Why We Binge & Why That’s Okay

That’s a hard title to swallow.

But I know most of us are bingers and thats why I’m being forthcoming about it.

The balance of extremes is a precarious balance - but it is a balance.

It’s a throw-back to my “You Don’t have Nutrition Problems - You Have Human Problems” Read: [7 Ways to Remove Stress & Shame in Nutrition] theory and the fact that our personality traits play out in our food choices.

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The patterns and personality traits we own in our lives perform themselves in our food habits too.

We binge because we are stressed. We have unresolved “stuff” that we don’t want to deal with, and food is a temporary cover-up. A band-aid.

Our personality traits that play out in our food…

How we are ‘all in’ or ‘all out.’

How we’re either all in or have “fallen off the wagon.”

Like how we keep trying and trying things we don’t really trust but are following trends, and then blaming others instead of looking inward at ourselves.

Like how we are indecisive or flailing or lost.

Or how we are type A and obsessive and eating well becomes no longer enjoyable.

Before I found intuitive eating, I had been on the dieting train for years. When I started studying natural nutrition, I thought that maybe vegetarianism was my calling. After all, I’d learned so much about why we all need so much more vegetables in our diet; that I wanted to know how it felt. And at first, it felt really great. But after months of identifying as a vegetarian (and after some time, my ego secretly enjoying it when people had to make special arrangements for my new diet) I started feeling very off. It wasn’t working for my body anymore but I was so determined to keep trying. I was so attached to the label. Read: [3 Bendy-Rules for Your Food Phases]

When I finally decided it wasn’t right for my body anymore, (and when my friends threw a welcome back to meat-eating party called "Raina's Eating Steak!" party and it was the best steak ever…)

it was also the end of calling myself a vegetarian. 

Now? I balance my food this way. I eat a vegetarian diet. I eat a vegan diet. I eat a meat-eating diet.

My ego no longer requires others to be invested in how or what I am eating. I don’t require any special treatment dietary-wise. I am free, and so are they. Simple.

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I eat raw foods. I eat cooked food. I eat mindfully.

I eat a "flexible" diet.

I eat what I need.... when I need it.

(and if someone invites me over for dinner and all they have is lipton noodle soup with chocolate cheesecake for dessert, I will eat it, gratefully and lovingly. I don't care that it's 'bad' - anything served with love isn't bad.)

I do not over eat.

I listen to my body.

I let my body be in charge. I follow the Consciousness Over Calories "diet." [Read: Consciousness Over Calories]

It didn’t happen overnight - but like so many practitioners I know - we teach what we ourselves also need the most. So I teach balance, because I am constantly working at it.

Consciousness over Calories isn’t a strict plan. But it is simple, it's easy and it works. IF you do it my way.

“My way” isn’t a diet or a meal plan. It’s a crafted theory and set of techniques to lead you to the final answer.

I didn’t stumble upon it and assume it might work for others. I didn’t make it, I didn’t create it myself, but I found it, and I know it works because it worked for me. This is coming from someone who’d done all the bingeing you think you’ll never be able to move away from. The over-eating. The secret eating. The stress eating. I’ve been there. The reason I teach balance is because I’m a binger. I don’t like balance. I like extremes.

And sometimes the reality is that you go overboard as a reaction to ‘trying to do better.’ Read: [Are you An Anarchist Eater?] Maybe out of anger you’ll do an even more strict or dangerous diet. Maybe out of frustration you’ll do your first diet ever and guilt yourself when you fail. Maybe out of sadness you’ll binge and then regret it.

And that’s okay. You’re a human.

You’re allowed to binge.

We all have our vices. The key is to see our vices as either medicine or poison. Is the vice helping you heal, or is it further burying the root problem? Sometimes our medicines swing the pendulum over to poison. The real reason we binge (unconsciously) is because we haven’t looked inward deep enough. Because it’s uncomfortable to see and learn things about ourselves that we don’t want to see.

But here’s the ticket.

Even when you’re “in” the poison - if you’re conscious about it - you’re learning.

Those things you can’t see? That you have to go digging for, those are your long-held root-cause answers to the question of binging, and your ticket to long-lasting success and moving away from binging for good.

But until then, relax, because you can’t be perfect. You can make mistakes. Here’s a permission slip to do so. You can do all the binge, cheat days, diet plays and nightmare games in your head until you reach that real answer: awareness. Mindfulness.

Are you ready to find it?

xo,

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watch a video here for more on binge eating…