Overeating and difficulties maintaining healthy routines are common pitfalls for high achieving busy women with a lot going on.Stress, the multiple activities we juggle, the standards we set for ourselves, even our hardworking independent attitudes can sometimes get in our way.

Do strong emotions or stress impact your eating? Do you reach for a snack when you are stressed or bored, tired, or anxious? Do you nibble mindlessly at your desk? If so, it’s a signal that emotional eating is a part of your weight battle. Overeating and emotional eating often occur when you have “too much to do and too little time." The pressure to accomplish all that you do can actually contribute to the problem. Food is easy to turn to for comfort, stress relief or a quick reward. When time is at a premium and your schedule is demanding, making healthy choices can be a serious challenge, and “me” time can feel like an impossible dream.

Struggles with weight are painful, they affect self esteem, and they can also affect the way you show up in your business. Frankly, when we are struggling with anything, when we are feeling less than confident, we simply don’t shine. And when we aren’t feeling our best, we tend to make different choices than we do when we’re running at one hundred percent. It’s not about hitting a magic number on the scale. It’s about finding a way out of the struggle, and creating a sense of personal effectiveness with food and weight that make the difference.

Are you struggling with weight and does it keep you from shining?

In the last week, three business owners have told me about business-building activities that they are avoiding because they feel uncomfortable with their current size and weight. These women are smart, dynamic, and vibrant, but the way they feel about themselves leaves them limiting their visibility. Can you imagine the toll this is taking in their business? The women I talked to are:

• Avoiding opportunities to be front and center (public speaking, presentations, having their picture taken)
• Spending a lot of time hoping no one will notice them because they feel self conscious. That’s a VERY difficult place from which to nurture a thriving business.
• Feeling far less confident and self-assured than they should. Despite their impressive talents and accomplishments, what stands out for each of them is that they haven’t lost the weight they want to.
• Putting off networking activities “until they lose the weight.”
• Not dressing in a way that expresses the vitality each of them absolutely sizzles with.
Until we talked, these women were also frustrated with themselves because diets haven’t helped them lose weight in the past. The truth—diets don’t work. And diets don’t address the root causes of the overeating and lifestyle issues of busy business owners that can contribute to struggles with weight.

What do busy solo entrepreneurs need to lose weight and make peace with food once and for all?

• A unique approach that’s do-able. Needs vary, but everyone needs a plan that fits their style, their preferences and their life. Consider your schedule, your tastes, and your strengths and weaknesses when designing a plan of attack.
• A plan that addresses emotional eating. Food is a tempting place to turn to try to take care of needs and feelings and running a business can be stressful. Just counting calories won’t help you figure out what to do with stress eating, comfort eating, or nervous eating at your desk.
• A program that helps with the mind game. Weight struggles can be a head game and mindset is everything. Losing weight while growing back any confidence that has been sacrificed is essential for the entrepreneur who wants to bring her most confident A-game to the table. High achieving business owners also often struggle with perfectionism, asking for help, taking time out for exercise and stress management, and finding ways to stay on track and accountable while also managing everything else. Don’t fall prey to the myth that you have to struggle alone.
• A plan that includes self care and me-time. If you are using food to fill in gaps, cope with feelings, reward yourself or just zone out, you’ll need to be prepared with alternatives that work with your life and your business.

As you move forward with your weight loss or healthy eating goals this January, make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Addressing the non-food aspects of weight loss can make all the difference, can eliminate a lot of the struggle, and can help you and your business really shine.

Author's Bio: 

Are you a smart, busy woman struggling with emotional eating, overeating,and balancing work and life? Claim your free psychologist-designed audio series: "5 simple steps to move beyond overwhelm with food and life" at http://TooMuchOnHerPlate.com. Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, is a Psychologist, ICF Certified Life Coach,and emotional eating coach who specializes in providing smart resources to busy women struggling with food, weight and overwhelm.