If you’re looking for recipes, thinking ‘Where do I start to eat healthy?’ …
you’re probably in a panic about your body and hoping cleaning up your junk food habits will solve it.
And you’re not wrong, because improving your habits will ultimately help – but I want to gently suggest that trying to overhaul your eating from this psychological place of hating your body, and hating the way you feel out of control, and hating that you’ve struggled with food your whole life, is a real downer place to start.
Hating your body is not a great weight loss motivation.
If you’re confused about what food is most healthy and what isn’t, and you’re living on takeaway most nights or feeding the kids out of the freezer because you’re so pushed for time, then read on, because I do have some lovely, common-sense, non-nutritionally complicated advice for you further down this post.
But before you automatically think about solving your situation by fixing what’s on your plate, I want to suggest that there’s a better place to start: With your thoughts about your body and your weight, and some gentle reflection about why you have gained weight and where you might be overeating in your life right now.
Overeating doesn’t mean eating the ‘wrong’ things.
You’re eating when you’re not actually physically hungry.
Or not stopping when you’re satisfied.
Eating for fun. Eating to have something nice.
This is eating over-and-above what your body needs for fuel, and it likely has emotional motives that aren’t on your radar right now.
And that’s what this podcast episode is all about: Where to start to eat healthy by thinking anew about your relationship with food.
How to get your psychology lined up so that your brain is on board with the habit change you’d like to create.
And yes, Chickpea, that means losing all the harsh self-talk, the self-hate, and the feeling of needing to be beaten into better shape.
Episode transcript: Working too hard, eating too much
Hello, hardworking woman!
Welcome to High Food, I’m Home!
This season is gonna really explode your mind about how our work lives are having this huge knock on effect on how we’re eating.
And if you’re overeating right now, if you’re eating when you’re not even hungry, or just to feel better if you’re ploughing on through, first course into seconds and thirds getting really full at dinner time; you’re munching all evening snacking, wake up in the night eating overeating your face off after work. You’re not alone. You’re in the right place.
And if you’ve got weight to lose, or you need to stop binge eating, this is stuff I help people with all the time.
I’m Lloyd on a food psychology coach a weight loss life coach, I deal with all of the things in our emotional lives and let’s face it work is a huge part of our emotional lives that make us want to eat so that we actually deal with the emotions as well as the learning a new relationship with food and a new way of changing our habits or dealing with our urges around food.
So this season is gonna be amazing for you. You’ve got so much going on.
We’re going to be dealing with the big questions that my clients asked me all the time. Stuff like, why can’t I stop overeating? How the heck does anyone lose weight without an actual diet? Why can’t I stop bingeing? Even though I promised myself I’ll start over? How can I begin again? I’ve regained all my weight and now I feel so ashamed and disappointed with myself and depressed I don’t know how to restart. When will my eating ever become easy and can my relationship with food when it’s been through so many bad patches in my life ever be healed?
These are really important questions and we’re going to address them one at a time.
We’re also going to look at some of those kind of weak points what people might call a ‘witching hour’ of the day where you always throw all of your good intentions out the window.
That moment when you’ve picked up your kids, or you just get home from work through the door, and you go straight to the cupboard, that moment after dinner when dinner should have finished and you’re hoovering up leftovers.
That moment when you sit down to watch some Netflix and it’s like me time.
Let’s look at some of those moments and really go into detail about why they present us eaters and overeaters with so many challenges.
Now, this season is a real journey because I want you to come into my world and get to know me, both as a coach, but also as somebody who coaches herself on her overeating all of the time.
I’m still discovering ways in which my brain would like me to keep overeating.
I was a binge eater and I will tell you much more of my story as we go through but today, I really want to just give you what you need, which is a place to start.
And this is the question that I get asked so much how do I begin? Where do I start? So although in this season, we’re going to be in a lot of different physical places, mostly up in my shed at the top of my garden.
We live in Cornwall, and we built a house here on the hillside in a in a little village Cornwall by the way, if you’re in another country, Cornwall is like quite an unique place. Really. It’s the very bottom left hand triangle bit of the British Isles with the sea on both sides very near to both sides of the peninsula. It’s quite countryside it and very, very beautiful. And I came to live here because I grew up not far away. And I wanted to be able to get in the sea a bit more often because it puts a smile on my face to do so.
So we’re going to be talking a lot from my cabin. You can come into the chaos of my kitchen sometimes I might take you even inside my source pattern cupboard where I want stuck my head and screamed at the top of my voice (that was an absolute parenting low) and you’re going to come with me sometimes up into the woods behind my house or for a walk around the village if we need a little bit of peace and quiet.
And today we’re going somewhere a bit unusual as well. You’ll find out where in a minute.
So let’s start by meeting somebody important: my body. Well, my body is not important to you, but I know that as I encounter my body and as you listen to me doing that, it’s going to give you some thoughts about yours and you asked me where should I start, and I think we should start by where we are out today and just having a really gentle, honest look at ourselves.
And by taking stock of where we are. This is not the start of a journey.
You might feel like you’re about to do something completely different to the dieting and self hate that you’ve done all your life and I hope that that is the case.
But that was all part of your journey with your body and with foods to and your body has brought you this far and your intellect has had you trying so many things.
I just want to honour you for that and say well, okay, where are we today on this amazing journey with food in our body
I’m in a cubicle, it’s a local hotel that the decor is very nice. Grey walls of a couple of rattan chairs, a wonderful set of mirrors with hairdryer. The pool itself is quite plain. I’ve got my flip flops on and a new swimming costume.
Now you might be thinking, hold on a minute. This is a podcast about why we overeat off to work. What’s Laura doing in a hotel?
I decided today to get out of my workspaces: out of my cabin, out of my home, and come somewhere where I come for leisure.
And that’s because the work is so distracting, food is everywhere. So I think it’s really great to come somewhere, and to get a bit of perspective and really like you know, take a bit of inventory of the damage that even trying really, really hard to get this podcast out to you has put on me as I have put pressure on myself to make it excellent, brilliant and mind blowingly amazing. My usual pattern.
I mean when I’m working I have a couple of patterns that really affect my overeating: one is saying to myself, fuck it, it doesn’t matter as long as I get the work done.
One is getting over tired, staying up really late. And then using that as a justification for eating sugar because it’ll you know, ‘give me energy’, and having extra caffeine – my cocoa habit has gone (is anybody else mad out there has resorted to cocoa to try and get their buzz?).
My biggest pattern is to use it to reward myself.
One of the reasons I love coming to this hotel to swim is that it does feel a little bit luxurious.
I mean, when I weighed it up, it was less petrol and my local leisure centre. You know there’s practicalities to it too, but I do love padding my way down I think carpeted corridor between the rooms to get to the to the pool part: it feels rewarding, feels like a gift to myself when I go there, and I don’t think other than food I have a huge number of ways of rewarding myself.
But chickpea it’s really easy to think that I’m well if I don’t use food as reward then I need pampering. I need a jacuzzi and he’s a spa day. That’s not really it.
What we really need, what we really want is someone to tell us we did good.
And that comes down to cultivating a voice inside that encourages and acknowledges your efforts. But for most of us, it’s the critical voice that we’d like is to be different. That’s the one that we hear most clearly. That’s the one when we feel like oh my gosh, my buddies got to this point what are we going to do and overeating has gotten to this point where it’s everywhere. It’s driving me mad. It’s taken up all of my day, fed up now.
That critical voice has possibly become so harsh. It’s so discouraging. it emphasises our flaws to the point where we feel utterly unworthy and unlovable and it waves all of our past failures in our faces as evidence that we aren’t capable of change or stacks up the magnitude of the task before us.
The number of pounds we’ve got to lose the fact that we’re trying to change overeating habits that we’ve had for X number of years that date back to childhood.
Think back to when we first began dieting or our relationship with our parents all of that, and when we listen to that voice, we feel paralysed by overwhelm.
So I’ve come here to the hotels just sort of take stock, but also try and just start from a slightly more neutral inventory than just like, oh my god, I hate myself.
Now I’m in the shower cubicles. I can see what I look like in my new swimming costume.
I’ve got my swimming hat on, I mean nobody (not even model) looks great in a swimming hat.
I’m shocked by how my body looks in this free costume.
There’s no waist. What used to be a waist like the thinnest part of me is my ribs.
I’ve put on so much weight around my belly and my hips, thighs that are just wide.
And my face looks like a sort of big round puffy fruit because I haven’t taken my makeup off so I still have blusher on.
Why don’t I stand up straight and see if it helps?
My swimming costume is making me feel quite tucked in.
When I looked down at my flip flops, I can’t see my knees, let alone my fufu.
I’m having two conversations in my head. One is “you’ve got so fat you’ve got a fat. Look at this fat here” because this belly – okay suck it in as far as I can – I can see the tops of my thighs!
“I haven’t had a belly like this since I was pregnant.” That’s one conversation.
And it’s not slagging me off. It’s not saying you’re a piece of shit. You’re not saying you’re gross. You’re disgusting. You’re so fat. Well, it might be saying you’re so fat actually. What it is, is just like a reminder, hey, we just don’t want you to forget you’ve got fat on your body.
And then there’s another voice in May one that I’ve only started use recently, which is a very deliberate voice and it says I refuse to criticise myself.
But in this new swimming costume, I also feel a little bit excited to watch myself change because I can see a vision of myself in this swimming costume as lighter, and I’d love to put my hands on my hips and for that to be my waist to have feeling tone across my stomach.
When I swim. I could feel this some stomach muscles under there. And that’s kind of reassuring that they’re there. to feel them stretch.
Let’s go out and see what the pools like.
There’s a little bubble bath. A couple of swimmers in the water. Also in swimming hats really going for it.
And that’s nice. Feels like I’m not the only one person here for sporty swim.
And a guy in the changing rooms who’s much much much larger than I am.
When I see people who are even larger than me looking after themselves, taking time to be with their bodies. I feel so inspired by that.
If they can do it. So can I if I can do it second name. If I can do it, so can you and if you’re doing it, I’m doing it with you.
I wish I could record down underwater.
I wish I could show you the turquoise of the tiles have surface looks from underneath the way the light square kind of ripple to immerse myself in that blue space and then up so like living under and then breathing above living under the breathing above; how it feels to be fully immersed in my own life for a moment to be fully wet.
It was like all of my habits with food all of my overeating and over drinking of caffeine, my looking for little pleasures and habits and Netflix and all the things that I do a way of holding back from presence, as if presence will be so scared of that is if presence in my life.
Being alive in this moment would would be the worst thing.
And yeah, I feel sometimes just tremendous grief when I was in a coaching call this morning. Again that wave of grief at the years that I’ve spent as if I’m on the edge of the swimming pool or time away into plunge in and every now and then I do take a dip and I think this is great the waters get in here. Why do I stay here and then I and then I get out and I withdraw into my towels on the side.
Become an onlooker in my life instead of a fully drenched fully bedraggled rosy cheeks glowing breathing participant in it.
That’s it chickpea. Can you give yourself some of that gentle self responsibility? Curiosity, not shame. self responsibility, not blame.
Everything you’ve tried and learned has brought you here.
Do you know how you’ve got here? If you’ve been overeating eating when you’re not hungry, make yourself feel better with food. If you’ve been planning on past satisfied? Do you know yet why you’ve eaten more food than your body needs?
I’ll be helping you find out over the next episodes.
But can you today, just feel really nakedly honest without shaming yourself, just like a journalist is curious, or a detective?
Can you just rest in that awareness that there’s only you who’s put food in your mouth each day and that your eating might feel beyond your control, but it’s definitely your own responsibility.
And the beautiful thing is you haven’t stopped wanting to find out why everything you’ve tried and learned has brought you here to this moment and you’re not starting something new. You’re just continuing your journey from this moment.
So if you can this week, find some way to spend some quality time with yourself or with your body to find some way to be with you.
Now I mentioned that all of my personal random meeting was reward based, right? Well, next episode, come back because let’s look at why I feel like I need a reward. And yes, it’s because I’m striving for success.
But you’ve spent a lot of time with me and my body this session. Next session we can talk more about you because I’m guaranteeing it. I will put money on it. I would eat my hat and it is fluffy and will get stuck in my throat. If it was not the case. That you’d be hidden reason why you have not stopped overeating yet is because you are striving so hard.
Working so hard in your work life.
Come and join me for the next episode. It’s all gonna make sense to stay on till the end. I’ve got a lovely little relaxing meditation for you.
Okay, you came on that journey with me and I thank you. Now I want to ask one thing from you. Before you go please find the place give this a star rating. Give me some stars, and write me a review.
Today is not hypnoisi.
Today is just a simple Mindfulness Based meditation. So chill.
You already know what to do.
And I want you to be really safe with yourself. If you’re listening to this while you’re driving. Press pause when we get to those last five minutes and save them for later.
And if you really feel like closing your eyes or relaxing then that’s great.
Just make sure you’ve turned the hob off and if you’re out for a jog you’re not going to run into any lampposts. You do you.
Just sinking into your body turning the spotlight of your attention inwards and noticing how your body is breathing all by itself.
Whilst my voice talks to you, your attention can also be on the rise and fall of the breath in your chest.
In your belly.
Breath is beautiful as we can feel it in your chest.
I can see it too if we’re outdoors and it’s a fresh day we can smell the fresh refreshing taste, we can feel it in our mouth.
My body is here for me.
I have a human body.
I pay attention to my body.
The reason I move is just to feel, just to have thatreal visceral experience of being alive and having a body that lives breathes smells, feels.
My body has all the senses I need.
My body is good enough for this moment.
My body is the vehicle of my experience. It allows me to live in the world.
My body is marvellous at breathing, living feeling all the sensations of emotions.
Well, my life goes on all by itself and my mind carries on all by itself.
My body carries on living all by itself.
Me and my body are on the same team.
I am the keeper of my body.
I am the one who has loyalty and allegiance to it.
I’m here for my body and I care for myself.
I love having a marvellous human body
Listen to this episode of Hi Food, I’m Home! podcast: ‘Working too hard, eating too much? Change starts here.
Where to start to eat healthy, if you’re eating junk or just too busy to cook right now.
I generally think that starting with anything that sounds like hard work (like a recipe!) is less doable than just thinking about what easily-gettable quick to make food you’re willing to shop for and that you actually LIKE instead.
Remember that, if you have been living on junk food, that’s been pretty yummy.
You’re going to feel deprived (and set yourself up to binge) if you don’t choose food that you like, and allow yourself some of what feels like fun.
Yes, it’ll take longer to lose weight if you start from where you’re at and inch your way towards a healthy diet, introducing the odd pre-packaged salad along the way, cartons of pre-cut fruit, getting used to including a few more non-packet foods alongside your current favourites.
But, Chickpea, that’s what lasting lifestyle change looks like. That’s what it looks like to change things willingly, without willpower: you thinking about what you’re actually game for eating today.
Ask yourself what you’re willing to eat today. Don’t ask Pinterest or Google what you should eat. The answers might be worlds apart.
Take-out noodles will win again just because your idea of what you should be doing isn’t as appealing as the noodles.
For example, buying a chicken breast or a salmon steak, grilling it while steaming some broccoli or asparagus?? is so far-fetched, such hard work, involves not just cooking but shopping as well, and ultimately your desire to eat the noodles is far stronger than the ‘good’ recipe you had in mind anyway.
I mean, there’s no point in getting recipes for superfood salads if vegetables don’t really get you salivating right now, or trying to figure out how many grams of chicken you need to grill for the week if heating up soup is one step too far right now.
Here are 11 meals and hacks my clients have found.
Easy and appealing ways to transition from spending their rent money in take-out each month, to eating healthy.
(These might not look like weight loss foods, but if they are a 1% improvement on what you’re doing right now, trust me, they are steps in the right direction. Small changes will add up and tip the scale over time):
- Frozen vegetables, frozen meat balls.
- Tubs of fresh soup.
- Pre-packaged salad, pre-cut fruit, WITH take-out at first.
- Tinned beans in tinned tomatoes (home-made ‘baked beans’ with plenty of grated cheese or toast and butter.
- Tinned chili beans and microwave pouches of rice.
- Avocado on toast with salt, dressing.
- A bowl of porridge with frozen berries, honey, nuts.
- Frozen raspberries and blueberries, added to Greek yoghurt, with honey.
- Buying tubs or glass containers and making their own salad bar in their fridge to set themselves up for the week (Pinterest can help here!).
- Pre-cutting vegetables for stir fry twice a week and keeping them in a tub in the fridge ready.
I could keep going, and suggest anything from lentil soups to easy curries you can knock together with a jar-sauce, but ultimately, nothing I suggest will be as valuable as you sitting down and asking yourself:
- What is so easy I can still do it even if my brain says ‘Take-out is easy!”?
- What are foods I love that can contribute towards being healthy?
- How can I enjoy this process?