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5 Simple Tools to Master Your Emotions, Shift Your Mindset, and Get Off the Dieting Hamster Wheel So You Can End Food & Body Obsession!

In a recent group coaching call, one of my clients shared these questions:

How do I quit thinking about losing the extra weight I have gained? I feel myself falling back into my old habit of thinking of restricting…..

Here are 5 things I invite you to consider as you work toward mastering your emotions, shifting your mindset, and getting off the dieting hamster wheel so you can end food and body obsession, take control of eating self-sabotage, and restore your peace and confidence. 

  1. First, let’s acknowledge the difference between thinking and behaving. “Thinking about restricting” is not the same as actually restricting. And, to be fair, for my client to recognize that her mind is moving in that direction is AMAZING! Most of us would think about it and then immediately do it. This is where my client was when we started working together!  She was on auto-pilot, without ANY space between the stimulus and the response.  And every time she would restrict, she'd end up overeating/mindless eating/binge eating/emotional eating again!

  2. Second, for my client– who is used to jumping into a diet and restricting immediately to feel better when she feels emotionally uncomfortable– to instead NOTICE the thinking but not have it turn into an action IS SO MUCH PROGRESS! I’ve worked with more people than I can count who at the outset of our coaching had the goal of NEVER THINK ABOUT DIETING AGAIN. And let’s be real– that’s probably not going to happen! 

  3. Third, this outcome is not necessary, nor is it a measure of success when we’re aiming  to end food & body obsession! In fact, I want my clients to become very aware of when they have thoughts about restricting, losing weight, or wanting to change their bodies.  We all swim in this ocean of marketing hype, fat phobia, weight stigma, appearance-driven messaging, healthism, ageism, fitness-focused rhetoric, and black & white do-this/don't-do-that manipulation.  Becoming attuned to what preceded the thoughts about needing to lose weight is part of taking back our power and autonomy. We are being primed, without even knowing it, to buy services and products that promise a fix, happiness, and a quick solution.

  4. Fourth, WORDS ARE POWERFUL, and the way my client’s question is framed can tell us a lot. Before I dive into “how” it’s framed, let’s just look at what FRAMING is. Take a look around you. Is there something in your immediate environment that is framed to draw your gaze toward a specific area? Generally, frames direct our attention. Before-and-After photos, with those specific words, are frames. When you see one, not only are you attached to an image that is “better” because of the way bodies have been framed in our culture as more or less ideal.... But the word “after” conveys that this is how it should be. We’re influenced by the framing effect, which is a cognitive bias in which people decide between options based on whether the options are presented with positive or negative connotations. Now look at the words my client used in her first question. No doubt, she probably doesn’t even realize how this one word is likely impacting how she feels! But you tell me how the word “extra,” when it precedes the word “weight,” impacts you.  We have learned, because it has been FRAMED for us this way, that “extra” when we talk about weight is bad. We’ve internalized the message that a weight change, usually upward, to be exact, is negative. “Extra” conveys that it’s more than there should be. That it’s above what is normal. That it’s aberrant. And if it’s abnormal, then it needs to be fixed. And not only does it mean something negative about our bodies, it means something negative about me as a human. In our culture, “extra weight” is not neutral. But a person with “extra weight” is judged in certain ways. Not just their bodies, but their personalities. If you don’t believe me, check yourself. And read the research about all the ways that people who live in larger bodies experience oppression. This is a worthy distraction, but not for our purposes here.

  5. Last but certainly not least, let’s look at the question itself. She asked a how question, which I love. This implies that there is a process or framework which we might use to shift the sequence of events. So, since we know that she doesn’t need to stop thinking that thought 100% to make meaningful progress, I’d invite her to practice the following:  

  • Once she notices that thought, drop down to attune to how she feels in her body. The thought itself is frantic, distressed, and aimed at dissolving a perceived threat. This tells me that she is experiencing a nervous system state that is directly influencing her mindset/thoughts. Rather than trying to rationalize and THINK her way into a different response, she would first, ideally, resource herself below the neck. There are many different ways she might do this, but by focusing inward to help herself vs outward and latching onto an external source of pseudo-control (a diet), she will grow more and more resilient and feel less and less fragile when she has these sorts of thoughts.

Every time my client changes the sequence of events and practices a different approach when she experiences this thought, she is creating a new neural pathway that will continue to grow stronger and faster. 

Many of you may remember dial-up internet. I'm dating myself here!

When we’re learning something new, our neural circuits fire very slowly.

Over time, with practice and repetition of the appropriate steps, they become like 5G! 

Kori smiling with text that conveys that our bodies are amazing and enough!

If you can relate to my client and wish to end the obsession with food and your body so you can restore your peace, freedom, confidence and self-trust, I invite you to schedule a complimentary discovery call with me.

With a proven framework and loads of support, my 16-week Food & Body Freedom coaching program is the experience you need to change the game for good.

Click the button below to schedule your complimentary call. I can't wait to connect with you!


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