This one goes out to all those who have a love/hate relationship with food.
And all of those who have a battle with ANY kinda addiction — because the lessons I’m about to tell you in this post, can be applied to absolutely anything.
Are you ready to get down to the nitty gritty side of being present with your feelings? Lets go…
Whatever type of addiction you have (or someone has), there always comes a moment when you want to stab it with a steak in the heart and put an end to it…
And one of the most common ways that people begin to ‘put an end’ an addiction, is with distractions.
Now I’m going to talk all about ‘eating disorders’ here, but even if you don’t suffer from a battle with food, I’m inviting you to put this into context for whatever it is you find yourself distracting yourself from.
Binge eating, corruptive eating, restrictive eating, over-eating, whatever you want to call it… many of us will go through a period of finding ways to replace it with something else.
That something else being:
- Taking a warm bath
- Calling a friend
- Going for a long walk
- Taking a nap
- Watching a movie
- Playing your Xbox
The list goes onnnnnn…
And while that distraction may feel good for a moment, and like you’re getting somewhere, this ‘replacement’ technique often backfires.
How I know this? Because I’ve been there a MILLION times, and now I’m over it.
The food no longer rules me, I rule the food.
And because I’ve gone through the bad, the ugly and the good times with my food relationship — I wanted to share my insights on this subject, because if there’s one thing I’m certain of when it comes to having an ‘ED’… We use distractions, and we spend a lotta time inventing methods to numb ourselves out from what’s really going on inside.
A lot of the time when dealing with stress, or feelings of discomfort, we want to turn to something easy and familiar — and why wouldn’t we if we know that, that something ‘easy and familiar’ will avoid us experiencing something unpleasant?
If you asked me what I used to turn to as my ‘safety blanket’ it would’ve been going to Karate for 3 hours at a time, taking a long walk with my Dog with my iPod, playing a podcast all about the topic of eating disorders and nutrition, or make a hot cup of tea thinking it’ll magically erase my stress and fill me up…
But boy was I wrong!
I was so, so wrong.
Sitting on your hands, distracting yourself with something else for a few hours trying not to eat (all the while beating yourself up for wanting to eat stuff, and ‘over-eating’ stuff), sends people into a whirlwind of deprivation — which keeps up trapped in a binge-eating cycle, or whatever type of negative food-cycle you’re in.
And worse — it numbs you from being in touch with yourself, so how can we expect to move on from the cycle we’re caught up in?
So how do you move past all of this?
Not within a day, that’s for sure.
But what I’ve learnt through this experience is this: you’ve got to practice new coping mechanisms, without the unrealistic expectation of “not eating” right away (or putting an end to whatever it is your going through, right away).
It’s an astonishing journey of self-development, and one of the biggest journeys of self-growth you’ll move through.
Here’s a good place I discovered to start…
You need a deep desire to be free from this cycle…
You have to really want it. You have to really want a life where how your body looks and eating is not at the top of your mind every day. You have to be miserable enough to want a big change — and if you can make the change before you are that miserable, you’ll be so grateful you did it.
You have to trust your body…
As ‘radical’ as it may sound, your body is your friend, it’s the one body you’re going to be with (and live in) for the rest of your life, so you’ve got to begin to love it. Tune in and listen to what your body is asking you for. If you’re hungry, EAT! If it’s telling you to slow down, SLOW DOWN! Your body knows best, and usually that first instinct, is the right one to follow.
You have to commit to the scales fluctuating…
When you decide to truly be free from the cycle you’ve been caught up in, you’ve got to let your body heal, and as scary as it may sound (believe me, this terrified me at first), you’ve got to be prepared for the scales to say one thing one week, and something totally different another week.
I don’t know how much weight your body wants to gain, or how much it wants to lose — everyone one of us is different. I can’t tell you if it is going to stay there or then slowly lose weight once your body and metabolism heal, all I know is, once you begin this journey and your metabolism is fired back in full swing, you’ll feel AMAZING!
And I don’t give a damn about those lbs on the scale, I want all the muscle!
You have to enjoy your food…
And enjoy it without feelings of ‘shame’ and ‘guilt’.
Now this one ain’t easy, oh no…
I’ve lost count of how many times in the past I’ve battled with this one, turned down meals with family and friends, let go completely, beaten myself up over one spoonful of ice cream — it’s EXHAUSTING (and yes, a capital exhausting)…
The stress we bring ourselves over ‘what’ we eat can have way more negative effects on the body then the food itself! So STOP, chill out, and let your digestive system relax and do its thing — I bet you’ll feel and even look different.
Commit today to practicing new methods of self-care and love, and letting go of the guilt when bad feelings around food (or whatever it is) pops-up, because they will!
A focus on adding new coping mechanisms, rather than subtracting, is more realistic, and less likely to lead to rebellion in the long run.
I want you to know this is something that won’t ever go away completely, but what I do know is, that once you learn to acknowledge it, sit with it and accept that it’s there — it no longer rules you, and you rule it.
Have you ever gone through this journey? Are you experiencing a hard time with something? TWEET ME, I’d love to listen to your journey and what it is you’re going through — thanks for staying with me on this post, I’m grateful for you all ❤
What I’m Working On Lately: The Paul Gough Physio Rooms Show
My ‘Jam’ At The Moment: Melt — JONES