feel ..." So, "If he would only give me flowers, I would feel loved. If she would call me every week, I will know that I'm cared for. If she showed up on time, I would feel respected." Anytime you are, "if you, if he, if she, if they only did this then I would feel that." That's a pretty good key that you have a Manual.

Other thoughts that give you clues are anything that starts with, "He should, she should, they should. He should cook dinner when I ask. He should plan vacations. She should not say mean things. She should send me a thank you note. He shouldn't watch so much sports." This indicates absolutely that you have a Manual.

Now, I gave up my Manual for my husband and now we are both relieved and much happier. I decided to believe that my husband loves even though he doesn't like to drive and talk at the same time, and even though his taste in music doesn't match mine and it makes me crazy, and let's not even talk about dancing, okay? But I decide I want to love him and that makes me feel love. That makes life sweet without over eating because there's lots of space for my brain to think and to learn and to love.

So, I want to just put it all together by letting you know that if you give up your Manual then you're going to get to do what you want and your partner, your family, whoever it is, they're going to get to do what they want, not to mention they'll do it anyway. Knowing that you get to do what you want, they get to do what they want, that is a delicious relationship because by giving up your Manual you get to be in charge of your life, and if you really want something you just go after it yourself. Then, I guess, if you're not willing to do something even though you want someone else to do it, you can ask yourself, "Why aren't I willing to take out the garbage? Why aren't I willing to call someone back?"

Another final thought I want to share with you is that sometimes our Manuals are created based on negative beliefs about ourselves. "I'm not worthy of love unless he or she does this." And if this is you, it's good to know, huh? 'Cause if you decide to be a person who genuinely does the things you want to do, rather than because you feel emotionally manipulated, and if you decide to have relationships based on who people really are and what they truly want, that will be intimacy.

Remember you are worthy. You are enough right now, just as you are. You are 100% lovable. You're in charge of your feelings and you're in charge of what you put in your mouth. When you change your thoughts about yourself and you decide to feel love or pride or acceptance or worthy, you won't need a Manual because you're going to be present to who is actually standing in front of you. No expectations, just curiosity and interest knowing that it's your job to make you happy and that makes for a much more interesting adventure, and I hope you take it.

And now, I want to talk about my favorite things. My good friend Leina has been trying to get me to look at all the ingredients in products in makeup and hair because we generally love to play with makeup and fingernail polish when we get together. But generally, I've been half paying attention to it. I just met this woman Jeanie Jarnot who created a company called Beauty Heroes and I downloaded her eBook and I am getting educated and very enamored with the businesses that are part of Beauty Heroes product lines. These are all created by individuals with passion for help and for connection with the earth.

Now, Jeannie invites you to be your own Beauty Hero and she will give you lots of information if you go to her website at beautyheroes.com and you can get her, download her eBook, which is called Be Your Own Beauty Hero and that's going to help you make healthy choices for your life, and that is what we're all about here, making healthy choices, what we put in our body and now what we put on our body. So, I signed up and it's ... it's a great deal as well as lots of really great information. So, I hope you find it useful.

So, thank you so much for listening to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight. I look forward to speaking with you again very soon. Bye bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight. If you liked what you heard and want more head over to never too late, that's number two dot information forward slash guide, to download your quick start guide to jumpstart your weight loss plan and begin creating an amazing life you love.