I think we've all been there... repeated trips to the kitchen to procrastinate a project, grabbing whatever snack is available because we're too busy to eat a full meal, or any variation of the two extremes. As solopreneurs and business owners, we deal with a lot of extra stress.
Not only are we doing the client work or creating a product, but we're also in charge of figuring out taxes, business laws, branding, and so much more. And of course that's not all; we still have family and friends, hobbies and our health to juggle.
Despite a fully balanced life being a myth, if we neglect one area for too long it can start wreaking havoc elsewhere in our lives. For many of us, it ends up being our health that takes a backseat to work. But when we allow this to go on for too long, our health starts to creep up in unpleasant ways.
Today's post is from Samantha Russell, an Eating Psychology coach. We've heard from Samantha on the blog before when she tackled how being mindful can help your business.
She's sharing why so many of us resort to snacking throughout the day, what we can do to stop, and how this shift will benefit our health and our businesses.
Do you ever feel like your eating is out of control?
Like you snack too much, choose foods you know don’t work for you, or eat way past "comfortably full" at meals - especially since you took the leap and started your own online business or began working from home?
You might have become dependent on food to get through your day as an online entrepreneur.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with snacking or enjoying your food. But when your eating feels out of control, your food choices are stressing you out, or you're eating foods that aren’t good for you, you’re going to struggle with:
- Low mood or mood swings
- Brain fog
- Less energy
- Weight gain
- Lack of creativity
- Drained motivation
- Decreased self-confidence
All of which are obviously going to negatively impact how you’re able to run your online business.
Unwanted eating can feel so frustrating
At some point on this unwanted eating journey, you’ve definitely wondered “Why do I do this to myself?”
Repeatedly, you tell yourself that you’ll only snack on veggies and hummus and that you’re not going to buy Oreo’s anymore because they give you indigestion.
But, by the end of the day, treat foods feel like all the support you’ve got to get through those tough lady-boss moments.
You’re so driven and accomplished in so many ways, so why is this food thing impossible for you to control?
Why does this happen to you?
There is one key reason you can’t control your eating, and I guarantee it’s not because you’re
- A willpower weakling
- A broken human
You can stop calling yourself any of those things right now. Your eating makes complete sense and is actually extremely functional.
The ONE reason you’re overeating: That junk food is filling a need.
How can you ‘need’ junk food?
Although it might feel like it, you don’t actually need junk food. What you do need is to feel good, whole, and happy.
For example, the most common causes of unwanted eating are:
- Discomfort (physical or mental)
- Lack of pleasure
- Feeling judged
Which is pretty much the emotional roller coaster we go through on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis as online entrepreneurs.
For example, being a self-employed entrepreneur who works from home is amazing. You’ve got freedom, agency, and can work with your passion every day.
But, it’s also tough, lonely, boring, and stressful. And your ‘office’ literally steps away from the kitchen.
So you grab a cookie. Or two. Or three. And at the end of a long day of rejected Facebook ads and unanswered emails, nothing sounds better than comfort food
Can you fill these needs without food?
There are four powerful areas that I get all my clients to work with, and these will help you learn how to stop snacking mindlessly.
How to Stop Snacking: 4 Alternative Ways to Fill the Emotional Void
It might feel like you don’t have time in your busy day to devote even 10 minutes to ‘clearing your mind’, but research shows (repeatedly) that taking time out to meditate helps you de-stress, refocus, replenish your willpower, and curb cravings - all of which not only help you eat in a way that truly serves you, but helps your business too. Not into sitting quietly? Try a walking or meditation.
Feeling and showing gratitude is one of the fastest ways to boost your mood andfeel more fulfilled and satisfied with your day. Something as simple as writing a quick thank you email or 5-item gratitude list can make your day feel more successful - which will help make comfort eating obsolete. If you’d like to get more gratitude in your day, check out this 7-day challenge.
Feeling lonely and disconnected is so common for online solopreneurs, and it can cause huge increases in cravings and overeating. The good news is that feeling connected to others has profound benefits for your health, diet, and business. So, don’t feel like you have to spend all your time behind a screen building your business. Sign up for a networking event, join a mastermind, or even run your own meetup or workshop.
I’m sure part (or all) of the reason you got into business was to help people. But some days it feels like all your efforts are falling short or not reaching those who need it most. This can definitely mean you have an unmet need to feel as though you’ve made a difference.
An easy way to fill this need is to specifically focus on and help one person each day alongside the wider acts of service you put out there. This might be a personal reply or advice to someone in a Facebook group, an authentic check-in email with a client, or a personalized video reply to a question someone sent you. It’s likely the person you’re helping will let you know just how much it meant to them, and you’ll feel so much more effective by the end of the day.
Your emotional eating mission
Your action step: Schedule 2-3 (or even all) of the above ideas into your day every day this week, and see what happens to your unwanted eating.
Your food choices can go from being one of the most frustrating and powerless areas of your life to being something that comes with grace and ease and enhances your business.
Even though the core focus of my business is having a healthy relationship with food, these are all issues I’ve had to identify and heal as an online entrepreneur. I certainly still have occasional “why?!” food moments, but now I also have answers and solutions.
You can too.
About Samantha Russell
Hi, I'm Samantha from livethewhole.com and I'm a certified Eating Psychology coach who works with women who struggle with emotional eating and weight gain.Together we work to uncover the root causes of their unwanted eating and food addiction so you can heal, lose weight, and feel awesome. I know what it's like to struggle and eat in a way that doesn't serve you - and I can help you create a better way.