Tips to Overcome Binge Eating
1. Find moments of peace. I made an effort to start each day with a positive mantra: “I have the strength to honor and respect my body. I have the strength to not turn to food for comfort.” Taking some time to direct my thoughts to a positive place, to something that provided a source of strength, helped me to begin overcoming such struggles.
2. Realize your worth. When I conceived my daughter Makenzie and realized that the actions I took no longer only impacted myself, I found new motivation to care for my body by not binging. I was an example to her. Now, I also see the impact I can have on others through sharing my story and blogging. Focusing on your strengths and the impact you have can on others can motivate you to care for yourself even more.
3. Look at the bigger picture. If you were given a diagnosis of one month to live, would you really worry so much about your body? Who approaches their death bed wishing to weigh 10 pounds less, showcase a perkier booty or have flatter abs? Trying to restrict food to achieve such goals does not satisfy us because it is not what matters in life. Therefore, we feel empty physically and emotionally. Fill yourself emotionally with the important facets of life, and you likely will find less desire for the emotional eating.
4. Lose the rules and embrace the fear. I used to have so many food rules. Once I stopped listing foods as “good” or “bad” and opened myself up to everything, food had less power over me. I admit that when I “allowed” myself to eat anything, I did go overboard at first. Too many people find themselves in that situation and then don’t believe they will ever stop. Embrace that fear, and believe you will find balance. After a short time, I realized I didn’t care for many of the things on which I used to binge. I craved healthy staples and could satisfy myself with reasonable portions of my favorite treats. Food no longer had the control.
5. Don’t give up. The above is not to say that after a few weeks time I no longer faced binges. I still had numerous occasions pop up where stress would get to me, and I would suddenly find myself digging into a jar of peanut butter or grabbing a box of sweets from the bakery, despite a lack of hunger. Instead of trying to “make up for it” by restricting myself the next day or loading on the cardio, I told myself it was okay. I reminded myself it’s a process and picked up with normal living right away. I adopted a meal-by-meal mantra and knew one setback didn’t make me a failure.
6. Find other distractions. To this day, I still occasionally have the urge to binge. Sometimes the emotions, stress and fatigue of a day present too much a challenge to face and evaluate right away. When that happens, I find other ways to comfort myself instead of food. Things like blog reading, household tasks, going for a run or watching some mindless TV always help.
7. Make healthy living fun. Finally, finding a way to love healthy living made a big difference in overcoming my binge tendencies. I took a long, hard look at what exercise inspired me and left me with that natural high. Now, I happily work out, lifting weights, running and taking spinning classes because they excite me. I made an effort to make eating fun. I don’t feel deprived when eating things like Lemon Raspberry Muffins, BBQ Wraps, flavorful salads, huge bowls of oats, healthy “ice cream” and Chocolate Covered Strawberry smoothies.
Plus, I keep in mind that I don’t have to eat “perfectly.” I focus on eating these things 80 percent of the time and make room to enjoy other favorites (I have a killer sweet tooth!) the rest of the time—guilt free. If you get anything out of this post, please know that you don’t have to continue with food struggles. Believe in yourself each and every day. Your body deserves the best you can give it.
And you have the power. You deserve happiness. Take it. —Tina Reale
Tina Reale blogs at Faith Fitness Fun where she hopes to inspire with open and honest posts on a variety of topics. A stay-at-home mother of two, she shares her life in order to show a balanced, healthy lifestyle is not only achievable…but also fun. Stop by and say hello!