Updated: May 3, 2021
As some of you may know, I used to struggle with binge and emotional eating from 15 years old into my mid twenties.
I had no self love, self awareness or self acceptance.
For years, it was a constant cycle of binging, guilt, shame and perfectionism.
I would lay in bed at night worried about what I ate throughout the day or what I was going to eat tomorrow. The thoughts of not being enough and not eating well enough would consume me so much I'd get up and go eat late at night so no one could see because of the immense shame and guilt due to how I ate that day.
If you haven't read my whole story, check it out here.
Thankfully, as of the last few years, I've completely transformed my relationship with food and found a way to live with balance rather than perfectionism. & now I help other women get here too!
I can honestly say, I'm happier than ever and I feel better than I've ever felt. I am able to enjoy which foods I want, when I want without feelings of guilt and shame. Now, I experience feelings like happiness and joy when I indulge in foods that were once "forbidden".
BUT, it took work to get here...
I had to go through the binge eating to get to the other side...
I had to become aware of it.
I had to understand it.
I had to understand myself and why I was doing this to my body and brain.
I had to challenge myself.
I had to unlearn rules and learn new ones.
What I want you to know is that you can get here too. You can experience food freedom and the joy that it brings to your life.
You can let go of dieting, binging and obsessing over food. And I'm going to show you how.
My top 5 steps to stop binge eating:
1. UNDERSTANDING YOUR EATING HABITS.
You probably think your eating habits are a problem. Which isn't necessarily wrong. It's normal to feel like food and cravings are something you need to overcome. Especially when you feel completely out of control around food and find yourself restricting & binging.
When you dive deep down into why you eat the way you do, you'll most likely find out that its not actually food thats the problem but maybe something you're lacking in your own life. This could be as simple lacking joy, being unhappy in your relationship or career, feeling inadequate with your health, feeling like you aren't good enough for love, feeling isolated from social activities, not letting go of childhood trauma, the list goes on.
When you dive deep and uncover what is standing in your way, thats the first step to create awareness with your relationship with food. Then, you can begin to work on what areas need some TLC.
I know for me, when I was deep into binging - the main things standing in my way were the need to control everything around me and be perfect. Since I couldn't live up to those standards, I had less than feelings of myself resulting in me turning to food to cope.
With my clients, we take a deep dive into uncovering limiting beliefs and how they relate to your relationship with food. Then, we take proven steps to create habits of awareness around that so you can continue to grow. Awareness is always the first step!
If you're not sure how to become more aware you can use these journal prompts below to begin or scheduled a free consultation with me here so we can chat more about you and your goals!
"What am I craving?"
"Am I really hungry?"
"What emotion am I feeling?"
"Where is this emotion coming from?"
"Why do I want to binge right now?"
"What is binging going to solve?"
"What am I avoiding?"
"What am I afraid of?"
2. FOCUS ON NOURISHMENT
More often than not, people are turning to food and binging because they are not getting enough nourishment. Not enough fuel. Not enough calories. Not enough energy to keep their body running and working properly. And if you're not getting enough food/nourishment, your brain is naturally going to go into survival mode.
Our bodies are smart and they are created to literally survive. When we are not fueling our bodies with enough nourishment our brains begin to go into survival mode and stores the fuel you are getting because it thinks you don't have enough, then it thinks you're starving. This almost always causes you to go home at the end of the day and eat everything in sight.
Sometimes it's really as simple as focusing on eating a variety of high quality foods that contain lots of nutrients. The more fuel and nutrients you give your body, the less likely you are to crave things and binge.
Start filling your plate more and eating enough food & see how your body thanks you.
3. BECOME AWARE OF FOOD RULES
Now that we're eating more and have uncovered what's standing in our way of freedom. It's time to become aware of what food rules are standing in your way, too.
Awareness will always be the first step towards change. To become aware of our food rules, we have to pay attention to what thoughts and feelings come up around the food we're eating. (or not eating).
How do you feel about certain foods?
Do you judge someone for ordering something different than you would at a restaurant?
Do you stay away from carbs like the plague?
No bananas for you bc too much sugar? :(
Make a list of your food rules. all of them. Write them out on paper and become aware of your thoughts about these foods.
"no bananas in my smoothie because it has too much sugar"
"I can't eat carbs or I'll ruin my diet"
"No eating after 6pm"
"Eat perfect until cheat day"
"Only one dessert a week"
now write yours and...
4. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
Start challenging your food rules one by one. Give yourself permission to do what you haven't been giving yourself permission to do. If you don't allow yourself to have bananas because they have too much sugar, give yourself permission to eat the damn banana. (it does not have too much sugar!!!!) Have dessert twice a week. Eat popcorn before bed.
Break your rules. When you tell yourself you can't have something, your brain automatically wants it more and thinks about it often because it is restricted.
When you allow yourself to have the foods you restrict, those foods lose their power over your.
5. LEAN IN AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Lastly, pay attention.
Pay attention to how you feel after breaking your food rules. What feelings come up? What thoughts come up? How do you feel physically? Be in your body when eating and feel your feelings that are coming up. And DO NOT judge them.
Keep a journal and write what come sup for you around these food rules when you challenge them. Did it make you feel uncomrotabel? Did you feel nothing? Did you have resistance? Did you feel any imbalances or negative side effects? Any feelings are okay and completely accepted.
These steps should help you be well on your way to food freedom! Remember, awareness is always the first step. And accepting yourself is when the magic happens.
At the end of the day, you have to take your power back and choose to make these changes if you want a real change in your life. Accountability and encouragement are so helpful when going through your healing journey. If I could give you one last tip it would be to get support. I know I wish I had support when I was healing myself.
If you need the extra support, encouragement and love - thats exactly what I do.
I help women and men find food freedom and a sustainable diet that fits their lifestyle without restrictions, guilt or dieting.
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