Hey everyone! Update on the cherry blossom tea, it was amazing once I got all of the salt off! It was floral and earthy, but I liked it better on its own better than in the nut milk. Plus, it’s beautiful to just leave the blossoms in the water while drinking it. Anyways, this post isn’t about cherry blossoms. It’s about something way more attractive…how I stopped BINGE EATING! This is something that I struggled with for a long time after modeling. Well, also (definitely) during it. My weight has fluctuated a lot. I’m 5’10” and I’ve been 105 pounds and 140 pounds. I’ve starved myself and eaten until it’s extremely uncomfortable. Both didn’t work out well for me. I’m not going to get into it too much (that’s for a whole other post), but I want to share ways that helped me get through it all. Here’s how I stopped binge eating…
Clear your mind
Whenever you feel the urge to binge, pause and figure out what it’s really about. Do you feel worthless, out of control, or is it just a self-fulfilled prophecy? For me, I became really obsessed with food and I associated it with my worth. I thought of it as something that controlled my life. Most of my days were spent thinking about food- What will I eat? Will I be able to follow my own eating rules? Will I be pleased or let down? I felt completely consumed with fear. The whole entire time, I would blame food or myself. However, thinking about food constantly was coming from a place of fear. I also needed to release a lot of guilt I had around my eating habits and depression. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein helped me start from a clean slate. The meditations helped bring me back to myself. In each moment, we can either choose fear or love. Having an awareness of this made everything so much easier for me.
It’s not your fault. We are humans and we are supposed to want food and have cravings. Don’t get mad at yourself for being this way. It’s your body looking out for you. The thing is that it’s better to just notice the craving/sensation rather than acting on it. That sounds easier said than done, but I found this to be the most necessary part of ending my binge eating habits. Cravings don’t last forever. It’s possible to wait out a craving and do something else like taking a walk, a bath, sleeping, breathing, or anything else but eating! There’s actually a Goop podcast that explains this concept really well: Why We Crave. Most times I do this, I find that there was really something else I needed other than food when I wasn’t hungry to begin with. I want to eat more when I’m tired, but I know that eating isn’t the answer.
Are you really hungry or do you just want something that tastes good out of boredom? I learned about this in my Food & The Senses class at the New School. You can either focus on internal or external cues. Internal cues are about satiation, not from looking at your plate but from the feeling inside your body. Do you feel full? External cues are more about what you are looking at. In this case, a plate of food. Do you want to eat all of it because it’s there? Take smaller portions and add more if you need to. Close your eyes and check in with yourself. You can feel the satiation or hunger. Don’t look for it, feel it.
Stop standing in front of the mirror analyzing yourself…STOP it!!! This is something that was really bad for me. The minute I started fixating on something I didn’t like about my body, the more it would go to my head, and the more I would want to trash myself. If this is you, tell yourself out loud to stop. For any trigger, that is. Know your weaknesses and don’t give yourself permission. There’s an inner child in all of us and sometimes we have to tell the inner child no in order to learn the longevity of joy rather than instant gratification. Know your triggers. It could be Instagram, TV, a certain activity, person, or place. Whatever it is, delete it, stop it, or limit time with it. Be honest with yourself.
Chances are if you are thinking this much about food, it’s taking the focus off more important things in your life. Nurture those other things more or find new hobbies. When you’re having fun with other things, it’s easier to accept yourself and have something to be proud of. It doesn’t have to be elaborate either. It can be something as simple as drawing pictures or journaling.
If you spend a lot of time hating your body, I’ve been there and it’s okay. Again, it’s not your fault but you still have to take responsibility and accept yourself in order to change. Maybe you’re going to hate this, but you have to love the process. Changing everyday habits is a whole lot easier when you are staying in the moment loving who you are, rather than constantly comparing your present self to the desired end result (or to someone else). You have to be kind to yourself at every different phase in order to grow. When I stopped modeling, this is something I had a very hard time with. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how I could accept myself when I felt like such a failure. In that low feeling, like magic a friend lent me her book: The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra. I felt like it was everything I needed to hear, it completely changed my outlook on everything, and it gave me so much peace.
When I was trying to stop binge eating, my first instinct was to not really eat at all. I had an all or nothing attitude. If I had some chocolates, I would think oh fuck it, I already messed up! The binge eating was a result of my inability to starve myself and I viewed myself as very weak because of this. We aren’t meant to not eat though! Like, my thought process was ridiculous and irrational… Eating is so important (and a sustainable way to stay thin)! Usually, my binges were on sugary foods and not healthy foods. A method that I learned at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition really helped me a ton. It’s called crowding out (PS. Food isn’t the only thing this can apply to, you can do this with people too, HA!). Adding in good whole foods into your diet will eventually crowd out the bad foods that you were eating. This is a healthy approach because the focus is about what you CAN have and not what you can’t have. Now, I eat 3 healthy meals a day and maybe 2 light snacks, but it’s all delicious and I don’t feel deprived because I know I’ve already added the essentials (leafy greens, lean proteins, etc.). Having a cookie now, won’t send me into a downward spiral!
I went through a time when I was really obsessed with gummies. It was really terrible because sugary foods are reaaally easy to binge on. I knew I had to stop this so I could change. Whenever I eat a lot of sugar I find that I am less present and unable to make meaningful contributions to anything. So, what did I do? I decided to crowd out. Now, I’m obsessed with making smoothies with fruit and leafy greens. I loved cherry gummies so much, so instead I started making smoothies with cherries to get that same tartness. I almost always add spinach too because it’s easy to hide in smoothies! Now, I don’t have as many smoothies as the beginning, but it’s what helped me stop eating gummies all the time and it was a much better alternative.
How I Stopped Binge Eating for good + We got this!
Binge eating isn’t something that I figured out and solved overnight. It’s something that I had struggled with for years. Trust me, I never thought I would be making a blog post called ‘How I Stopped Binge Eating.’ I think binge eating is quite common but something that has a lot of shame tied to it. I was very secretive about it because I realize how unflattering it sounds. However, I am not ashamed now. I can still eat a little more or a little less without binge eating and without starving. I don’t punish or reward myself for eating and not eating. I just let myself be. I’m a huge believer that positive thoughts lead to positive habits and positive habits lead to positive thoughts.
If you liked this post, read why I don’t believe in eating disorders here. ☺️