7 Lessons Learned from Binge Eating
The truth?… I’m not really happy with my body. There. I said it.
In fact, there are maaaany days when I just am so done with this whole thing I’ve got going on with food.
Why can’t I just feel normal around food?
Why is my eating so “good” for days, months, weeks at a time and then… BOOM! I take a one-way trip to Binge City and the Mayor of the town, who wears donuts for pants and has M&M’s where his eyes should be, won’t grant me permission to leave?
What is up with that? And more importantly, “Why, Why, WHY won’t it all just stop?!!”
Can’t someone invent a pill, a fat-sucking device, SOMETHING to just make this problem GO AWAY?!
Isn’t it enough that I’ve been working at this “food thing” for 30 years?
Isn’t it enough that I STILL fantasise about calorie-free chocolate more than I do about finding a husband?
Do I really need to look like “Little Miss Perfect Booty”?
The fact is, I tend to be a bit hippy.
No, I’m not talking free love and bra burning (not that there’s anything wrong with that), what I mean is, when I put on weight, it makes a bee line straight for my butt and thighs.
Classic. Pear. Shape. Just dip me in chocolate and sit me in the organic isle in the supermarket. My Pear-shaped thighs would be worth a fortune.
LOSE some weight, and it comes straight off my boobs and arms. GAIN some weight, and suddenly I’m the new poster girl for “Baby Got Back”.
But there is hope.
After thirty something years of bingeing, dieting, and bingeing again, I have actually learned a thing or seven about binge eating.
Here’s my 7 Lessons Learned from Binge Eating
1. You Don’t Have To Look Like Your Girl Crush
Unless you already do (huzzah for you). But for those of us with regular ‘ol (and equally fabulous) genes, it’s time to stop crushing your soul to look like your social media girl crush. Nobody… NO. BODY. is posting their real life on social media. Why? Because real life is messy! It’s filled with tears, tantrums and cake crumbs. It’s brilliant and painful and delicious and bitter. It’s kind of like vanilla ‘n chili flavoured ice cream. You’re not sure if you’ll like it, but you can’t resist a taste. Social media is a global highlight reel of random strangers lives. Nice to look at, but nasty to try and touch.
2. Your Dreams Are Worth It
Don’t give up on the food freedom you dream of just because you’ve failed at it a gazillion times. Here’s a novel idea! Next time you decide to restrict and deprive your way to skinny stardom, why not first find out why your body is holding onto excess weight to start with? If dieting hasn’t worked for you in the past (and by “worked” I mean, all your excess weight was sent straight to Jenny Craig and you have never seen it again.) What’s that you say? That’s not your experience? Then quit deluding yourself that one more round of “Whole 30” is the answer to your prayers. The solution is not going to come from the same source as the problem. Get a new plan.
3. Take a Lesson From Pantene
We’d all like to wake up thin tomorrow, but you know what? NEVAH. GONNA. HAPPEN. Seriously, who are YOU to tell your body how long it has to get in line with what you deem to be an acceptable shape? Healthy is the new black. And healthy is going to take as long as it needs to take to get the job done right. When you quit focusing on the number on the scale and start focusing on how you want to FEEL, the weight loss will come to the party. You didn’t GAIN the weight overnight so it’s just a liiiittle unrealistic to want to LOSE it overnight, am I right? As the commercials say, it’ won’t happen overnight, but gurl… it WILL happen.
4. Rewrite the Rules
The problem with diets is that they have a “start date” and a “finish date”. Or to put it another way, all diets begin with the mandatory three week long, pre-diet binge and end with a monumental, award worthy, soul crushing, BIGGER binge. If you manage to shed weight on a diet, then huzzah to you. But for the rest of us, repeating the same technique over and over, expecting a different result is, well… I think you know how it goes. If you want to quit the late night booty calls with the refridgerator then you will need to choose a shiny new approach. One that actually works FOR your body, rather than fighting tooth and acrylic nails AGAINST it . No start date. No finish date. Just you, your body and a whoooole lotta love and support.
5. Let Your Crazy Out the Box
I know you THINK you just want to be “normal” around food, but here’s the down low… So do I and millions of women all over the globe. NORMAL doesn’t make you acceptable. NORMAL makes you AVERAGE. Embrace your crazy! (err… ok, your “unique qualities” lol!). Trust me, they really are your strongest point and your greatest teachers.
6. It Won’t Go Away Just Because You Want It To
Just because you WANT to stop binge eating does not mean you will or that you even can. You’re not eating ’till your stomach hurts because it’s FUN! Geez! There’s nothing FUN about hoping the check-out chick doesn’t notice the guilt in your eyes as you purchase enough junk food for fifteen people. There’s nothing FUN about tearing packets open in the car on the drive home because you can’t get the food in your mouth quick enough. And there’s definitely nothing FUN about reaching into your kitchen trash bin to retrieve the chocolate that you thew away because you thought that would actually stop you from eating it (Ha! Fat chance) No. There’s nothing fun about emotional eating. But there’s always a way out. It may not look how you thought it would, but it will always be perfect for you. When that door opens, don’t be afraid to walk through.
7. The Worst Thing Might Just Be The Best Thing
Recently I went through severe depression and anxiety. I tried everything I could to make it “go away”. Physio, acupuncture, alkaline foods, Chinese herbs, massage, anti-depressants and reiki. The one thing I didn’t try? Getting real about my nutrition and adjusting my lifestyle. I wanted a “quick fix”. I wanted absolve myself of any responsibility and have “someone else” just make the problem go away. But it didn’t. And you know why? I had (and still have) a lesson to learn. I FINALLY accepted that I needed to SLOW DOWN and stop working like a chipmunk on crack cocaine. I took up meditation, prayer and yoga. I stopped stressing so much over the little things and switched up my diet from total control freak to a more relaxed, gentle and holistic approach.
So what happened? Well, slowly (yes, yes… the word we all love to send hate mail to) things started to shift.
But you know what? If I had just “pushed through”, I would never have made the lifestyle adjustments that needed to be made. Sure, I COULD have tried to hustle through it, but when has that ever provided a sustainable solution?
If you’re still being haunted by the Binge Monster, there’s a lesson for you to learn. Find it. Deal with it. Learn from it.
Now, I’d love to hear from YOU!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your years of struggling with your weight? Join the discussion below!
Oodles of chocolate coated love!