Does this ever happen to you, beautiful?
You’re really good all week and you allow yourself a cheat day. On that day, you pretty much consume enough calories to last a whole week. You can’t stop, it tastes so good! Next thing you know you’ve taken a trip to the grocery store and purchased a carton of ice cream, cookies, chips, and sour gummy worms. Your sunday then consists of sitting on the couch for hours while you finish every last single bit of food you bought. Followed by feeling totally guilty and sick.
You’re really good for two to three weeks. Eating absolutely no junk food or sugar! You’re feeling amazing, you are so proud of yourself. You even feel skinnier. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe this time you’ll be able to stick with this diet and keep feeling great. Not one drop of “bad” food has touched your lips in weeks. Then it happens, you’ve been good, you deserve to have that one bowl of cereal, or maybe that one bagel in the break room. You have it. Wow, it’s never tasted so good. Well you know, one more won’t hurt, oh well. But you can’t get enough! You find yourself unable to pull away from food the next few days! What is wrong with you, you feel like you have no self-control, you’re a hopeless cause, you’ll never be able to eat healthy and have the body you want.
You have a food festival coming up or maybe it’s a friends birthday. You know you’re going to have amazing hard to resist food in front of you! Probably food that you wouldn’t normally eat, but love. So you decide to not eat lunch or breakfast that day and wait until the occasion to eat. When you get there you literally can’t stop! It tastes so good. Everything is delicious, especially the dessert, but you can’t stop thinking about how bad it is to be eating this food, about how much it’s going to kill you. Ugh. You’re going to have to exercise really hard tomorrow or start a cleanse tomorrow. You can’t understand why you have such a problem with sweets. There must be something wrong with me. I must be addicted to sugar.
On a weekly basis we chat with women about what they’re dealing with when it comes to their eating habits. It’s almost overwhelming how often we hear women talk about the eating binges they experience daily, weekly, or monthly that throw them into a deep dark hole of hating themselves.
So desperately wanting to believe if they just cut out all sugar or never have chips or could just keep themselves under control they would feel better about themselves and be happy. That’s how they feel when they are succeeding at their diet, it just doesn’t last.
Whether they want to lose weight or not they experience a tremendous amount of guilt and self-loathing that can last hours, days, or weeks! They feel like they have a serious problem.
If this sounds like you, you must know that there is nothing wrong with your willpower or your self-control. You don’t actually have uncontrollable eating habits. You don’t need to feel worthless, hopeless or frustrated with yourself.
All it takes is shifting your mindset. Food has become a question of morality for you. Like you’re a horrible person if you have candy. You’re a good if you eat “healthy” and your bad if you eat anything not on your diet plan.
You have this thought that food is bad. No sugar, no junk food, and no processed food! You think that eating one cupcake or having sugar is going to kill you. It’s going to make you gain 5 pounds. The truth is that having a cupcake every once in while is not going to make you gain weight, but regular binge eating can keep you from reaching your ideal weight.
You binge because you have this fear that you’ll never have it again or not for a long time. It makes these foods more attractive. When you finally allow yourself to indulge in it, it’s like you’ve received a gift from the heavens. You put this food on a pedestal, it even tastes better because you’re not supposed to have it.
The truth is that the self-loathing thoughts you have because you’ve eaten a “forbidden food” is exactly what perpetuates the binge cycle. It has you say screw it, whatever, I’m not worth it, I’m going to keep eating this way.
This is why saying no to sugar or any food is not the answer.
When you give yourself unconditional permission to eat and just say “yes, I can have sugar" or "I will allow myself to indulge in any food and it’s not going to kill me" you actually allow yourself a choice to decide if you really want it. It doesn’t have the lure of a forbidden food. You don’t have to give up, feel bad and say forget it the diet is over and I’m going to just eat like crazy.
Remind yourself constantly of these two things:
Indulging in delicious food does not make me feel guilty or gain weight, but binge eating can.
Forbidding myself from foods makes them uncontrollably desirable, so I won’t forbid myself.
Continuously ask yourself, am I hungry? Do I want these food because it would taste good? Or do I want it because I shouldn't have it? These simple reminders over time will shift your eating habits over time.
These aren’t the only mindset shifts you can make to have more freedom with food! There are many others that can make a tremendous difference when it comes to your eating habits. We teach women these exact mindset shifts in our Eat For Love Course. To free women from their binge eating cycles.
Interested in knowing more about our course or working with us? Set up a discovery call with us and find out if it’s a good fit for you. Or do you know someone in your life who would benefit from this article? Please pass it along! Every woman should be able to enjoy food, love herself, and have the confidence to pursue her dreams.
Hannah and Marisa