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Binge Eating. It's such a difficult thing to be struggling with.

As I've mentioned before, it ruled my life for years. I looked forward to it and at the same time hated myself because of it.

What I didn’t know back then that I know now is that binge-eating is the almost certain result of restriction (or dieting or living in the "diet mentality"). There is a lot of research and science to back this up. It's how our bodies work (see here, here and here).

If you're questioning this, take a look at your own experience. Did you start dieting and restricting before you started binge eating? The answer is probably yes.

To develop peace and sanity around food you have to not be seduced back into dieting and restricting, or thinking that controlling yourself with willpower is the answer... When life gets chaotic,

or you feel like you’ve “fallen off the wagon,”

or you “feel fat,”

or you get stressed,

or your parents make a comment on your body,

or you start dating someone new.

You have to move through these triggers and not let emotions like insecurity and self-doubt drive your actions. You have to want to break free from the cycle more than you want to return to it.

Often dieting, like other disordered relationships with food (extreme emotional eating/bingeing/ED's) are coping mechanisms for other areas of our life. And believe it or not, eating is not the source of the behavior.

Eating is not the issue.

So often we think if we could just stop eating things would be fine, but that's not how this thing works.

The restriction, like the act of not allowing yourself to eat, the act of trying to control the f*ck out of yourselves, is what leads to biological and psychological implications that result in binge eating.

The access to freedom from bingeing is not more restriction and control, it’s eliminating restriction all together. It's giving yourself unconditional permission to eat what you love and what makes your body feel good.

Soul and body nourishing stuff like this bowl pictured below that also resembles the bowls from my cookbook. Shameless plug. :)

In order to feel normal around food you have to loosen your grips on it and not be seduced back into dieting.

healthy food no binge eating

Binge Eating Recovery Resources

To learn more about how to heal your relationship with food, check out my free video training series HERE.

You can also check out my podcast, Love Your Bod Pod, on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Lastly, you can also check out my books, or online course.

Our culture has trained us to believe that pursing health is the same thing as pursing weight loss because we are systematically taught that healthy = thin.

Look at any advertisement for products or services related to health and fitness, and thin, able-bodied people are used to sell whatever is being sold.

And they're not the only industry that does that.

In fact, our medical systems use the BMI to classify what a healthy body looks like and what it doesn't - meaning someone who is not in a thin body (or having a BMI of 19-24) is not at a "healthy weight" and therefore unhealthy. Which is a bunch of crap (hear more about the BMI here, and here).

And since health is SO much more than just the size of your body, this is a far too limited scope for what health actually is.

If the pursuit of weight loss were the same pursuit of health, then all thin people would be healthy, and this is simply not the case.

I've been in a thin body most of my life, but I spent a third of it having migraines, arthritis, and an eating disorder, which is not healthy- no matter what size I was (I talk a lot about my health struggles in my book Body Wisdom).

Health does not equal thinness or weight loss.

Furthermore, when people set out to get healthier by making behavioral and lifestyle changes, some will lose weight and others will not.

That simply means that weight loss can be a symptom or side effect of getting healthier - but it does not signify health in and of itself. For example, people can lose a weight as a result of getting the flu, having cancer, or going through a mental health crisis.

Additionally, people can make healthy behavior changes and not lose weight. They're taught to feel like they are a failure, that they are doing it wrong, and that they're not as healthy as someone who made the same changes but lost weight.

However, it is very well scientifically documented that people of all shapes and sizes can be healthy, just like people of all shapes and sizes can be unhealthy.

It's okay for you to purse health for the sake of health. Weight loss does not have to be part of the equation even if it may or may not be a side effect.

Often, our pursuit of weight loss, especially if you are struggling with a disordered relationship with food, is in opposition to our health (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual).

So the question is - is health really what you want, or are you just pursuing weight loss?

While there is nothing inherently wrong about wanting to lose weight, you have bodily autonomy, but if you're trying to heal your relationship with food, be honest with yourself about what you're motivations are. It could make all the difference in your food freedom journey.

xo C

Binge Eating Recovery Resources

  • To learn more about the non-diet approach to healing your relationship with food, check out my free video training series HERE.

  • You can also check out my podcast, Love Your Bod Pod, on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

  • Lastly, you can also check out my books, or online course.

When was the last time you thought to yourself that if you just had more willpower and control everything would be fine?

Maybe it takes everything in you to not eat an entire sleeve of Oreos in one sitting. Maybe you're thoughts are consumed by thoughts of what you should and shouldn't be eating.

Typically what happens is you'll be going along your merry way, eating the "good" foods on your list when something happens. You get stressed, or sad, or anxious so you go straight to the freezer and start binge-eating ice cream out of the carton while standing up.

When you realize that you've broken your diet, you feel monumental amounts of shame and guilt, so you decide to keep eating because you'll just "start over again tomorrow."

Sound familiar?

You tell yourself that you'll use all your willpower to make sure that this doesn't happen again. You'll follow your diet perfectly, and everything will be great. You'll exhibit the most epic self-control anyone has ever seen.

Except..., it never really goes down like that does it?

I hate to break this to you..., but there is just no amount of willpower or self-control that will stop this from happening again.

As you might know from experience, the more tightly you grip on to control in one direction, the further and faster you're going to swing the other way eventually. This is the restrict-binge cycle.

It's the classic pendulum swing of the typical dieter. The more you try to stop the binge eating with restriction, the more the bingeing keeps happening.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but you have to let go of the idea of controlling yourself through willpower. To help you come out of this pattern, imagine not trying to follow your diet perfectly and just trying to eat normally.

Think of the most normal, rational eater you know.

The type of person who eats an appropriate amount of food for their body type, seems to eat whatever they want, stops when they are full and does not at all seem the slightest bit controlled by food.

You know the type...

The person who can eat a couple of tacos and then be done with it.

Who can have one cookie and feel satisfied.

Who's been eating a little crappy for a couple of weeks and can very casually make healthier choices without being like "I am a disgusting fat pig. I need to go on a diet."

That person is a normal eater. What is the difference between you and them?

What are they doing that you're not doing? A normal eater isn’t fighting the urge to binge on foods all day, so it's not willpower. And more specifically, how are they thinking that you're not thinking?

Normal eaters think very differently from those who are obsessed with food (i.e. binge eaters, dieters, or eating disorders).

They don’t think if I eat this way, “I am okay” but if I eat that way, “I am absolutely, definitely NOT okay.” They don't think they've been good or bad because of what they eat.

They don’t have those restraints or thoughts. They are not that emotional about food.

They are not full of willpower. Eating an entire tub of ice cream in one sitting would kind of make them sick, so they have no urge to do that. It's not self-control.

People often tell me I am so disciplined around food, to which my response is always the same. It has nothing to do with discipline.

I don’t try to fight myself from having cookie's if I want cookie's. I care about feeling good physically, so I use that lens to choose whether or not to eat one.

My focus is not on being thin so food is about nourishment and enjoyment, not gaining or losing weight.

I don't equate morality to my food choices so I don't feel superior when I have salad or inferior if I have Taco Bell.

That difference in thought is fundamental to having freedom around food.

It all boils down to mindset, how you perceive food, yourself and your body.

I used to be so obsessed with being skinny so everything I ate was either helping or hurting the goal of the perfect body. In order to loosen the grips on food, I had to be less attached to the way I looked.

The most common reason people go on a diet or try to restrict what they are eating is because they are concerned with the way their body looks. Period.

So if you are obsessed with food, try to shift your context for it. Food has to become less of a function for being fat or thin and more about nourishing your body to create the life and health you want.

Once I started to shift how I felt about my physical appearance (detaching my worth from my weight), the less I felt the need to control the food I ate thus controlling the size I was.

In essence, I had to stop thinking that having the perfect body meant having the perfect life. It wasn't until I became more confident in my skin and realized that my self-worth had nothing to do with my size, that I was no longer obsessed with food.

If you are in the middle of an effed-up relationship with food, then start looking at the relationship you have with yourself and your body.

It starts there. And if you want to take this education further check out my free video training series or my online course, Food Body Soul.



Binge Eating Recovery Resources

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