What I am about to teach you will change everything for you.
Before I dive in, I want you to know a little bit about me. My name is Nicole Terwey and I am a coach who helps women undo their urges around food so they can lose the weight for good. As in, excess fat will not come back on your body. I call myself The Urge Whisperer because if I can show others that using their mind to get the body they dream of without hating themselves is possible, then I will have fulfilled my duty in life.
I would say I’ve dieted ever since…
I saw a picture of myself from 5th grade sitting on the gym bleachers with my close friends that shook my core, like feeling ice forming along my spine.
This was before cell phones, when we had to drop off our roll of film and have the pictures physically developed. In this one fantastic, magazine-worthy picture of the group of us young, close friends, there in the very center of the photo was cellulite from my left leg, bare for all to see. It was the cellulite beneath my thigh and behind my knee from the upward angle the camera was aimed at and how I was sitting with my feet on the seat just below.
I was so disgusted, and from that moment onward for about 20 years, I tried nearly every diet so that I would never have a picture like that taken of me again.
I stopped eating bread, but only temporarily because it was too hard to say no to bread… I went on the HCG diet and injected myself with it only to gain all the weight back as soon as I ate a single bowl of pasta… and I got even more extreme and competed in several bodybuilding shows until the binge eating got so bad I had to find help.
My urges kept getting stronger
I didn’t realize that the more I tried to diet, the more intense my urges would get. And I knew before I even started a new diet that it wouldn’t last because my urges were always so strong. I didn’t know how to lose weight without fighting urges. And I started feeling depressed about my future because fighting urges just to lose some fat was exhausting and tearing me down.
Literally, I was overtraining and doing so much cardio that my muscles were over-trained and weren’t recovering as efficiently as they needed to. It’s a disheartening feeling when you know what your body is capable of but your joints and bones feel fatigued and weak and slow.
I was so frustrated because sometimes my urges wouldn’t be that much of a problem—I could push through them, which made those days amazing for me because I would be so proud of myself for not overeating and for staying true to my goal.
But I knew the “harder” days were coming… the days when the urges would get so strong that I would just give up.
And it nearly always trended towards the end of the week. It got to the point where I was more focused on avoiding urges instead of enjoying my days, or enjoying who I was spending time with, or what activities I wanted to do if I didn’t have urges to fight against. I resented how unpredictable it was for me AND how incompetent I felt because I always gave in to urges eventually.
I love food and people
I was someone who loved to eat and I loved being with people to enjoy the food with.
So whenever I went on a diet but my husband or friends wanted to go out, I wanted there to be food and I also wanted there to NOT be food.
I wanted to stick to my weight loss goals but I also wanted to enjoy the food available and not feel like I was missing out.
When urges would come up, I felt like my night was ruined. I would even try to anticipate the urges and have a back-up plan, like maybe some cucumbers to nibble on instead of the chips and salsa I really wanted. But nibbling on cucumbers instead of chips and salsa, like everyone else was doing, would invite questions, and I hated telling people I was trying to lose weight because I’d been saying that for years already. I believed they could see how longingly I was eyeing the chips, like a dog begging to lick the crumbs off your plate.
I thought it was transparent for people to see that I was weak around my urges and I couldn’t say no to food. So, instead of cheerful support or encouragement, I would get looks of pity, or so I thought. I hated inviting those looks in any way, shape or form.
I knew urges were crippling me, but I didn’t understand how to even begin tackling them.
But I figured it out.
I figured out how to be in control of my urges without relying on willpower, or feeling constantly deprived, or restricting myself, or feeling like I was missing out.
I did this by changing my desire.
Now, for me to be here telling you that I no longer desire food to feel better is a MIRACLE. Except, it’s not like I was struck by lightning or woke up one day suddenly urge-free. It still absolutely amazes me sometimes what I was able to accomplish, and I’m going to show you how to do it.
That’s what these blog posts, this entire website, and more importantly, my Undoing Urges Weight Loss Program, are here to help you with if you’re struggling with unrelenting urges to overeat like I was. I will give you the exact answers, worksheets, and approaches I used so that you can learn how you can also apply these tools to start to change your own desire and begin undoing the urges that are always holding you back.
This is the work that all weight loss programs out there should, honestly, provide because it’s the one piece that will make your results permanent and desirable to keep. What I mean by that is that you’ll lose weight and do so by being motivated by the right feelings, like safety, courage, compassion, excitement, and enthusiasm… not feelings of despair, anxiety, frustration, or angst, which you’ve probably been reluctantly fueled by for years.
Who wants to hold on to those difficult feelings even if you’re in a smaller body? Not me, and neither do you, I imagine, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. In fact, even your body physically finds it hard to experience those feelings all of the time without repercussions.
If you’ve dieted before or tried to lose weight, then this is going to be completely new and different, I promise you. I’m seriously so excited for you to just KNOW this information, especially because of how valuable it’s going to be for you.
Why urges are confusing
When most people diet or try to lose weight, they focus on what they have to give up.
They focus on what they have to say “No” to, on what they have to deny, what they have to avoid, on how they’re going to explain why they said “No,” and so on. They imagine their life with “less than” what they have now.
Thinking “No, I can’t have that” and then an urge comes up has unknowingly turned into a habit.
It feels familiar, which doesn’t feel bad, and that’s why urges can be so confusing.
That’s why when an urge comes up, it feels completely justified to give in to it because it seems to promise that you can keep doing what you’re doing and somehow lose weight.
But I will tell you the honest truth… you’re going to have to say “No” and you’re going to have to say “Wait, just wait,” because it’s part of how you’re going to lose the fat. But you don’t have to say no forever, like never eating the crust from a slice of pumpkin pie ever again, or only eating grilled chicken instead of seasoned or fried chicken from here on out.
I think that’s where a lot of people get overwhelmed and part of what the Undoing Urges Weight Loss Program is dedicated to informing you on and getting you out of. But if you stay focused on what you’re saying “No” to, then the urges will keep coming and the more intense they might get.
You get good at what you practice
Think about this… you get good at what you practice. If you’re already good at cooking, then it’s because you practiced a lot, and that came from focusing on recipes and cooking techniques.
Right now, your focus may be on saying “No” to things that you think bring you happiness, relief, comfort, and joy, like food does for many people. It’s not just the food that you think brings you joy, it’s also the farmer’s markets on the weekends, the new restaurant downtown, the happy hours, the holidays… you think you’re saying no to all of that.
I want you to see that if you really want to stop giving in to urges and letting them get so strong, then you have to shift your attention. You have to adjust your focus.
You have to understand how urges work and why they work the way they do. Urges are intense desires, but what creates that desire? You need to understand that your desire is coming from what you’re focusing on, and you need to see how your thinking is prompting how you’re feeling and how you’re behaving. Your behavior is the actions you take from how you’re feeling.
Food never causes urges to overeat
When it comes to urges around food, people always think the food is what is causing the urges. That’s why they either remove the food from their house, or they say no to going out where they think certain trigger foods will be around. They’re thinking those foods will trigger their urges and then they’ll eat the food when they don’t want to. This is why losing weight—or after you’ve lost the weight and are trying to keep the pounds off—is so frustrating and difficult for so many people.
When we try to change, like wanting to lose weight, we think we only have to change what we do, which means change how we eat, what we eat, how often we eat, how often to workout, how how how… Trying to change our actions gets confusing when we feel happy some days and other days we’re furious even though nothing around us has really changed.
When we try to make changes without understanding exactly how our thoughts and emotions influence our every move, then it feels like change is moving uphill carrying 1,000lb on our back all the time without space to breathe. You quickly lose sight of your end goal because you’re so focused on the resistance you’re feeling from the weight and, instead, you focus on preventing it from crushing you.
When you try to change how you do things without understanding the thoughts and emotions behind your actions, then willpower will be the limited fuel that you resort to, and that’s why people give up.
If you’re here, then I know you will never give up. You’re like me in that, no matter what it takes, you will find a way to get out of this Sisyphean Hell you’re in with food, your body, and weight loss.
That’s it for now! In the next few articles, I’ll be covering some of the vital differences between hunger and urges, and then what to do about them so that you form the eating habits you know will sustain your physique goals. If you want to begin applying some of the tools I teach right now, then grab your copy of the Undoing Urges Starter Guide and get started.