You’ve heard us say here at EveryBODYdiet that it’s not about the food. We are now going to begin to unpack what might be driving the thing you most fear: binge behavior. If that’s not about the food, what is it?
Some people like to call that emotional eating and label it a bad thing. Some like to make specific foods the demon and make heroic attempts to avoid them. Only to find themselves face down in a pie and beating themselves up for being so weak.
Breaking free from diet mentality is not a quick fix hit-and-run event. The path to Intuitive Eating begins with small steps that don’t freak out your nervous system. The first step is noticing the ridiculous diet culture we are all swimming in. It is everywhere - in us and around us.
The second step is deciding you don’t want to diet or feel shame around food or your body any longer. Our diet programming tells us the solution is to eat cleaner and work out harder. We are here to suggest a better albeit counter-culture solution.
Are you tuned in to your body’s cues, signals and language? Intuitive eating was developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Riesch as a response to dieting culture. It is defined by a simple philosophy: Listen to your Body and do what makes YOU feel good.
Feeling out of control with food never feels good to anybody. But the solution is not to restrict it. The solution is to lean in and love it.
I know you’re scared. I get it. I was too. Let me show you how this works.
Imagine for a moment one food you have placed off limits because you don’t feel you can be trusted alone with it. You know what I mean. You can’t stop yourself at just one. Or three. In fact, you can’t atop thinking about it as long as it’s in the house.
You manage to avoid temptation by not having it in the house, or not going where it may be served, or trying to fill your belly with approved foods, or drinking copious amounts of water hoping to fend off the desire.
When you succumb - either in public or in private, another stage kicks in. It’s called self-shaming. I call it the bully in your brain. It calls you names for being weak, or batters you with mental assault and verbal abuse. It resorts to name calling and body shaming. You feel beaten down, defeated, fat, lazy, weak-willed, insufficient, and unworthy.
Sound familiar? Would you let anyone speak to you or about you the way that relentless inner bully does? Probably not. So the question is how do we break the self-shaming cycle? It’s not about taking the offending food out. It’s about stopping the offending voices.
But how? One food experience at a time.
If Doritos are the thing you can’t control, buy 3 bags to make sure you don’t run out, Fire the food police, and give yourself full permission to eat and enjoy as much and as often as you wish.
Aargh! I can hear you screaming from here. Please give yourself the gift of opening your mind to the possibility I’m about to present.
When you get to the last bag, buy 3 more just to really affirm that you can always have them whenever you want. It’s okay. Understand that you may eat a whole bag at first because you have walking the tightrope of restriction and craving for so long. Trust the process. Make this a 2-week trial, one food at a time.
This is called habituation. Only after the “forbidden fruit” effect wears off can you move into attunement with your body and differentiate what foods you truly enjoy. You will feel suddenly satisfied and free of food cravings. This is not theory - I have lived it.
Unless people are fully committed to breaking the diet cycle, though, they will only do a limited trial and scare themselves because they didn’t become habituated by the end of the first bag. True Intuitive eating bring peace to body, mind, soul and spirit.
It’s worth a try, don’t you think?
Kim Halsey, MA