THROW AWAY THE SCALE !
Most Binge Eaters believe that they eat too much. And that's that. If they could just stop using food in the compulsive, emotional and extreme ways they do, they would be ok. ….I know this because this the way I felt for years….- and I had no idea that actually my " diet restriction" that was a BIG part of the problem !
Let me explain…when you are LIVING a diet mentality you are constantly thinking about what you SHOULD be eating, what you SHOULD look like and what you are not doing right. Its a set up for failure in your mind before food even enters the picture. If you want to start eating in a healthy way, you must begin to THINK in a healthy way- and get rid of the extreme, black and white conversations in your mind !
What is DIET RESTRICTION ? It begins with the thought that you better restrict something ( food) in order to succeed. It focuses on calorie counting and the numbers on a scale. It judges, criticizes and is never good enough…it is the ultimate inner perfectionist about to sabotage everything…its what sets you up for a binge long before the binge enters the picture.
So, am I saying just go out and eat piles of junk food, anytime- because none of it matters ? …Of course not…..But if you are a problematic eater then I can assure you that the restriction mentality is one you MUST let go of, immediately.
So how do you GET OUT of DIET RESTRICTION and begin to live in the present moment, allowing your body to take in what it needs, no more, no less ?
1. Throw Away the Scale- This can be incredibly scary for someone who has weighed themselves and relied on the numbers on a scale to determine their worth every day for most of their lives. IT'S TIME ! Using a scale to determine how " good" you are is only adding to the negative self talk and only creates more of a division between your ability to trust yourself and your connection with your own body. Let it go- its just not important.
2. NEVER Skip a Meal -This is a big one and I don't think I can stress the importance here enough. Eat breakfast within 20 minutes of getting up and never skip a meal in the day. If you have a "slip up" with food in the day, just get right back on track at your next meal. If you are not hungry, eat later but stay with your routine regardless of what happens in the day.
3. Save the Cleanses and Detoxes for Somebody Else- I know… this appears like the "perfect" solution….just go on a super healthy cleanse where you don't have to "deal" with food at all…lose a bunch of weight and " detox" in the meantime..why not ? ….This is a "diet in disguise" for a problematic eater. If you are someone who struggles with eating "normally" then its best to leave the extreme health trends to others. Cut your sugar intake, make small changes to your plan…but never fast. It will create some inner perfectionist thinking…that will come back to bite you later
4. Plan your Meals- NOT "DIET "YOUR MEALS ! - This is an important step that is often confused with "dieting". A food plan is simply having an idea what your day around food will look like. When are the meals, and the snacks ? What are some good healthy options ? If you are new to this process you may need to get more specific with what you PLAN to eat…but no calorie counting or restricting here. If it serves you to leave certain foods out, thats fine but make sure every meal and snack is something you WANT to eat and eat is SLOWLY.
5. Eat Every 3-4 Hours- This is important, especially if bingeing is a problem for you. By PLANNING your meals and snacks 3-4 hours apart you don't allow time for the brain to go into "starvation" mode or the anxiety to set in. It is important to make sure a meal is a meal, and a snack is a snack- plan ahead.
6. Re- Vamp your Inner Perfectionist Thinking- Looking at the THINKING that is creating your problematic eating is especially important for long term healing. If you are wired with old files that are constantly telling you that you are not good enough, that you need to be a certain number on the scale to be worthy or that you will never be well…then long term healing is going to be challenging. Put down those thoughts ON PAPER ! Write an affirmation that you believe to be true for each thought. Repeat until that thought looses its edge and the anxiety passes. * It is often helpful to work with someone who is skilled with this process in the beginning.
7. Avoid Extremes- When planning your food, avoid restricting yourself in any way that feels too extreme. For example, if you are trying to avoid sugar and there is a bit in a dressing you are served, let it go ! Trust that you will be ok. Allow for movement, space, and ease. Trust that as you learn to THINK better, the actual foods themselves will quiet ENTIRELY !
Learning to live without the should's, the restricting, and the inner perfectionist is a journey. Be gentle and trust that you absolutely can heal FOR LIFE. This has been my experience- there truly is a solution.
* PS I invite you to share these posts, on Facebook or Twitter with anyone you feel would benefit and if you feel inspired, to write your feedback insights through the ‘Comment’ key on this blog….