Heal binge eating with self compassion

How can you use self compassion to heal from binge eating?

If you struggle with binge eating, compulsive eating, or any other form of disordered eating, how can you let go of the destructive behaviour and start to heal?

If you identify as someone who binges or suffers from disordered eating, it’s also highly likely that you have a strong inner critic. 

This inner critic is strong and active, constantly watching your every move, waiting to call you out on any moment of perceived weakness- or falsely making you believe you are weak simply for being human. 

This inner critic is present in many areas of your life- at school, work, relationships.

It tells you are not good enough.

That you need to do more. Do better. Work harder. 

And when it comes to your body, it tells you that you need to eat less, eat cleaner, eat better, move more, get thinner, build more muscle- but to the extreme. 

*If you prefer listening to this on podcast- head to podcast!

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You want things to be perfect and you won’t settle for less. 

As a human, you are bound to make mistakes. At work, love, food.

Failure is part of the process- it’s not a sign to throw in the towel and to burn things down to the ground. 

But for the binge eater- that is not the case. 

So you try, harder and harder to make sure you don’t mess up- especially around food and body, the most accessible parts of you that you are freely able to manipulate. 

But the day comes, as it always does- where you mess up. 

And with binge eating- instead of knowing that it’s okay and that One wrong move isn’t a big deal, the pendulum swings and you go to the extreme.

It’s either all or nothing. 

You either don’t have the brownie, or you have 10, followed by donuts, cake, cookies, chips. 

You feel out of control. You go into a trance. 

You feel possessed by food and an energy that just wants to indulge until your body can no longer take it. 

You berate yourself and swear you’ll “get back on track” tomorrow with inhuman forms of exercise and ways of eating that leave you feeling empty. 

You cannot understand why you’ve failed yet again- why you’ve binged yet again. 

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If you can relate, hello and welcome. 

Binge eating is often times connected to perfection around food, body, and other parts of life according to society’s false standards- and in order to achieve those standards, you have to restrict. 

Restrict food for a smaller body.

Restrict joy for a job you hate.

Restrict sex and love for the partner who looks “better” on paper. 

But no one can restrict, without eventually bingeing. 

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So how can you start to heal from binge eating?

With self compassion, of course. 

This might not make sense to you- in fact you might think that if you were to be compassionate with yourself, you’d just be “letting yourself go” and you’d spend your life in a mountain of cake and cookies. 

But that’s not the case. 

Here’s how I used self compassion to move from binge eating, to healing and wholeness. 

I used to have strict rules around food and felt like I needed to be very hard and disciplined with myself in order to feel in control around food. 

So I’d create plans around what I was going to eat and what my body should weigh. 

When things were going well, I’d eat well and accept what I saw in the mirror.

But then the day would come when I’d eat something that wasn’t on my plan- uh oh…. I’d literally feel so much guilt and shame over one cookie.. that energy would drive me to reach for more and more food, at first out of guilt but then into a point of feeling out of control.

I’d then spend my evening driving to all the stores to stock up on my binge foods to go home and get high on- all because I made one wrong move.

This would also happen on days when the number of the scale went up. I’d feel so disappointed that I’d eat to soothe my feelings, which many times turned into a full blown binge episode. 

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But I learned how to end the vicious cycle. 

I started to use the art of self compassion on myself- and this mainly came through positive and accepting self talk, getting rid of daily weighing, and no exercise to “work off” the binge. 

When I’d eat more than planned, or something that I subconsciously felt was “off limits”- instead of beating myself up, I’d tell myself “I love you and it’s okay.” 10 times, over and over again. 

This calmed me down. It informed my nervous system that it was not time to go in to “fight or flight” by reaching for more food. 

There was no emergency.

I ate more, sometimes a LOT more than planned- but it’s totally OKAY. I

’d remind myself that I’m human. I did not make a mistake- it was what my body needed. 

I had to learn how to reparent myself around food, and let myself know that there are no mistakes when it comes to food and my body.

I also started to tell myself that my body is indestructible- and I’d say “My body is wonderful and no amount of food can destroy it.” 

Because I had this fear that eating too much would “destroy” my body, which clearly was a lie made by society and my inner critic. 

I stopped daily weighing myself- which did not feel very compassionate to me. It felt more like a daily act of judgement and analysis- not the vibe for me!

I also stopped exercising to “work off” a binge.

While I like moving, I only do it for the purpose of feeling good. Not as a way to fuel or recover from a disordered eating episode. 

And the more I leaned into love, kindness, forgiveness, and self compassion- so did I heal from binge eating. 

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So if you are struggling with binge eating, I invite you to be soft and gentle with yourself. 

Get rid of all the “rules” and “should’s”, and instead focus on accepting every moment as the perfect, ideal moment for you- regardless of what you did or did not eat. 

Regardless of how your clothes fit. 

Hopefully you’ll ditch the scale. 

If you are ready for 1:1 support to break free from binge eating and feel fully present and alive to life- book a Radiant Body Rebirth Session with me where I’ll guide you towards finding the root cause of your dis-ease, and create a plan of what you need to do in order to gain the freedom around food and body you desire. 

*If you prefer listening to this on podcast- head to podcast!

With love,

Holly