Lets start to break down your restrict/binge pattern + heal you relationship with food. Time to dive in!
After years of restricting carbs/ “bad diabetes food” in college, I eventually swung to the opposite side. Once I got to the point of allowing myself to have a piece of bread or a bite of a bagel here and there, I found it extremely hard to only have a bite of a doughnut, or half a bagel, or a single piece of chocolate. I needed the WHOLE DAMN THING.
It was like all the suppression of the past came flooding back to bite me. I knew instantly that once the “bad” food touched my lips, the flood gates were open and there was no turning back.
From a psych standpoint, I subconsciously was afraid that in those moments I thought i’d never be able to have those foods again. I felt the need to eat and consume until i was uncomfortably full, and my blood sugars suffered as a result.
What is interesting with some people I see who are very Type A/ Achievement based is as soon as they feel like they’ve failed with moderation, they self sabotage and continue to eat they emotions. This then leads to more more feelings of failure and the cycle goes on and onnnnn, repeating itself.
The biggest problem I see is people trying to fix this problem with more “will power/more restriction ”. The most success you WILL have is not through that, but when you instead reframe your thoughts around the food. It’s worked really well for myself and my clients and I’m happy to share this exercise with you.
HERE ARE THREE WAYS TO REFRAME YOUR THOUGHTS AROUND FOOD:
- Thought #1: I can have this food whenever i want, it’s always available to me. (this one helps fix the scarcity mindset…that you have to eat it now because you won’t be able to/won’t allow yourself to eat it in the future).
- Thought #2: If i choose to eat this food I am going to be present and enjoy it! ( this one helps if the stress and guilt of eating it causes you to then eat more of it)
- Thought #3: I recognize i am craving this food because i’m stressed/anxious/tired/thirsty. Let me try to fix the underlying problem first and if i still want it after, I can totally have it. (this one helps identify the root case. we don’t just eat when we’re hungry. food is widely available to us and we’ve been taught to use it as a tool to soothe ourselves. by using this mindset shift, you not only give yourself the opportunity to try and soothe yourself in another way, ex. a bath, tea, walk, call a friend, but you only temporarily put a hold on the food. This is key because after you soothe yourself another way, you won’t be as likely to binge on the food)
I would love to do more posts on relationship with food so let me know what things you’re working through below/ future posts you’d like to see!