Maybe you’ve tried everything… self-help books, podcasts, psychiatrists, hypnotherapy, group therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, binge-eating studies, and a million different diets, yet despite your best efforts and desire to stop binge eating, you continue to eat until you are completely stuffed, only to beat yourself up hours later as you’re filled with regret, shame and sadness.
The self-loathing continues for days… You suck, you are a failure, something is wrong with you and you’ll NEVER be able to get your shit together.
So you restrict your calories, cut out food groups and over-exercise to compensate. Only to binge-eat AGAIN, due to the restriction.
So, the vicious cycle keeps going…
Does this sound familiar? If you’ve been a binge-eater for a while, you’re probably nodding your head and the most painful part about it is, “you know better”. You know binging no longer serves a purpose in your life. You know the temporary satisfaction you receive from eating ALL the foods you’ve been restricting, is not worth it. You know you are going to feel much worse after. You know the damage it’s causing your body, your social life, your relationships and the qualify of life. You know the shame that follows.
So WHY can’t you stop?
No, you don’t lack willpower, something isn’t wrong with you and you’re not weak. You just have developed a subconscious pattern that you’ve been conditioned to act out on, becoming almost automatic, due to repeatedly engaging. You’re also most likely restricting after a binge which keeps the urges strong, reoccurring, and continues the cycle. Even if it makes you feel better by eating less the next day to make up for the binge, you’re actually adding fuel to the fire.
So HOW do you stop the cycle?
There came a point where I was just fed up with fighting food and my body. I was ready to live a more fulfilling life and committed to doing whatever it took to end the vicious cycle. Through my journey, I have tried it ALL and I’ve learned there is not one particular thing that magically made the urges to binge go away. I wish it were that easy. It was a combination of a consistent daily self-care practice, self-connection, mindfulness and trusting in my ability to overcome any obstacle, believing that I was STRONG enough and worthy to break free.
I no longer have urges to binge-eat, emotionally eat or feel anxious around food. I have learned to let go of perfection, and feel healthy, happy and at peace in my body and soul. Something I NEVER thought possible.
Here are the steps I took to get where I am today…
- Stop Restricting – this is #1 – If you’re not eating enough food, the urges to binge will not go away. As hard as it is to let go of dieting, it’s the most important first step to freedom.
- Cultivate Compassion – love yourself, be honest with yourself and forgive yourself. If you come from a place of compassion as you make the commitment to stop engaging in behaviors that aren’t serving you, you will be in a much stronger place to make lasting change, than if you’re constantly beating yourself up and thinking negatively.
- Let go of Rules – food rules, labeling food as good or bad, and following strict guidelines when it comes to your diet, will only perpetuate binge urges.
- Let go of Perfection and Control – striving for perfection and trying to control food and your body will only keep you focused on food and your body. Let go of the idea of perfection and surrender control, which doesn’t mean you’re letting yourself go. It just means you’re letting go of the struggle.
- Come Back Home – through self-connection, pausing, listening, breathing, mindfulness, and meditation.
- Spiritual Growth – I pray, express gratitude to God (the Divine, Higher Power, or whoever you believe in) and the Universe, believe in something more meaningful than life on Earth, and I trust that I’m always being guided and will receive guidance as long as I stay open to receive it.
- Learning to Trust Myself – through love, acceptance, taking a leap of faith, and believing in my strength and ability to persevere through resistance.
- Self-Care – through nourishing foods, movement like yoga, hiking, and walks in nature, adequate rest and relaxation, acupuncture and massage.
- Follow my Passions – having fun, engaging in hobbies I enjoy, exploring, being more adventurous and seeking more life meaning! The more I began engaging in hobbies that brought me joy, the less food was on my mind.
- Follow my Creativity – writing/blogging, creating inspiring content, starting a Support Group, giving back, volunteering, sharing and helping others.
- Laughter and Connection with the ones I love.
- Having a Strong Support System (whether it’s a therapist, coach, a friend “who gets it” or loved one).
- Visualization – Every day I hold a vision of who I want to be and how I want to feel (free from food obsession).
- Celebrate Successes – I get EXCITED when I realize how far I’ve come. I celebrate my strength and use it as motivation to continue on this path!
- Gently Reminders – Whenever triggering thoughts creep in, I remind myself how good I feel living binge-free and how I want to continue my life this way, waking up feeling energetic, healthy, joyful and abundant! THIS is my birth-right.
Believe wholeheartedly that you too, are strong enough and capable to make lasting change, as I did.
I know you might be reading this and thinking, can it be that easy? HELL NO. This was an 8 year battle for me, but you don’t need to struggle as long as I did. Healing begins when you SURRENDER and stop fighting yourself. You don’t have to push through with relentless willpower. You just need to soften, connect with yourself, listen, breathe, let go of control and begin living your truth. Go climb a mountain, go on the vacation you’ve been dreaming of, take a risk, laugh more, love more and live more. Binge-eating takes away so much joy from your life, but once you realize that YOU HAVE THE POWER, food will lose it’s power.
If you stay committed, no matter how many times you fall, a life free from food obsession awaits…
If I can do it, so can you.
XO Peace & love, Stephanie
to join my free support group or to learn more about 1-on-1 coaching to help you end the battle with food and your body, once and for all, reach out to me… I am always here for support! Makingmymiracle@gmail.com.