Breaking up is hard to do....

Over the last few weeks, we've talked about the inner toddler, the inner saboteur, giving up what has made you sick, and how to learn to start trusting yourself...

Today I want to talk to you about breaking up with old habits.

Last week in one of our group calls in my private group coaching program, one of the participants and I started talking about breaking up with 'bad foods'. We discussed it in terms of breaking up with an old lover that treats you poorly, yet you still keep going back because the old memories of good times resurface.

Those foods may feel comforting, yet they lead you back to a path of shame, blame, guilt, self-deprecation, and feeling bad about yourself after eating them.

It's more than poor choices with food though, it's all bad habits that are similar to these types of relationships. The bad habits and poor choices of bad habits end up pulling you back in over and over again, especially when you're struggling with life issues.

The more often that you reach for foods when you are struggling emotionally, the more you build those neuropathways in your brain to expect food when things get tough in your life. This is why become habitual. We also discussed the psychological term 'classical conditioning' and for example, if every time you sit down in front of the TV you are eating, then even when you try to stop eating at that time, your brain will tell you that you need to eat when watching TV, or you'll begin to feel uncomfortable when you don't engage in that behavior.

This is why it is SO important to build good habits, and break old habits because research shows that 40-45% of everything you do, is habitual.

So, when you are struggling with the munchies at night, or feel the need to eat when you drive, or when you're in front of the TV, it's important to recognize that this type of behavior has likely been happening for months, if not years!! This is why you getting OUT of the habit of eating when doing other things is essential.

This is why YOU pairing these typical day-to-day routine life activities with something else(coloring, art, listening to music or audiobook, etc.) is important so you can RETRAIN your brain to not search for food during the times when you used to lean on it the most.

As a reminder from our last email, there is NOTHING wrong with you. You just need to RETRAIN your BRAIN by starting to do things differently and working through the feelings as they come up.

So, this is how the brain boot-camp begins:

1. Plan ahead - know what your triggers are and have alternative non-food activities ready to go.

2. Expect that you'll experience urges, nudges, and the desire to eat. During this process, you'll get your handy tools out, your non-food activities and get to work!

3. Recognize that feelings are temporary and they will pass. We want to ride them out like a wave. When the urges hit, not only will you be working through the activities and keep your hands/mind busy, but you'll also likely need to work through the uncomfortable emotions that creep in or pop-up. If you've never worked through emotions before, you may even want to name what you think you are feeling. Having a journal nearby will be handy to write some things out if needed. You may get some a-ha moments about yourself at this time

4. Journal about how your process went. If you're someone who is new to self-awareness, self-exploration, or self-assessment, don't be too overly critical. It may take some time to get inside your own head and recognize what is coming up for you. The more you practice this the better you'll get.

5. Keep practicing the new tools - this is how retraining your brain works. You need to practice the new healthy habit as much as possible to negate and override the old urges to eat. The more you practice, the better you'll get, and before you know it, you'll start to see the urges decrease over time.

PS... if you give up for stop, relapse or have to start over, that's fine.. but realize that you'll be starting over again. It's important to build momentum with the new habit over and over again for best results.

Breaking up with old habits CAN HAPPEN, when you put in the work, and create new habits that are better for you in the long run. I promise your neighborhood McD's won't miss you and you won't miss them either.

Don't cry for them.. instead be glad that you've gotten rid of the old lover that was a negative influence on your life and dreams! This is a perspective shift.. sometimes you've got to let go of what's hurting you so you can cultivate a healthier lifestyle.

I'm here to remind you that this is a lifestyle change and practice over time creates big results!

Have an awesome rest of your week!