Episode 89: Ending Night Time Eating
Midnight Munchies got you down and your waistline up? Learn the two step process to end even the most persistent habit, from the inside out. Plus, learn the most common limiting beliefs among over eaters, and how to overcome them.
Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind/body system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. Inside Out Weight Loss is about changing the deep roots of your weight struggle, because your excess weight is a symptom of a struggle that’s going on underneath the surface. What’s that struggle about? It’s about part of you wanting to be slim and fit and healthy and another part of you saying, “No, I’m getting something out of being overweight.” Because if you weren’t getting something out of it, if being overweight or overeating weren’t doing something for you, well you wouldn’t do it. I met with a woman this morning who said that the last time that she lost weight she had fasted and lost about 80 pounds. When she got to her slim weight and she felt so fantastic she had a crisis in her life, a loved one was very ill, she was really worried, and she soothed herself with food. Why? Because she didn’t have another way to soothe herself. And when she looks back now at what it was taking for her to maintain that extra slim weight for her, she remembers lots and lots of workouts and extreme effort just to stay slim and on top of that no way to cope with life’s challenges. So why would she want to go back there? And so as much as she has challenges now – health challenges and all sorts of problems with being overweight – the prospect of going to be slim again is not very appealing to her. So what’s Inside Out Weight Loss about? It’s about changing that understanding. It’s about creating a new way, finding a new way to be healthy, fit and slim that allows you to feel even better, to have even better coping mechanisms, to have it be easy, effortless. Does that sound too good to be true? Does it sound like I’m living in la la land? I can certainly imagine that it does if you haven’t done weight loss from the inside out, if you haven’t addressed the deep roots of your struggle, if you haven’t shifted your entire motivational structure so that you find that you prefer from a very deep place eating healthy foods, exercising, and you truly want to take great care of yourself. That’s what Inside Out Weight Loss is all about.
Renee Stephens: Now go ahead and drop down inside. Allow yourself to become present to this moment in time that you have chosen to be here now, present and listening. We drop down inside to transform from the deepest levels. In this game every ticket’s a winner, but you must be present to win. And allow your presence, all your awareness to go in riding on the inhalation, riding on your in breath. And to descend down into your body; allow your awareness to descend down, down, all the way down, into your chest, into your stomach. Allow it to drift down to the center of your body. The center of your body is a place called the hara, which is about an inch or two below your belly button; that’s the actual center of your body. So notice how your awareness, how your attention, goes down and sinks down to that place, down to your belly button, and past that just slightly, settling in to the very center of you. And allow your awareness to float and circle around and to begin to penetrate that center, as if it were seeping in through the openings in a sponge. And your awareness just soaked right in to the very core of you. This center place you may find is a place of balance, a place of stability. And simply allow your awareness and your presence to rest here inside, as any thoughts from the day, any cares or concerns simply fade away into the distance like clouds in the sky. And with your awareness here, expanding, floating, feel the energy of your center, of your hara, opening; opening and connecting with others across space and time, listening to this podcast. And feel the stability of knowing that others are on this same journey with you. You’re not alone; you’re connected. Feel their energy connecting with yours, and notice how supportive it feels to be connected in this way. and now bring your awareness back, fully present to the here and now, as you’re awake, aware and alert.
Renee Stephens: And go ahead and set your intention for this episode. Perhaps you’d like clarity, insight, breakthrough, shift or release of something that’s been with you way too long. Today I want to talk about the nighttime munchies. Imagine if the nighttime munchies went away I bet we’d have a whole lot of slimmer people on the planet. It’s such a common time to overeat. And I want to start by sharing a story from one of the members of my group program, who was really struggling with these nighttime munchies. You see, she would finish her dinner and she’d go and sit at her computer after dinner, wanting to do a few more things for the day, wanting to just get some more productivity out. And she had a real problem of snacking while she was typing at the keyboard. So it turns out that when we went deep into that moment of discomfort, that moment right before the snack idea came into her mind – now we’ve talked about this before – that moment right before the snack idea came into her mind is a really revealing moment, and in her case, at first she thought she just wanted to have some fun and that’s why she’d snack. But then when she went deeper into it, she got really emotional to discover that she was very upset over some relationship issues; in fact over a failed relationship. And when we went even further into it we discovered that underneath all that there was a core belief, a limiting belief that she wasn’t good enough, that she didn’t deserve to be in a really great relationship. So we addressed that belief, we changed that belief for her, we released that pain by going back and finding where it had come from and releasing it in a profound and very healing way. The next time that I spoke to her she was still having trouble with this nighttime eating. And she said that lo and behold it was still at that time after dinner when she would sit down at the keyboard and start typing away and trying to do a whole bunch more work – she’s self employed and so she can pop into her office that’s at home any time she wants. So I put myself in her shoes and I imagined being at home after dinner, heading back to the computer and I thought, “Wait a minute, this doesn’t seem like much fun. This seems like more hard work. In fact I’m kind of wanting after dinner downtime.” So I asked her, “When do you have your downtime?” And she said, “Uh, never.” She doesn’t allow herself to have any downtime. Now I want to mention that this is actually very common for people who derive all of their self worth from what they do and what they accomplish. In other words, if there’s no sense of self worth apart from what we do, what we achieve, then we have to keep on achieving more and more stuff to feel good about ourselves. The problem is that that ends up being like a hamster wheel because no achievement, no accomplishment is ever good enough for long enough to keep us feeling good; we keep on needing another fix, and we end up finding the accomplishments hollow or shallow. And then we think, well we just simply must have a bigger accomplishment. We have to do something bigger and better; take care of more people, earn more money, get the next promotion. And so we just keep going and going and going. It’s exhausting and we never really get the prize. So given that this woman had had a real issue around self worth, around feeling worthy, of feeling important enough and good enough in her relationship, that very same belief could’ve been causing her nighttime munchies. But we changed that belief. Remember, we had gone back and done the deep work to change that belief and the behavior pattern was still there. That’s because changing those deep beliefs, coming to a place of accepting ourselves as we are unconditionally, understanding in a very deep way that our worth as human beings doesn’t matter or doesn’t depend on what we do or what we accomplish; it comes from simply existing. Another way of saying that is understanding our own divine nature, seeing ourselves through the eyes of the divine, through the eyes of God or spirit, and understanding that we have an inner light, that we are beautiful, that we deserve to exist, therefore we exist. And she got that. But the behavior was still there. So we’d done a deep foundation piece and yet the behavior continued. Now how could that be? Shouldn’t it just disappear?
Renee Stephens: The interesting thing about our habits and our behaviors is that there tends to be a fly wheel effect. In other words, there’s a momentum to our habits, to our habitual behaviours, the things we do over and over again, that keeps them going even though we’re not paying attention to them or even though the original cause has disappeared. The original cause may have been gone long ago, kind of like some of the laws, the arcane laws we hear about on the books, the reason for them disappeared but they still are on the book. The reason for the habit had disappeared. So she realized she had no downtime and so my prescription for her, you know, written out on the white pad of paper is take some downtime. Go get a silly magazine and read it. Watch reruns of Friends. Do something of no redeeming quality that you enjoy and ideally that you find renewing, that’s really just kind of kick back and relax. Now if I had told her to go do that before we had done the deeper work it wouldn’t have worked. That would be like those things that you read in magazines that say, “Okay, well instead of eating go take a bath” or “Go walk around the block.” That kind of behavior change at that level isn’t going to take. But in her case she’d already done the deeper piece, she’d already established the foundation of her behavior change, and therefore when she realized that she was using her eating as an emergency escape valve to relieve the pressure of the day, to relieve herself from the pressure of always having to achieve and be on and just do more and more and more, it clicked for her. And the next time I checked in with her about her nighttime eating she said, “It’s going fantastic. Now I end my day after dinner. I have dinner and that’s it. It’s my relaxation time, it’s my downtime.” And interestingly enough her dinners are getting smaller, because she doesn’t have to drag out dinner so that she can avoid going back to the computer. She just relaxes, dinner is shorter, she feels satisfied, she feels renewed, she feels better during the day, more productive, all those great things, simply because she gave herself official downtime. And why was she able to do that? Because now she understands that she’s worth taking great care of, that she is worth being alive and existing. It sounds so silly to say that; a better way of saying it might be she accepts herself unconditionally, independent of what she does. And so her doing can come from a place of renewal and creativity because she’s resting.
Renee Stephens: It’s time to take a break now to support our sponsors. You’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on Personal Life Media. This your host Renee Stephens, and we’ll be right back.
Renee Stephens: We’re back now. Before the break we were talking about nighttime munchie madness and the two steps my client took to truly change that pattern. I read in Martha Beck’s column in Oprah Magazine a really great perspective that she shared. She talks about our designated issues. In other words, she says that if we overeat or obsessively count calories or have a nervous breakdown that often times having those issues can save us from other more serious issues. In my own life it was little bowls of cereal eaten after dinner. Why would I eat those? Well becaue I’m kind of like that client I just told you about. I wanted to be ever productive. After dinner time was more time to get stuff done. So the little bowl of cereal was an emergency escape valve; it was an excuse to not be doing all the time. And what Martha Beck is saying is that it is actually a very welcome diversion from what’s really upsetting us. So if there are underlying feelings of lack of self worth or crises in the family that you don’t want to pay attention to or financial issues that you can’t face or relationship issues you just don’t want to deal with, it can be very convenient to have one of these problems, one of these obsessions to deal with because it distracts your attention from something that you don’t have a clue how to handle. So what if your weight struggle is your designated issue? What if it really is serving a purpose in your life of allowing you to avoid having to deal with something that’s really painful? Lack of a fulfilling relationship, problems financially, deep feelings of loneliness, fear, anxiety… oh my. What’re you going to do? Well certainly understanding that your issues, your designated issue, that it’s serving a purpose for you. Another way of saying that is that there is a positive intent to your behavior; it’s getting something for you that is valuable to you. So like the client I mentioned earlier today, it can be a coping mechanism when times get really tough; an emergency escape valve. So you think, “Well great, now I know it’s my designated issue, I know there’s a positive intent behind it, but how do I change it, ‘cause I actually really do want to change it? Maybe I can get another designated issue instead of this one. I’m tired of this one.” Well you can have a menu of problem issues and you could choose your issue. Nah, you know, how about going in and addressing the thing that, the worst nightmare thing – boy, this is sounding really appealing – trusting your worst nightmare, your big fear, the issue you can’t deal with, so that it feels really manageable to you, so that you release that so that you heal the core wound or the core limiting belief, that it’s causing you to need a designated issue after all anyway. Now there’s an idea.
Renee Stephens: In the case of the nighttime eater, her issue was a belief that she wasn’t good enough, she wasn’t worthy. And there are several limiting beliefs that are rampant among people who have weight issues that so many of us have these limiting beliefs, we may not be consciously aware of them, but they’re there underneath the surface. How will you find your own limiting belief? And this is where it takes a wee bit of courage. Come with me now as you think about a time when you are overeating, a trigger situation for yourself. Think of a time that you haven’t yet addressed a common trigger situation; perhaps your designated issue that you just can’t manage to solve. And allow yourself to go back to that moment right before you get the idea or the desire to eat. Go right back to before you get the desire to eat, and discover that feeling, that emotion that’s there. Usually it’s the one right before the bright idea, the negative feeling, the thing that you want to move away from. And as you allow yourself to become aware of whatever that is – it might be very subtle feeling, it might be a strong feeling – and if you were to lift up the surface of it and find out what’s underneath, if you were to trace it all the way back to when it was first there, when it first happened, you might discover what it’s really all about. Is there a fear? Is there a sadness? Is there a worry? And whatever you find it’s okay. Finding it is the first step in releasing it. Now very common issues or limiting beliefs for people who struggle with their weight, are beliefs of not being important enough, beliefs of being unworthy, that create that feeling of the hole in the soul, that feeling of a void, a black hole, something that is so terrifying when you keep it at arms length that you can spend a lifetime trying to avoid it, when really it’s just an illusion. There’s no hole in your soul; never has been. There’s just a lack of awareness of your connection to something greater than you are; a lack of awareness to your own divine nature. And when you shed that light on the black hole, you realize that it isn’t a hole at all, but a window that appears dark only because it’s so bright inside. Now there are two things that I recommend if this hasn’t already been released for you, if you want to go deeper and truly let go of whatever it is that’s causing you to need the nighttime munchies or designated issue in the first place, and one of them would be to do some EFT tapping, Emotional Freedom Technique tapping, described in earlier episodes of this show. The second thing is – so you could tap about it, “Even though I feel unimportant, even though I feel worthless, I still deeply and completely love and accept myself.” The other option would be to do the compulsion blowout guided journey available for sale on my site at reneemethod, r-e-n-e-e, m-e-t-h-o-d, reneemethod.com, under products. You get to see what I look like too if you go there. So if you’re behavior change efforts aren’t taking, if you’re planting the seeds, if you’re trying to do it and it just isn’t working – the bath, the walk in the park when you have those nighttime munchies doesn’t do it for you – go deeper and look for the real cause, the real limiting belief, the real original pain that’s there and is ready to be healed. Once you heal that your behavior change techniques will take root because you will have created that beautiful fertile soil in which those seeds can grow and thrive.
Renee Stephens: That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. There’s lots of great content and resources available to you at my blog at personallifemedia.com/renee. Read the articles, leave a comment and tell us about your own journey. And also you’ll find links down the right hand side to my website, to the Yahoo group, which is full of wonderful beautiful supportive listeners just like you, in a community that’s absolutely free of charge. This is your host Renee Stephens and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet, enabling you to develop and share your abundant souls gifts. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.