I recieved a few emails on Friday’s reflection post asking how I was able to stop overeating. I’ve decided to make a post out of it because I know many of us secretly or openly deal with this and it leads to many feelings of negativity and guilt.
This was a selfie about a year ago…. LOL [Source]
I’ve written about binge eating before when my blog was in its baby stages. Now she’s officially a toddler Does six months count as a toddler? ;-) Anyways…
How did I stop overeating?
1. I started eating MORE. Simple as that. A huge reason I was overeating to begin with was because I wasn’t eating enough for my body to sustain it’s energy. Thus, I would come home famished and eat everything I could find in the fridge. Now, I make my breakfast, lunch and dinner large (with healthy food, of course) and constantly snack on fresh veggies. You’re less likely to come home and binge when you’re already full, right?
2. I changed the way I look at food. We need to STOP putting labels on food. Yes, M&M’s aren’t the healthiest thing in the world; they’re quite the contrary. But when I look at a certain food as “bad,” it tempts me even more. “Ugh. I can’t eat that. It’s bad for me” always turned into eating 15x as much when I finally ate that “bad” thing. Now, if I want a few M&M’s, I’ll have them right then and there. I know myself, and I know that if I say no when I really want to say yes, I’ll just make up for it later and eat the whole bag.
3. I make sure I’m getting enough rest. When you’re in the gym 5+ days a week, rest and recovery is SO important. When I lack sleep, I tend to eat WAY more because my body is looking for calories for the extra energy. I’ve overcome my exercise obsession and learned the importance of taking a rest day (or two).
4. I started eating intuitively. For a while I was on the “eat every 3 hours or else my metabolism will shut down immediately and I will die” train. I had one balls-to-the-wall cheat meal per week, which turned into a HUGE dinner, plus dessert, plus some. This didn’t work for me. I realized I’m much happier when I actually listen to my hunger cues and eat when I’m hungry. I also stop when I’m full (for the most part).
5. I stopped weighing myself. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again. THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE DOES NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON. The scale doesn’t display your accomplishments, talents, relationships, ability to love yourself or others. When you find a scale like that please let me know because that’s what this world needs. We are not meant to look like anyone else. We are meant to be the best version of ourselves. You are so, so worthy of love, regardless of the way you look. Once I deemed myself as worthy of love and all things great in life, I realized I didn’t need food as a reward or justification.
6. I realized food is a beautiful thing. Food should be fuel for your workouts and life. It’s a wonderful thing that should be celebrated with the people you love. In a world of convenience, it’s easy to forget that. Spend time making a meal with the people you love. Laugh over dinner. Indulge in a little bit of wine. Allow food to enhance your relationships, don’t let it do the opposite.
7. I took myself out of “comfort” places that were triggers. I would come home, get bored, sit in front of the TV (cue almond butter and a box of Cheez-its ). Talk about the perfect recipe for a binge! Now, I chew gum instead. Or I sip on some hot tea. SOMETHING to occupy my mouth so I’m not sitting there shoveling food without even realizing how much I’ve eaten.
8. I recognized WHY I was overeating. This is probably the biggest step and it takes a lot of self reflection. When I’m feeling the urge to eat a ton of junk food, I journal. Why do I want to binge right now? Am I lonely? Sad? Tired? Stressed? We often try to hide our emotions behind our eating, so discovering the root of the emotion can help prevent overeating now and in the future.
…What happens if I overeat now?
My binges are few and far between now. But, if I find myself eating mindlessly in front of the TV I don’t beat myself up about it. I journal about what made me do it. I’ve personally found that I eat the most when I’m lonely. If I’m around friends, I don’t even think twice about food.
Food is a wonderful thing but it has the power to control us if we let it.
Cherish food for what it truly is — A celebration. A meal with friends. The start and continuity of many relationships.
[Of Possible Interest:]
- Celebrity Bodies: Perfectly Photographed vs. Perfectly Normal <– this is always SO interesting to me
- Aesthetics via Rachel at Rachel’s Fit Health <– LOVE this girl!
- Intuitive Eating and Exercising Taught Me to Trust Myself via Jenn at Fit Bottomed Girls <– Awesome, & also click her link to “My Own End to Overeating”
- Overeating: Understanding and Taking Back Control via This Emotional Life <– there are a LOT of helpful strategies on here