Our brains are wired to be efficient and automate our thoughts and actions. It’s a normal function of the human brain to have default thinking in some areas of our lives, and is part of the human condition. When we have problems in our lives, —arguing with family members, overspending, stress, anxiety, our default thinking is creating feeling and results we don’t want. Default thinking blinds us to solutions and possibilities.
If you struggle with your weight, your “eating thoughts,” are likely running on default. This is what you think about food, what you eat, how you eat, and most importantly why you eat. This is how we wake up one day and don’t recognize the person in the picture or don’t fit into our winter clothes when they come out of storage.
Default overeating thoughts sound like:
“Eating when I’m not hungry makes me happy.”
“I stress eat.”
“I munch to feel better when I’m upset or frustrated.”
I help clients take a closer look at their default thinking by asking questions like these:
Does overeating really make you happy?
How do you know you are happy when you are overeating? Are you smiling? Laughing? Feeling joy in your body?
With a closer look (a curious/non critical one), default thinking starts to unravel. It turns out eating when not hungry is ACTUALLY done while feeling some shade of anxious, guilty and physical discomfort. So the default thinking, “eating makes me happy” (relieves stress, makes me feel better) is really not even true. We eat to avoid feeling bad and end up feeling bad.
Here’s what one client said as the realization was dawning on her,
“So overeating when I’m doing it feels as bad as not eating when I’m not hungry?! And the only reason I didn’t see that was because I wasn’t paying attention to my thoughts and experience? I was telling myself that it felt good and made me happy to overeat?”
So take a look in there. Don’t believe everything you think. Possibilities and solutions are waiting for you…