5 Steps to Break Free From Binge Eating
Binge Eating..., if it is something that you struggle with- then today's post is for you.
If you feel like no matter what you do or how hard you try you always end up eating cookies really fast alone in the kitchen, it's easy to lose trust with yourself around food.
I know because I have been there. I dealt with binge eating for yearsssss.
As a result, most of us turn to self-control and willpower to avoid cookies (or insert your binge food here) altogether or go on another Whole 30 -- but it doesn't have to be that way.
It is not all of the cookies or no cookies at all. There is a third option. A middle ground.
I want to help you dig a little deeper and discover what will actually lead to long term peace with cookies, no diets or cleanses or sugar detoxes necessary.
These are the 5 steps you must take to finally put an end to binge eating. Thankfully, they also work for intense emotional eating and yo-yo or chronic dieting too- you know, that whole "on or off the wagon" thing.
Without further ado, here they are!
Step 1: Lay the Foundation for Healing and Let Go of Restriction, Willpower and Self-Control
Before any real healing around food can begin, we have to lay a solid foundation upon which to build our new relationship. This involves some radical forgiveness for our past "mistakes" with food and cultivating some radical compassion and kindness moving forward.
Then we can work on overcoming the single most common area anyone gets stuck with trying to be "in control" around food. Willpower and restriction are the first things we think to employ when we feel out of control, which makes sense. So while it seems counter intuitive, trying to control yourself through willpower actually backfires and sets us up to binge eat, often more intensely as time goes on because binge eating is actually a reaction to restriction. The more tightly we grip onto control in one direction, the further and faster we will rebound the other way.
And to some degree, letting go of restriction might sound straight forward, but it's scary as hell and there are several ways restriction and control can occur with food, including mentally and emotionally, not just physically. Identifying the subtle ways restriction pops up and then moving through our fears around each will dramatically improve our relationship with food and powerfully for the next step.
Step 2: Understand & Support Your Biology through the Science of Weight
Contrary to pretty much every loud voice in diet culture, intentional weight loss is not easy for most people and is hard to maintain. If you've been trying to lose weight for a while then you probably know this.
Most people work really hard, through diet and exercise, to lose weight, sometimes experiencing some success but it's short lived - they either plateau or gain back all the weight and then some.
This is the part where we blame ourselves and pour more hatred onto our bodies.
The thing is, it is not our fault, rather it is our biology and how we are designed as humans from an evolutionary standpoint. Once we understand our biology we can start to work with it, instead of against it and discover our own personal healthy weight which will be different for everyone. Opposite to what we are told, not everyone's healthy/normal weight is a BMI of 19-24.
Once you fully understand all the science of weight, you will start to build trust with your body in a way you never have before which helps us move into the third and forth step. Once we discover that we can trust our body to regulate our weight, we are more receptive to trusting it to guide our eating choices. Both of which will help prepare us for healing our body image come Step 4.
Step 3: Connect to Your Intuition and Body Wisdom Around Food
After years of trying to control our body by controlling our food, we disconnect ourselves from it's signals and cues, making eating, something that should be inherently easy, very challenging.
However, after finally learning how to let go of restriction, then to work with our biology not against, we are in a great position to start to practice intuitive eating and connect to our woven in body wisdom, so that we can let our body guide our eating choices and not our controlling mind.
This allows eating to become easy and second nature, something that does not take a lot thought. And I personally know how obsessive our thoughts can get around food, so this creates so much space and freedom in our lives. It is truly life changing. Once we feel more at peace with food and more trusting of our body, we have the capacity to do the honest work necessary to work on body acceptance which brings us to the next step.
Step 4: Heal Your Body Image
When we are struggling with binge eating, we feel really bad for eating certain foods or for eating a certain amount of food. If we pull back the lens and ask ourselves why we feel so bad, it is almost always because we are afraid of gaining weight or of not losing more weight.
Our desire to look a certain way or be a certain size is so intense that it is the single greatest cause of all disordered relationships with food. That means that even just feeling bad about our body, or "feeling fat" can trigger a binge very quickly and keep us stuck in the cycle of binge eating.
Contrary to popular belief, and according to years of research from Brene Brown, shame is not motivating nor does it lead to positive behavior change. So while many of us think that beating ourselves and hating on our body will lead to healthier eating and exercising more, it actually does the opposite and keeps us stuck binge eating.
Working on body acceptance, or making peace with the body you have right now, is a requirement for true freedom and peace with food. If not, we will continue to struggle. While this can be an ongoing process given the world we live in, it gets easy over time and the next step supports us in this journey.
Step 5: Create an Amazing Life Outside of Food
One of the best ways to take food out of playing a leading role in your life and putting it in the proper place of a supporting role requires us to create an amazing life that we love outside of food. An important piece of this is cultivating self-worth and purpose that has nothing to do with the way you look, but is about a larger contribution to the world. Because let's be real, girl, you have WAY MORE TO OFFER then just being nice to look at!
This step is the most fun because you get to manifest the life you want and actively take steps to bring it into reality. Food is meant to help fuel you in this process not be the focus of the process. Food can be a powerful form of self-care that helps you live an life that you love and this step really seals the deal so that food is no longer a form of self-control!
To learn a little more about what each step includes be sure to tune into this weeks podcast episode #31 The 5 Steps to Break Free From Binge Eating.
If you are curious HOW to accomplish and move through each step and want support, reach out to me to set up a discovery call to learn about my self-paced online course, Break Free From Binge Eating.
You might know right off the bat this program is just what you need or perhaps you have some questions to make sure. If that is the case, reach out to me. We can have a powerful conversation about where you are at and see if BFFBE is the right program to help you get to the freedom you so desire with food.
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