As part of my goal to help 1,000,000 Australians survive, thrive and where possible get off Centrelink, I have some experts providing articles and tips to help you. Today I have Ana Brooks who is a speaker, writer and transformational coach inspiring people to quit their BS and excuses and create a lifestyle by design – not by default.
When I tell people that I secretly binge ate for a decade of my life, most are either shocked or suddenly feel able to be honest about their own struggles.
And there is a reason why this is the case – binge eating, emotional eating or overeating (and other forms of self-sabotage including oversleeping, alcohol or drugs, procrastinating, shopping, binge watching TV shows…) is more common than most people are aware – and it is because it is so secretive and shrouded in so much private shame.
Until I opened up about my issue – no one including my closest friends, family and even my partner – knew what was going on.
I was ashamed to be a Personal Trainer and the image of health and fitness – and yet have absolutely no control over my ability to stop myself from binging.
It is important to understand that self-sabotage through emotional eating has two coinciding issues that need to be dealt with: the physiological/nutritional side, and also the emotional/psychology side.
LET’S START WITH THE NUTRITION STUFF
When we binge or emotional eat it tends not to be on nutritious vegetables but rather on processed, heavily chemical, and heavily sugary and fatty foods. Think pizza, burgers, fish and chips, cookies, ice cream, chocolate…
The effect that this has on our body is that it puts it into such a state of stress that even when we desperately WANT to stop binge eating, we are physical HOOKED on sugar in a similar way that our body can become hooked on drugs or the nicotine in cigarettes.
It has very addictive properties in our body!
One of the most effective ways I have taught many of my clients to begin fixing the physical issue is through what I call “add to it”.
This means, rather than putting you on a diet and telling you to “cut out all this food” ( because when has that ever worked long term right?), I actually ask you to ADD food in – as in you can still eat all the other food you want, but you have to eat this stuff FIRST.
These foods on a daily basis include at least two 100-150gram servings of a lean meat like chicken breast, 2-4 whole eggs, and 3 full cups of vegetables (salad and spinach leaves need to be at least 2 chunky handfuls to count!).
The reasoning behind this is that firstly foods like eggs and meat are filling because they are full of protein and fats ( fat as a NUTRIENT as opposed to the FAT on your body is NOT your enemy, in fact, it’s your best friend!) and vegetables are also full of fibre which keeps you full and also a multitude of nutrients that your body is probably severely lacking if snacking and bingeing on junk food has become your norm.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MINDSET
I am going to say something that is probably going to shock you –
You ARE NOT eating FOOD when you binge and over eat.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Want to know what you are actually eating?
Have you ever felt like you have “checked out” when you are overeating?
Like something else has taken over your body and you aren’t even really there, you are not really concentrating on the food (maybe the TV is on etc) and YET you are almost CONSUMED by your need to shovel this food in your mouth!
No – I’m not secretly spying on you – I just KNOW this feeling SO WELL because it was a daily occurrence for me for many years.
So let me tell you the thing that I wish I had known all those years ago – you are not just eating your emotions – you are trying to numb them.
In other words – you are trying to escape from FEELING an UNCOMFORTABLE and SCARY emotion.
Food has an amazing SEDATIVE effect – think back to one of your binges or even a big family Christmas dinner – and that HAZY, FULL and PEACEFUL feeling that you have when you are SO STUFFED.
THAT FEELING is what you are chasing to escape from the one that scares you.
For everyone it may be different – it could be stress, worry, anger, sadness, loneliness, frustration, anxiety….take your pick!
BUT WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO –
Is that you are AVOIDING feeling that emotion by STUFFING IT DOWN with food. And then you feel guilty and ashamed of yourself, beat yourself up and make yourself feel worse – and once again you FEEL BAD –
So to avoid it —
You turn to FOOD.
Do you see what I mean here? It’s a constant loop.
The only way to put a stop to it, to finally BREAK this cycle – is to FACE that emotion and ALLOW yourself to feel it! It is not as scary as you think – but it may have some scary realisations for you to face.
Like that maybe you are NOT living up to your potential. Or that you have made choices that have led you to be living a life that feels totally NOT right for you and you feel so out of control in your own life that you SEARCH for that control and safety in the one thing that is ALWAYS there for you – food.
But until you face that emotion – and ALL the messy realisations that come from it, you will stay stuck in that loop.
YOU have the power to break out of it – by CLAIMING that you will NOT run away from the scary emotions but that you will TUNE IN to them, feel them, acknowledge them, and let them guide you towards the life that you TRULY want to create –
One that doesn’t make you want to HIDE and SABOTAGE – one that you are truly proud and EXCITED about!
Living your life on purpose 🙂
Ana Brooks is the leading speaker, writer and transformational coach inspiring people to quit their BS and excuses and create a lifestyle by design – not by default. She knows transformation comes from the inside out – and that your greatest achievement will always be to Live Life on Purpose!
For a free report to crush cravings head to www.anabrooks.com.au/crush-cravings or to really overcome your emotional eating/binge eating Ana has a paid program here.