The temporary gratification from going on a binge has wreaked havoc on the healthy of millions of woman. Many binge eaters are so skilled, or unaware of the damage of their decisions, they can suffer in silence for years without ever receiving any professional assistance. Binge eating can be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. It can also be a symptom of food addiction, depression and is a key symptom of bulimia. If you suspect that you or your loved one may be dealing with a problem more serious than comfort eating, it’s important to get help right away. What you see as an occasional binge can totally wreck your weight loss and wellness efforts if in fact it is a regular habit. Here are 5 tips that focus on mindset, attitude and habits…not just eating.
Give Yourself A Break
Between the mental demands of life and whatever additional stress that’s found its way onto your plate in the form of food, at some point you have to be willing to step back and go easy on yourself. Stress is the number one cause of emotional eating. Whether you’re drowning in deadlines or feeling the pressure within your home, the first step to becoming stable is to accept yourself- entirely. Flaws and all, you need to embrace and welcome your perfect imperfections. Once you accept yourself, it will be easier to deal with issues like binge eating, because you can come from a place of changing through self love, not just punishing yourself for you actions. Post binge many people feel anger, shame and disappointment. You need to love yourself through this pain and the root causes of your actions (stress, past sexual abuse, pain, eating disorders, habit, etc).
Starting with your body image, you have to learn how to look yourself in the mirror and be thankful. Just be glad that you’re you. Beautiful in your own way, even if it doesn’t correspond with society’s standard of beauty, your qualities are unique. Even if you’re a twin or a quadruplet, there’s no one else in the world that can offer the same contributions as you can, and that deserves to be acknowledged. If you tell yourself you’re beautiful for long enough, I can guarantee you’ll start to feel it as deeply on the inside as it shines without. If in this light you start taking actions to understand why you binge, you will be on the right tract toward change.
Death To The Diet
Diets are failures waiting to happen. They’re a temporary fix for a serious problem that will not go away until it is solved at the root. There’s no point in setting any more false commitments. Rather than adjusting to the latest fad or craze, in order to overcome binge eating, you need to incorporate being healthy into every minute of your existence. This is much greater than the things you put (or don’t put) on your plate. You need to be healthy, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. You need to assess your life and every person, place, or thing in it. If it isn’t making you happy, you should consider removing, revisiting or revising your association with it. Living an overall healthier existence will limit the amount of things that trigger you to go off into a binge. When you value yourself spiritually and physically, you won’t be able to harm yourself with excessive eating and/or purging spells. Great ways to start this part of your journey are journaling, therapy/counseling, group exercise, religious practices, meditation and prayer.
Adopt A Glass Half Full Mentality
Don’t focus on what you can’t do, what you can’t eat, what you can’t wear- train yourself to embrace a positive mindset. Congratulate yourself on your success, be it large or small. If you were able to distract yourself from falling victim to one of your usual triggers, that deserves some recognition. If your boss pissed you off and you didn’t grab a candy bar or chips, you’ve made progress. If you like ice cream, but you know you’ll feel guilty for eating it, don’t focus on the ice cream. What guilt-free treats do you enjoy eating? Use those to replace the bad stuff. Also, the more energy you put into things that bring you joy, the more joyous you’ll feel. What other than food make you feel joy? Embrace every compliment and kind gesture you receive when you’re out and about. Be grateful for that wonderful conversation you struck up with a stranger in the street. Feel how much love and pleasure there is in the world, and be glad you’re here to experience it for yourself.
Learn To Listen To Your Body
When you’re full, you’re full. When you’re hungry, you’re hungry. When you’re not, you’re not. These are important things to remember when transitioning out of an unhealthy lifestyle. Our bodies are well-oiled machines that are equipped with everything they need to function for an entire lifetime, that is- if we handle them with care. It’s common for people coming out of a binge to hit the gym harder than ever. Fueled by guilt and remorse, hours can pass without realizing the amount of stress that’s been placed on your recovering body. Whenever you’re exercising, it’s important to respect your body’s limits. You also have to know that you may experience some rough detox symptoms when you cut off sweets, caffeine, and highly processed foods. Those symptoms with pass and you’ll be better for it, knowing how much they have impacted your body. Know what you can and can’t do, and accept the process that comes along with your healthy transition. If you’re following along, loving yourself, and are willing to forgive yourself for your missteps, you’ll learn how to treat your body kindly all the time.
Establish Your Support System
No matter how you feel about the condition, binge eating is something that requires a constant support team. Outside of the love you’re showering on yourself, your stability needs to come from people you love and know you can trust. Depending on how long you’ve suffered, just sharing your secret is amazingly relieving. It’s easy to trick ourselves into believing we’re alone, when, in reality, the ones who we crave attention from simply don’t know that something’s wrong. Establish your team and let them know your goals. Tell them when you need some space to be alone, but don’t reject their offerings of love. It’s so much easier to fight the battle when you know someone’s in your corner.
Binge Eating is a disorder that is silently affecting hundreds of thousands of men and women all around the world. It is a disorder that many people have had more success overcoming on their own than they have with accepting psychological intervention or plans. I believe the only difference in success rates is a result of individual mentality. Some patients aren’t mentally willing to make the adjustment, especially when the suggestion is coming from outside of their own thoughts. It may be difficult to believe that something so controlling can be conquered in just five simple steps. It’s not about the steps, it’s about doing the work to change your actions and habits. Don’t be so quick to discredit the power of the mind. In this life, happiness is a choice. It’s about time you made the decision to live like you deserve. Not for anyone else, but for your own good.
Overeaters Anonymous is a great organization for Binge Eaters. Reach out for information on their meetings if you need regular support.
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