I remember once pulling out a journal and writing “I think I’m crazy”.
As a 21 year old in the throes of serious binge eating, I really did think I was crazy. I had no idea why I was binge eating or how to stop. It was all consuming, stressful and painful. (If you’re experiencing binge eating, ya know what I mean.)
When I think back to the hours spent searching the interwebs for cures, I can still feel the confusion. Most of the tips and advice I came across left me feeling like more of a failure.
“I’m asking myself if I’m if I’m hungry but it’s not working… It must be me. I suck.”
“I’m not keeping any junk food in my house but it’s not working… It must be me. I suck.”
I’m going to be honest. There is some terrible advice out there for how to stop binge eating. (Also some great info, but let’s cover the terrible first.)
What doesn’t work:
• Drink 2-3 glasses of water
• Brush your teeth
• Distract yourself: colour in, paint your nails, go for a walk, take a bath, go on Facebook, do a puzzle
• Count slowly to 100 taking sips of water in between
• Think of something gross
• Get away from the kitchen
• Get someone to look after your debit card
• Ask yourself if you are hungry
This is legitimate advice that I have found on the internet. *face palm*
Now believe it or not I’m not here to shame anyone who is sharing these kind of tips! They are well meaning suggestions and I know people have good intentions. But it’s not going to cut it and I’m here to help you understand why.
If you experience binge eating, you need to know this. You might have tried the suggested tactics above only to feel like a failure.
But it’s not you who is failing. It’s the approach that is failing you.
(Much like how we think it’s us who fail diets, not the actual truth of diets failing us.)
Tips like the above fail you for three reasons:
1. They are surface level.
The advice above suggests that binge eating is just a random unpleasant behaviour that needs controlling. You need to look deeper. Binge eating isn’t a problem, it’s a symptom.
2. Distraction contributes to binge eating.
Painting your nails or doing a puzzle is a bandaid. Since binge eating is a symptom, it has a message for you. Lean in and listen to what that message is. When you don’t? It comes back again and again until you pay attention.
3. They suggest binge eating is a choice you’re making.
You don’t have a choice in binging. We’re talking about industrial strength overeating here. In that moment, you don’t get to decide to stop. (You know that. So let go of beating yourself up with that quick smart.) You’ve got to look at the bigger picture if you want to overcome binge eating, instead of trying to attack it in the moment.
So when you feel a binge coming on, what can you do instead?
I’m sharing my 3 game changing tips for overcoming binge eating in my latest mini guide – which I’m gifting to you!
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