For those who have read my blog for a while, you already know that when I used to diet, I was constantly in a cycle of eating what my diet deemed “clean foods”, counting my calories, and losing weight, but then giving in and bingeing on all of the foods that I had been depriving myself of. I would eat something that I told myself was “bad” and then from there just binge out, telling myself I would start over the next day. It was exhausting, shame-inducing, and not how I wanted my future to look like. That’s when I discovered Intuitive Eating, and my life changed. The bingeing didn’t stop overnight, but the more I started eating intuitively and listening to my body and her needs, the binge eating stopped over time. In addition to intuitive eating, here are five things I started doing that stopped my binge eating for good!
1. I allowed myself to eat the foods that I used to deprive myself of
As I mentioned, I deprived myself of so many of my favorite foods when I dieted. When I made the decision to stop dieting, some of you may remember my petite treats that I used to have every night. I loved these because I was eating exactly what I wanted, but in a “petite” amount so that I didn’t feel the need to binge or get overly stuffed. I would get out my cute, small dessert bowl, make a treat of my choice, and then sit at the table while enjoying each bite. This was quite different than standing over the sink, eating food that I barely tasted! My assistant still has her petite treat each night with a small bowl of full fat ice cream, especially in the summertime.
2. I started implementing more of the things I loved doing, even when I didn’t feel my most confident
For so long, I avoided doing the things I loved because I had either “messed up” my diet, didn’t feel confident enough in my body that day, or kept telling myself that when I am X size I will start doing things I love. When I made the shift to just doing things that I loved, the desire to binge went away. I was filling my “primary foods” bucket, so the need for food to fill that emotional void diminished. I began saying yes to more friend outings, started going to Church, began blogging (who remembers Healthy Hits the Spot?), taking pictures, and overall became more present. This shift helped so much in learning not only what fills me up, but also how connected our mind and body truly are. This connection taught me that the more fulfilled I am in my life, the less focused I am on food.
3. I set boundaries with myself and others
Setting boundaries has been so important in my growth both personally and professionally. When I was in the diet-binge cycle, I would do things that I thought would make myself or others happy, but knew that it wouldn’t leave me fulfilled. For example, I started setting boundaries with others regarding diet talk. If diet talk came up in the conversation, I would politely ask if we could change the topic, as I wanted our conversations to be uplifting of one another and toward ourselves. At first it was awkward, but now I am completely comfortable asking that of others!
4. I became closer with God and grew in my spirituality
This was probably the most important factor in my journey to Intuitive Eating and away from dieting and binge eating. You can read about my faith and church experience here, but having a higher power who I know loves me no matter what truly changed my mindset around my body. No matter who you choose to worship, having that higher power to look to for guidance is so important to live a fulfilled life.
5. I asked myself what I needed each day
Similar to setting boundaries with myself, I also took the time to ask myself what I needed each day. Was it a walk outside? A dinner with a girlfriend? Binge watching my favorite Netflix series? Whatever my body said I needed, I honored that. Becoming in tune with my body and her needs made her feel safe, taken care of, and more confident in my everyday actions. Once my body knew I was going to take care of her, the need to binge lessened because I was no longer in deprivation mode.
I hope this post was so helpful, and that today you’ll walk away from reading this with more permission, less restriction, and will feel excited to ENJOY your food! I hope all of these things will result in you being able to think of food less, and enjoy your life MORE.