My Binge Eating Recovery Story
Do you need binge eating help or a roadmap to binge eating recovery?
I used to binge eat almost every day, eating 3,000 calories or more. Food had an incredible amount of power over me. I won’t go over how it got to that place in this blog, but you can hear my story in my TEDx talk. But I’ll tell you how I got out and now have the healthiest relationship with food that I’ve ever had.
In this blog, I am sharing the exact steps I followed to stop binge eating, and overeating, and ultimately recover from my binge eating disorder. This is my step-by-step binge eating disorder recovery story.
1. Introduced Fear Foods To Start Binge Eating Recovery
This sounds counter-intuitive (but it’s not). Basically, for six months I introduced foods I was afraid of eating. For me, this involved keeping peanut butter in the house and having a small spoon every day. Moreover, I started having bread in the morning (every day). Also, I kept chocolate and cakes in the house – in order to eat them when I wanted. I focussed on eating regularly, eating snacks, and listening to hunger cues… I basically followed the balanced diet framework I teach and talk about which has helped so many of my clients. (Check out more on the Balanced Diet Framework here)
SEEING FOOD AS FOOD
Ultimately, the aim was to see this food as normal food, rather than ‘bad food’ that only made me want it more. This process works WITH psychology. Because when we are ‘allowed’ to have something – suddenly we don’t want it! We are reclaiming our power back. So with time, my mind began to relax and feel calm around these foods.
As you can imagine, this whole process was scary and confusing. I did freak out a little bit. However, I kept breathing through the fear. I focussed on the end goal and trusted it would get easier with time (and it did). Essentially, I became at ease and peaceful eating a variety of food.
2. Avoid Body Checking
This meant throwing out the scales! I stopped measuring myself. I stopped checking my body size and shape constantly (yes, I used to do this). Of course, I still looked in the mirror to check if my clothes were fitting ok. But, I didn’t stand naked in front of the mirror and criticize and hate on myself.
3. Stop Waiting For Weight Loss and Focus On Recovery
I stopped waiting for the ‘perfect size’ or ‘perfect body’ to live my life. I started wearing clothes that I loved and felt good in. Because when I felt good, I noticed I treated myself differently. I saw the world differently. Ultimately, instead of ‘waiting’ for the ideal perfection (does that even exist?) I did everything I loved.
SO WHAT DID I DO?
I ate food I loved, I did activities I loved (yoga and dance). Also, I reconnected with friends and family and opened up and shared my experiences. Because in my darkest moments struggling with eating I disconnected from them (but this made my disorder worse as shame intensified).
I didn’t focus on my weight. But I slowly lost all my weight (that I gained from binge eating) within a year. I did not diet. I was eating food that I needed to eat, and lost weight because I stopped binge eating and overeating. I learned to reconnect with my hunger again. My body had the chance to get back to its optimal weight naturally.
5. Exercise when recovering from an eating disorder
During this period I was not exercising with the aim to change my body. However, I naturally enjoy movement so I was doing yoga, dancing, cycling, and long hikes. I did the exercise that felt nourishing to me and made me feel good. I suggest avoiding excessive exercise if you are focusing on weight or body size. But choose a movement style that feels joyful!
Only after 5 years, I joined a formal gym again. And even then I was nervous it would trigger old thought patterns. But, I asked for a week trial and actually ended up joining.
6. Understanding Binge Eating Triggers
My road to recovery involved becoming conscious of what actually triggered my binge eating and emotional eating. For me, my triggers were constant body checking, wanting to change my shape, and food restrictions. I realized that my disordered eating behaviours were actually exacerbating my negative relationship with food. Once I identified those (I reached out for support), I learned to avoid or eliminate my triggers and used strategies when I felt triggered.
STOP ONLINE PROGRAM (SOLVE THE OVER EATING PUZZLE)
These 6 steps are covered in my online self-study program (STOP). I designed it based on my own experience and the results of my clients. It walks you step-by-step, to address your individual binge eating disorder symptoms. In the program you will:
- First, identify triggers (what is causing your difficult relationship with food?)
- Second, learn how to manage binge eating urges (how to cope in hard times of stress and anxiety)
- Third: know exactly how to eat to reduce food cravings and overeating urges (so food can become ‘just food’ whilst weight can optimize naturally)
- Finally, set a plan for permanent change (rewire your brain to remove overeating and binge eating from your thinking)
Binge Eating Disorder Support
If you are after binge eating disorder treatment or strategies for long-term change, I suggest reaching out for support. You will recover much faster that way as they can support you to identify your own individual triggers and put strategies in place for long-term change. You can feel in control of food and live a joy-filled life. Ultimately, when I started doing things that brought me joy, I didn’t need food anymore (because my life was already full!) I wish this for you. (For more about my eating disorder and life after recovery, check out this blog.)
HELPING PEOPLE WITH EATING DISORDERS IN NEW ZEALAND
I am an Eating Psychology Coach based in New Zealand but provide support nationally and internationally. Please reach out if you need support (I also do free strategy calls to see how I can help you). Book your call HERE.
Love, Eugenia x
Schedule your FREE Discovery Call
On this 60-75 minutes call, we will:
- Identify your challenges, your history and your goals.
- Assess the best approach to stop overeating, food cravings, binge eating and emotional eating.
- Create a plan to achieve your food and body goals in an effective and sustainable way.
- At the end, we will decide whether we are a good fit to work together to get you from where you are right now to where you want to be.