Found out why I overeat… but now what?


Hi Brooke,
Thanks to your Stop Overeating book and the tools you’ve provided your Self Coaching Scholars (I joined at the end of March), I think I’ve finally uncovered the reason why I overeat. Quick background…. I follow a good meal plan from a fitness coach since I am a competitor in National Physique Committee shows, have been for almost 1.5 years now. I have always, ALWAYS failed at staying within certain “cheat meal” guidelines on Saturday nights; those guidelines are to not exceed 700 calories in the cheat meal. I know that if I stuck to the guidelines, then my physique would be more in line with my vision for myself. I am being a little hard on myself because I’m starting an online fitness business at the end of this year when I get out of the Navy and I want to prove to my customers that I “walk the walk” – that following a meal plan and engaging in daily physical activity is an attainable lifestyle. I feel like a hypocrite, though, when I can’t control the cheat meals.
As I mentioned earlier, I think I finally figured out why I overeat. It might have to do with the feeling of acceptance when I was a little girl. I was born in Washington, D.C. but was raised overseas because my mother served in the Foreign Service for the State Department. Every country we lived in (six in total before I left for college) I had to make new friends, earn people’s trust, learn the culture so that I could make friends. I was always, always trying to gain acceptance; I wanted to be liked and to have friends. So, I’m pretty new at the current lifestyle I’m living now – structured meals, daily exercise (morning cardio, afternoon lift), no sugar, no alcohol… I love it and I am finally happy with myself, I am proud of myself and I love myself – feelings I never believed I would reach even just last year. But I feel like I still need to earn other people’s trust… other people’s acceptance of my lifestyle – of the new me – in order for me to live this lifestyle legitimately. Otherwise, I feel like I’ll be alone… no one is going to want to follow this lifestyle the way I have, though my mom and husband will always be supportive. Maybe others will think I think I’m better than them, though I never, ever pass judgement or comment on anyone else’s food and exercise choices. The prospect of being so alone in this lifestyle scares me. I hope that makes sense, especially since I’m still trying to make sense of it all in my mind! Come cheat meal time, I feel a sense of deprivation and I gorge on whatever I can physically stomach. There have been so many days when I can have my cheat meal where I’ve eaten so much that I’m in physical pain, but the emotional and mental pain is what has brought me to tears. I just can’t stop eating until it’s almost midnight and it’s nearly the next day, which is when I’m back on track with my meal plan.
And this is where I am stuck. Please, help me! Thank you for your time and help, Brooke. I’ve learned to appreciate myself and others thanks to your books and podcasts and powerful words. Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Nicole