Before you can find a solution to binge eating, you have to understand what the problem actually is. In my last article I wrote about understanding why you can’t stop binging.
The solution to binge eating:
So, now you know what’s at the root of your binge eating. So what’s the solution?
At the risk of sounding totally woo woo and cliche, it looks like love.
Broadly, the solution looks like radical self-love, forgiveness, compassion and acceptance. It looks like surrendering all fear of any “bad” part of ourselves and making room for wholeness.
It looks like increasing our capacity to tenderly nurture and love ourselves.
The solution involves stopping our inner dictator’s attempts to beat down our inner “punishable offender” and our attempt to avoid our internal experiences.
It means replacing the belief system of “it’s necessary for me to be upset with and punish myself in order for me to improve,” with beliefs like: ”The more joyful I am, the healthier I am,” “Dissatisfaction with my body doesn’t motivate me as much as gratitude and inspiration,” and “I welcome the experience of pleasure and fullness in my body.”
Shame ≠ happiness
I see so many people adopting a “commitment to health” from a place of fear, insecurity, guilt and/or shame.
But shame does not lead to happiness. Fear does not lead to abundance. Guilt does not lead to acceptance. Insecurity does not lead to motivation.
We need to step out of the world of right and wrong when we think about food and our bodies. Caring about our health is not the “right” thing to do.
There is no objective rule book of the universe that definitively states “good people eat X amount of calories in a day, weigh X amount and eat X type of foods.” It is actually totally and completely fine to not give a rat’s arse about your health.
Eating more than your body “needs” in order to function optimally does not in any way make you a bad or less valuable person.
In fact, caring about health just in order to look good or prove that we’re good enough is, to me, entirely uninspiring and egotistical.
A commitment to our health should not come from the need to prove anything to anyone, but rather, from an inspiring reason why.
Just like it doesn’t matter if there’s gas in a car that isn’t going anywhere, health is only valuable when it is going to help us fulfill on our greater commitments.
We often get into a mindset of believing that we need to reach a certain health-destination before we are allowed to focus on our bigger commitments. Like making a difference in the world. But really, the inspiration to be authentically committed to our health comes from our greater commitments.
We need to remind ourselves that there is a world of a difference between “there is something wrong with me that I have to fix” and “there is nothing wrong with me, and I’m inspired by the possibility of committing myself to my health.”
Repeat after me: it is never necessary for me to be upset with myself or where I’m at in order for me to be inspired to create what I want.
Completely give up the idea that the harder you are on yourself, the better results you will produce. Find a vision for the world that inspires you—and then, live in alignment with that. No negative self-talk necessary or shame. No self judgements. And o self-inflicted punishments.
Just a loving vision for the world.
Nonviolent communication teaches that when we get past moralistic judgements of rightness and wrongness, we can step into a radically different way of judging. We can begin asking “is this behavior serving life?” rather than, “do I deserve to be rewarded or punished?”
Binge Eating is Not the enemy
We need to altogether get past the kind of thinking that leads us to see enemies. And begin to understand that punishment is a losing game and reinforces the notion that violence is a way of getting what we want.
Remember that food is not an enemy. Binge eating is not the enemy.
Our bodies (no matter what they look like) are not enemies. Emotions (no matter what they feel like) are not enemies.
Then, we can set boundaries around food as an act of service and self compassion rather than punishment.