Why when we know better do we continue to do what we shouldn’t. We know that eating healthy is better for us, that working out makes us feel good. We know that consuming a diet full of fresh fruit and veggies is going to be much better for us that eating heavily processed foods. But instead we continue to go for the not so great foods! But why is that you ask?
First things first, you are not alone, you are not somehow made up different to others. Sure you may logically understand that you should be eating a different way because you feel better for it when you do. But you still seem to reach for that sugary muffin or cupcake as a snack.
Whats stopping us?
Why do we know what to do but just find it so hard to do it?
I used to be just like you, I was an emotional eater, heck I won’t lie there are still some times when I get caught up in it, but I am much more aware and equipped for dealing with these times now. When the binge or overeating has ended we feel so miserable yet we still do it, time and time again. But why? What is it that gives us so much pleasure in that moment, yet so much pain when we wake up to it. Its literally a sugar rush or temporary high and then boom you crash down, feeling even worse than before it started. Forget the emotions we were originally feeling, we are now feeling more of them unrelated to the original problem. So then the cycle continues, we want to now nurture and comfort ourselves some more. On top of all this we definitely don’t feel motivated to exercise or do anything productive for that matter. So the cycle continues, and some times the binge will last the whole day or even the week for some. Having experienced times of overeating, wanting a sense of control and using food, or having bulimia to deal with all of that together I know all too well how it feels to be caught up in the trap of the mindless eating, overeating and binging cycle. I see it with my clients all the time, they just aren’t satisfied with eating healthy food and their minds are focused on the crap they wish they were consuming instead. The stuff that gives you a short term high.
The good news my friend, is that this is just a habit you have got yourself into, and it can definitely be broken. What we seem to be more afraid of is actually changing, breaking the habit is the easy part its letting go of what we know and are used to comforting us.
Trust the process and trust your journey will be difficult but you are more than capable.
Trust me when I share I have been there, gosh when I was at my leanest I would have the biggest binges, all before leaving the Woolworths carpark I was easily able to devour a whole box of granola or 2 blocks of large size chocolate! So whether its something you do occasionally when you’re unhappy or stressed, or hormonal. Or something you do secretly or regularly you can stop the binge eating.
Here are a few of my fav tips to help you on your way to stopping the binge eating.
Be prepared, for the times where it doesn’t go to plan. What is it that actually triggers you, what causes you to go on a binge? Write them down in a column, as many as you can think of. Then in the column beside it, write another list of what you could do instead to stop yourself from responding to those triggers negatively. Instead of going on that binge, what could you do instead? Triggers for you could be : Every time I want to weight myself…… When things do go how I wanted them to…. When someone hurts your feelings, or you’re sad……. When I interact with ……… When I see or read something I don’t feel good about……. Your go-to’s instead: Call a good friend for a chat… Go for a walk…. Lay down and listen to some calming music… Have a shower finishing it with a cold water hit… Clean your teeth…. Dance and move the body… changing your state (as tony Robbins says) is very powerful… Take a few breathes…. Leave the room if needed and have no other options... When trying to work with habits and create new ones challenges will always arise so you need to be prepared for these moments. Try to remain as positive as you can and create positive habits to replace the binges. Over time you will get better and better and actually eating when you are hungry not ‘eating your emotions’
Stop restricting and depriving yourself The cycle of restriction never ends, you restrict, you binge and then you feel guilty for doing so. So you do it all over again, again and again. Have you ever stopped to look at what foods you actually binge on, they usually are the same ones you restrict yourself from on your ‘diet’ plan. It seems to be all you can think about right, because you are depriving yourself from it. So my advice is don’t cut anything out, because when you suddenly ‘allow’ everything in your diet, you actually don’t want to eat it. Funny how we always want what we can’t have.
Replace binge eating with something else. We binge for many different reasons, when we are stressed, sad, anxious,angry, tired or frustrated but also when we are happy or excited and sometimes just for no apparent reason at all. Have you ever been bored at home, and just grabbed a bag of chips or popcorn and consumed the whole thing in one sitting and thought why did I even do that? I wasn’t feeling hungry or anything at all for that matter. Often people just eat due to boredom, having nothing else to do. Its just a habit we have created. Food is meant to nourish us, gives us energy and fuel to get through the day and keep us well. Not for our pleasure or just because. So I suggest you find something else to do instead, what do you enjoy doing, do you have a hobby? Are you passionate about something? What about writing a list of things you know you need to get done and haven’t gotten around to do them, or maybe you write a bucket list and work through them when you feel the urge to binge. Having awareness and being prepared for times when you feel the urge to binge is what is going to help you get out of the habit. I hope you start to implement these tips above and start to improve your life as you regain some control back. If you feel like you need support or want to work with someone on these things I would love to organise a free Skype consult to talk through how I can help you and how you would benefit on my program.