Reading about bingeing, diet mentality, body acceptance and learning from those who have overcome the struggle before, has turned out to be a very important part of my own healing journey.
It’s time for me to give back by supporting someone else in their journey.
Every week you’ll find a brand new article carefully written to help you:
- Sit with your emotions using self-compassion.
- Develop kindness for yourself and your body.
- Let go of the diet mentality.
- See food as a friend, not an enemy.
Enjoy the reading!
Learning to be more present with the zen master Thich Nhat Hanh was a life changing experience which helped my healing journey.
What made this experience so extraordinary?
Even if you’ve come to realise that your weight aspiration is not realistic, that after the diet you keep coming back to the same starting point, you might still hold the desire to lose weight and be in a smaller body. I don’t blame you for that. Quite the opposite.
It’s perfectly normal to feel this way.
Seeing food and making meal decisions based on calories gives a false sense of having things under control. However, that only lasts until the next binge, triggered by that same control that’s supposed to be the n.1 cure to food binges. Find out more.
If you feel like your yoga teacher neglects you because of your shape or abilities, the problem is NOT you. It’s the teacher.
Here is my heartfelt advice.
The mind and body have a strong need for deep rest, for doing nothing, for not always being active, creating, planning, attending to something.
Even moments of boredom must be crossed without fear, as those are the moments when often you find the space to understand yourself better.
When I reflect about the things that helped me stop bingeing, they seem such basic and obvious things.
And yet, I see how it has taken me quite a long time and several trials and errors to embrace those same things and make them part of me. Because in the beginning, and along the journey, they weren’t always that basic and obvious.
I’ll share the most significant with you here.
Don’t let the fear of judgment hold you back from sharing your story, doing something you’ve always wanted to do, or changing something you don’t like about your life.
More women than you realise need to hear it.
Would you sleep all night with the radio on at full volume?
Probably the answer is: “No, thanks!”.
And yet, most of the time you allow the diet and food police chatter in your mind to play at full volume and go on and on and on as you go through your day.
If we don’t remember others for their physical qualities, and if others do not remember you for your appearance, why should you give these qualities all the importance you do?
Why should you let a concern related to your appearance, the shape of your body or your weight undermine the way you perceive your skills in different areas of life?
How do binge eating problems develop?
There’s no single cause. And the link with the problem itself is not always linear.
In this article I cover the most studied psychological, social, and physical factors.
What’s the secret to feeling motivated to exercise?
I asked this question to Rebecca Tomlinson She’s an anti-fitness-culture Personal Trainer with a mission to spread a new idea of fitness focused on feelings rather than obligation.
Here is what she said.
In a logical way you might be aware that bingeing is something wrong, harmful.
You are right. But there is a part of you that probably doesn’t think so. The one that recognizes secondary benefits, in such behaviour.
Time, life experiences and studies helped me understand:
• How the fear of the judgment of others has limited my life and my possibility of having important growth experiences for many years;
• How behind this type of fears lies anxiety, and shame prevails.
There’s power in the thoughts we have and the words we use.
In the same way that we respond to loving, caring words, our body also responds to kindness.
It’s important to notice your body narratives, the stories you tell yourself about your body, and the words you use to describe it.
Lots of food for thought (ops, sorry for the pun!) in today’s article.
I have also included some good questions for you to write in your journal.
Transform the energy you’re currently using to punish or giving out at yourself for bingeing.
Use it to reconnect with food from a place of pure curiosity and feel your feelings without judgment.
The shaming comments when I was a teenager shaped the way I saw my body and my self-confidence for many years. Then something changed.
I like helping women to safely and compassionately dive and explore the submerged, often unclear reasons for having a difficult relationship with food.
I always strive to help them find the connection between the two worlds, the submerged and the emerged one, so we can bring back the beauty they keep hidden underwater (which, mind you, is not just the external one).
Diet culture is a societal system of beliefs, messages, and behaviours that places value on a person’s weight and appearance, rather that well-being, which unfortunately, has become common and normalized.
It reifies thinness, equating it with health and moral virtue, while demonising some foods and elevating others
There aren’t two identical binges, as there aren’t two identical bingers, with their own unique ways of bingeing.
However, when you ask people to describe their food binges, there are some common things they come up with again and again.
After spending two decades of my life binge-eating and demonizing the food with high calories, I can say that calorie counting never really served me, let alone helped me in taking care of my wellbeing. Quite the opposite!
It gives you this false sense of having things under control, but that only lasts until your next binge, triggered by that same control.
How many times have you said yes to another project even though you already knew it would take you extra work and take away time for yourself and the important things?
Have you tried to change yourself to please a partner or friend, because you thought that only by adapting to their tastes and interests you would gain their love and respect?
The lasting change brought by awareness of what’s really causing the issue, is far more important than the action driven by habit change.
If you don’t understand why you’re using food the way you’re doing, you’ll always regress to your old ways, no matter the habits you’ve changed.
Do you feel your body is not ready to get back to socialising? Do you think you need to run for cover by dieting to get ready for it?
Here are some tips to help you challenge the diet mentality behind these fears.
How often do you give yourself some time to slow down and eat mindfully? Most people don’t. I created a simple but highly effective template to guide your practice on savouring each and every bite.
There is a usefulness in your binges, and in general in all things that are not good for you but for some reason you keep doing.
There is a part of you that think so. The one that recognizes its benefits.
It’s the part of you that uses the binge to feel free from something.
There are two type of binges I remember more than any other binges I used to have.
The ‘binges on the go’ and the ‘home alone binges’.
A binge tells a lot about yourself and the needs that have been unmet for such a long time. That voice inside that needs to be heard and understood.
Developing Body kindness means prioritising respect for yourself and your body as it is now. And for everyone else’s body too.
This also involves rejecting the diet culture making weight-loss the measure of success, and a thin body shape the measure of your worth.
When it comes to binge and Emotional eating often food is not the problem, but the solution.
It’s about using food to forget and put the problem on the side for a while.
When you start inviting your emotions for a tea, you create space and time to sit with them, just as they are and get familiar with them, until you befriend them.
You start to see you are starving. But the food you may need is not material.
Imagine yourself having many options, knowing there’s abundance of food choices and no food you must exclude, apart from the one you genuinely don’t like.
If you’ve been on diets most of your life, you know what I’m talking about. When on a diet, you normally tend to narrow your options instead of broadening them.
If you knew you have many options, would you want to try more of them instead of limiting your choice? The answer is probably yes.
This is the mantra that represents my 2020 and certainly one I want to bring with me into the new year just around the corner.
What is yours?
It’s Christmas, I’m 26, and as it happened for many years, I am sitting at the table with family and friends for the Christmas lunch.
I can’t stop munching and picking food from one side to the other of the table. While I eat, I observe the orderly and composed way in which the others sitting at the table are eating. The way they chat cheerfully between each course and bite. Instead, I do nothing but eat.
One question I get asked by my clients very frequently is this:
I know how I should be eating and I have a collection of fitness plans, apps, trackers.
Why can I not start making the change that I want?😞
These are the most common things I see holding people back from making the change they want.
It’s true that we eat with our eyes first.
However, all the senses contribute to the eating experience, not only the taste and sight.
This week, I invite you to practice with one mindful meal.
Ready to start your journey to heal your relationship with food and your body?
You might want to consider the tips in this article to make the journey easier and achieve long-lasting results.
The process of breaking free from emotional eating and bingeing is very personal.
Because each of us is dealing with different demons, even if sometimes they find their way to express out to the world in similar ways…in the way we eat and take care (or not) of our wellbeing.
The past few days have been hard and wobbly for me, I won’t lie.
I’ve experienced the fear of not knowing where to go and what to do.
My energy levels dropped, and my sleep has been all over the place.
I noticed some recurrent thoughts coming and going…
Sometimes I still miss getting on the scale each morning. Because I'm human. Because we are immersed in a diet culture that wants us to be thin. But you and I are more than our weight. We are more than the number on the scale. We’ve learned to make the number on the...
But what am I going to do in between my meals?
This is one of the main concerns clients share when I put them in front of the opportunity to work on their emotions without reaching out for food all the time.
This CAN change for you.
This is for you if you’re struggling with emotional eating, if you feel out of control with food and you can’t see the way out of this rut.
Presence is the biggest gift that we can give ourselves. It gives us time, it amplifies it, it makes it worthwhile as opposed to wasting it with fears from the past or even more for the future, which very likely will never become reality.
Why should you even bother getting on the mat in the morning?
Whether it’s to sit still, doing some yoga, Pilates, stretch or any other form or exercise I’ll give you 3 reasons to do it!
What happens when you decide to say no to diets or off-limits foods and give yourself unconditional permission to eat the food you like, trusting your body to tell you when you’re hungry or full?
So many people struggle in their relationship with food.
Most of the time it’s got to do with having been on more than one diet in the past or the fact that you kept ignoring your body signals telling you if you’re hungry/full for a long time.
You reach the point where you don’t know how to eat or you don’t trust yourself and your body around food anymore.
I want to share with you three lessons I learned from doing some DIY in the house recently. I touch on how patience and perseverance through the challenges can help you get where you want to get.
The old saying goes: What you resist persists.
I think that’s what happens when we learn to categorise some foods that give us pleasure as bad or forbidden. We try to resist eating them. It’s a pattern of many diets and weight-loss programs.
Ever caught yourself using words like fatty, ugly, loser, failure, lazy to describe yourself?
Your self-worth is not defined by a number on the scale, the shape of your body, or your ability to complete a specific task.
Let's talk about chocolate! Can you eat it without guilt? You can relax. I’m not here to tell you what, when or how much chocolate you’re allowed to eat today. You’ll never hear anything like this coming from me, cause that’s not my message for you. I care too much...
The right moment to start loving yourself is NOW!
And it’s the building block on which true change can happen.
Would you like to understand your relationship with food?
In this video I walk you through a great exercise called: “The last time you ate”.
Have you ever made the decision to change your lifestyle because you disliked your body and started changing all your routines at once?
Trying to change everything at the same time and believing that by doing this you get fast results can seriously turn out to be a gateway to disaster.
What could working with a coach do to heal your relationship with food?
Let me give you three very important reasons to contact a coach.
“You’ve got the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. If only you could lose weight, you’d be perfect.You’re wasted like this!”
I still remember that comment from one of my ex boyfriends like it was yesterday. It felt like an arrow landing right in the middle of my chest to break my heart in a million pieces.
I want to share something it took me a long time to learn, but that helped me immensely to get me where I am today.
There are different ways to cope with your emotions without the need to reach out for comfort food, overeat or binge. By stimulating the happy hormone in alternative ways you can lose weight and find more balance.
We like to be kind to others, send positive messages, care and encourage them to take care of themselves. And this is amazing.
But, are we sure we are practicing the same kindness toward ourselves and our body?
There are plenty of weight loss tips available everywhere. But there’s one thing weight loss books and diet programs don’t tell you. Do you know what that is?
Ever felt you are not worthy of love, friendship, a career achievement because of your weight or your body shape?
As a teenager, I’d be often called various names for being overweight. I wanted to be invisible and slowly developed the belief that I could only be worth of attention, love and self-expression if and when I was able to lose weight and change my body shape.
Just like the Spotify algorithm, the more we know ourselves and we feed our inner algorithm with information about what we want and what we really like, the more our own algorithm will begin to serve exactly that, guiding us, just like a compass, to engage in those routines, actions, attitudes and mindset that serves us best.
Last night it was baking time and I created this beauty – Pear and Dark chocolate cake.
I used the cake to experiment with a classic, basic mindful eating exercise that I’m sharing here with you.
By making mindful eating part of your life and practicing it regularly, you can improve your relationship with food and body.
Taking care of our mind and body doesn’t mean being selfish.
It’s an act of self-love which can only improve our lives and the relationships with others.
I created this video-practice to help you reflect on your self-care needs and the steps you can take to start including them in your daily life.
Break the infinite ‘diet’ cycle (YoYo dieting with no long-lasting results)
Add more mindfulness to your meals and savor your food greatly so that you don’t feel the urge to overeat
Ditch the perfectionist mindset and appreciate every little step towards a more balanced relationship with food and your body.
Thanks so much for accommodating me, it was really helpful and enlightening. Overall, I have gained a sense of appreciation for myself and my efforts. That I have been doing well after all and have self-awareness. Thanks for showing me that.
After that, I bought a couple ice cream sandwiches yesterday and this time, I felt excitement and fondness instead of guilt. The ice cream sandwiches remind me of my younger days and my younger brother. Surely, I will enjoy it when I eat them at some point.
I also got myself a bunch of flowers to set near my lunch table because as you said, it is about making an experience out of it.
The part where you said that I should allow myself to fully enjoy really resonated to me and have been applying it to my life when I can.
Will do my best to keep it up.
Thanks for the notes and recipes too!
I guess I never really stopped and reflected before this.
Reflect on how my lack of confidence in many different situations is pushing me to just lose control over what I'm eating.
Surely, one thing that will stay with me is the iceberg.
That image you explained to me. It has helped realise there's so much going on for me. Neither me nor others can see it! At least until now.
Thank you Dona. It was very useful!
Read the blog and have a question for me?
Reach out to me today. I look forward to connecting with you!