Let me tell you the truth on what really helped my recovery from binges.
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. To make them part of me.
Truth is, in the beginning, and along the journey, they aren’t always that basic and obvious.
I’ll share the most significant with you here.
1. Writing in a journal about my feelings.
Regularly, on bad days and good days.
Starting from writing once in a while and ending up writing every day, sometimes multiple times per day.
Sometimes just letting my thoughts flow, other times doodling. Or noting down a powerful quote, something someone shared with me, which helps me see things more clearly and understand the reasons behind my fears.
2.Treating food as my ally instead of an enemy.
I’ve slowly but steadily abandoned the food rules I had set out for myself for many years. which At some point they had turned into some form of orthorexia, with me having a long list of foods which I used to consider a threat to my health.
I told myself:
If I’ve never been a fan of any kind of extremism, why should I be so extremist when it comes to food?
Why should I let these ideas ruin my ability to enjoy food and my mental health?
That’s when I reached a turning point and started expanding my eating choices, looking at food from an abundance lens, rather than a scarcity one.
3. Making more time for myself to just be.
I’ve started meditating and finding more time to sit in silence, discovering things I didn’t know about myself.
I’ve since learned that I have the ability to find more calm and tolerance than I thought I could; not all the time, but most times.
There’s a profound peace and understanding that can be found when retreating from the noise all around.
And today, there’s an infinite amount of great, generous people and resources to help us get started.
4. Processing the grief from losing a parent.
Doing it by actually talking and sharing with others, instead of bottling it up and ending up stuffing myself with food.
There’s a quote I love which goes:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have faced defeat. They have known suffering, struggle, loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen” – Elisabeth Kubler Ross
I was lucky to find some people of this kind along my journey out of grief.
5. Gradually facing my worst fears and insecurities.
I exposed myself to situations which I would have avoided in the past for fear of people’s judgment, especially judgment on my body.
From joining a dance group and performing on stage to walking on a beach in my bathing suit without covering up my belly, or presenting the results of my work in front of a large number of people.
These are just a few examples of fears which I’m, still to this day, learning to dance with, instead of retreating in myself and comforting my insecurities with food.
These are hands-on opportunities to learn that the chance for my worst fears to become a reality is close to 0.001%.
Not big enough to say no to a more fulfilling and interesting life!
A very personal recovery journey which goes beyond food
I hope you can see how very personal each of these are, as a testimony of how personal is the journey to heal your relationship with food.
I hope you can see how the problem is not really food most of the times, but rather the beliefs we hold about food.
And the beliefs that we hold about ourselves, our bodies and our ability to face feelings and challenges which are normal part of life.
The first important step is probably you deciding to explore, and go deeper to start seeing things more clearly, whether that is on your own or with the help from someone else.
For as many tips, checklist and other bits of advice I (or anyone else) can give you here, there will never be one single formula that will work for all. Not a chance!
Nothing can beat your desire and curiosity to change things, to try and look for what works better for you.
My wish is that this is helpful for you.
Let me know in the comments, if that’s the case!
For me, listening to other people’s stories has always been a very powerful tool for understanding and growth.
Hope it will be for you too!