Binge and Over eating: Tips and tricks to embrace an authentic connection with your food!
Stop and think about why you eat? Why do you reach for something? Is it hunger, boredom, an element to help sedate or enhance an emotion, or are you simply consuming for the sake of consumption?
Finding the balance in a world where we are told what, how and when to eat, (which changes about every two seconds), no reason we find it so difficult to fully embrace a diet all our own! My advice for you.. is simply that in itself, make it your own! Aspiring to another’s diet or simply copying their eating habits hoping for the same results is exactly like changing your appearance to copy another’s, in the hope to look exactly the same, it will never happen. We can take elements in which we think or know will benefit us, encouraging certain positive habits that make us feel good, embracing them whole heartedly for our own personal niche and needs, to fit in and become aware of what does and doesn’t work for us personally.
Loosing a disconnect with the simple attributes of eating, going into depriving then having a mind set of not having enough, I would eat for satisfaction, then when that satisfaction was never (long lasting) met I would go into an element of fear for consuming said food. Creating the reverse to un-do the “damage” I had just placed upon myself! Looking back now I wonder how I could have ever done that to myself. We all know the feeling, you’re food arrives, you have the smells of the aroma, it looks great and then 3,2,1 we are chowing down, next minute your food is gone before you even fully note the process of tasting, chewing and digesting.
When we over eat, we are usually never satisfied, which leads to consuming something else when are already full, which then leads to apprehension and anxiety of “What did I just do, I’m so full”! It’s that never ending cycle of emotional disconnect of our present moments in which we connect to food to fill the void. Does this resonate with you?
Our culture is dictated around amazing food, beverages (a couple cocktails or 10) and the social aspect in which food and drink provides us. It’s hard to say no to cocktails with the girls or beers with the boys, you don’t have to say No to going, but say No to yourself on the amount in which you ‘actually need’ to consume. “Do I need all of this right now? Will this benefit me tomorrow? How will I feel after I continue on this pattern that I know doesn’t sit right with me”
The ability to say the simple word “no” without creating a mindset of depriving allows you to be content with what you have in front of you, knowing that you set yourself a task of acknowledging your threshold, being able to show up, be social, have a bite to eat as well as a drink, building confidence in what You personally need, not anyone else. Commit to yourself kindly and the rest will follow suit.
Note your thought process and feelings: Ask yourself and see if you can identify common threads for when you reach for certain food or beverages. Is it during times of stress, sadness, happiness.. note it! What can you identify within your own habits, not anyone else’s but yours? Can you see the common thread? How can you begin to change your routines of satisfaction from the external to building satisfaction on an internal fore front?
This was something I began to become aware of. Building a mindfulness practice of noting and exploring the meaning of my feelings when ever they were present, I began to realise I would binge at the back end of depriving, at the back end of belittling myself, my appearance, my self worth, not realising I was filling a void of satisfaction that I couldn’t find personally within my present. Taste became my fix and un-doing the process became my high, this coupled together was not the best, it became a long road of changing my mindset from depriving, to thriving within my present. How did I fix this you ask? I began to understand what my body needed, stuck to what I knew I could have rather that placing so much worry and fear about what I can’t have. Make it simple for yourself, make it nourishing! Find your happy point (more on that later).
What are your habits? Are they timely? Depriving? Calorie or portion counted? Or are they simply consumed without even realising you are consuming them? This whole process is about building as well as creating an awareness from within to create better habits without! Get Honest: I want you to write down 3 things that you tend to over consume, with that item I want you to see if you can connect a certain emotion with them: For example: Identification is the first point of connection, this connection is the first step to create change within your routines.
Smoothie Bowl = Happy and Motivated
Choc Chip Cookies: Multiple when I’m anxious
Alcohol: When I'm both happy and stressed
Why binge? The most common thread that I not only noticed with myself during my binge eating stage as well as with my clients I work with on a daily basis, comes down simply to; having food so readily available we don’t know what it is like to be without, we are always looking for that quick fix without actually delving into the aspect of why we consume more than we actually need.
We are connecting to the taste and satisfactory element of eating rather than the nourishing purposes in which our food provides. In no way am I saying, don’t ever buy that bucket of ice cream or your favourite cookies again! But to simply create a mindset of “I will always have enough”. Creating this mindset when ever you eat, allows your brain to program and say “I don’t need to create worry about finishing the whole tub right now, I can have more later.. I will always have enough”. Taking this mindset not only in connection with food but every element in life, creates authentic satisfaction for what we have, keep it simple!
Emotional Eating: We all know what this looks like, we see it in the movies, chocolate is related to happiness, sadness of a break up as well as an aspect of romance, with this also comes sugar! Like any habit forming ingredient that enhances our current mental state, this can become compulsive but never long lived, it is more of a fleeting emotional state. Just like any addictive habit we find a sense of satisfaction within an element of said personal habit, that we know if we repeat, can enhance our current feelings in some way, shape or form. So in turn we repeat, repeat and repeat the habit, sound familiar?
My weakness became sweets, even healthy (Vegan, Organic, sugar, dairy and gluten free) sweets, in my mind this was alright, but over indulging still created that fear. It was never about eating for nourishing, I was still eating to fill a void, with elements that I considered healthy. I could’ve been eating what ever I wanted as I was still “un-doing” the process, de-valuing what one or two bites could provide me instead of never feeling content after a tub of Almond Milk Caramel Ice Cream or whole packet of Raw Chocolate bliss balls. I couldn't find content in my present so I still tried to fill this with food.
Find your Happy Point and fuel yourself with that! Think of your favourite food.. how does it make you feel? With that what is your weakness? Is it the same thing? How do you feel after you consume said food or drink? If your answer is good, content and happy with resulting positive body and lifestyle habits, then amazing stick with that! If your answer is sluggish, anxious because I know it doesn’t make me feel good, rather angry at myself for consuming too much, or “I know I could’ve picked something better for myself” don’t belittle or judge yourself on this, become aware of what you are telling yourself and make the commitment to swapping it up.
With any form of binging comes the ability to create change, to fuel ourselves with simple wholesome foods we know are good for us. My happy point came when I found foods I no longer feared, had apprehension or had anxiety pre or post consumption. This was in the form of natural, whole foods, knowing that what I was putting into my body, wasn’t causing damage to my insides as well as my mindset. I created a connection to my food all my own, finding content with this I also began to find honest content in most other aspects in my life. Take the pressure off and make life easier for yourself.
If you are struggling with binge eating just remember:
Build your awareness: notice what you are over consuming and the accompanied present emotion
Give yourself the ability to say No to certain situations that you know will fuel the habit without depriving yourself
Find your happy point and explore what works for you!
Keep it mindful, keep it nourishing! Remember to tell yourself “I will always have enough”.
Practice elements of mindful eating, build a relationship of exploring the simplicities of the process of eating, get to know your food to get to know yourself.
If you’re having troubles with binge or deprived eating habits, my Coaching Programs are catered around changing and engaging a positive mindset with the way your treat your body. We will get clear on what it is you want to change, create and achieve in your life, focusing on the most holistic and simple steps to get there! Follow the link below to get in touch, I would love to work with you. Much love and health, Sammie x