I used food as punishment for a long time, on and off. After a couple years of disordered eating and binging, I came to the realization that my relationship with food is a mirror reflection of the relationship I have with myself. It is then I began to really look inwards, and start healing the things that were causing me emotional grief.
Bit by bit, the binges went from once a day to every few days… then once a week…then every other week. Sometimes, it would slip back into several times a week but this time, I would pick up on my environmental or emotional triggers and learn to re-wire the pattern by replacing the binge with a healthier alternative, like brushing my teeth or counting to 100 or drinking tea. Sometimes, I would just reach for the best-of-the-worst alternative (like roasted peas instead of chocolate pretzels).
It is September and this marks a year of intuitive eating. Meaning: no binges, no obsessive counting, full permission to eat anything I need, trusting my appetite, re-learning hunger cues, and learning to find pleasure in food again.
Throughout this journey of intuitive eating, I knew things wouldn’t be peachy. This stuff never is. I have had days or periods of time when I would overeat to the point of shame and regret (I’m not sure if I would technically label it a binge since the food amount wasn’t as big as they once were, but they still happened in private). For example, I injured my low back in April and that meant seeing a loss in strength and no PRs for a while. I dealt with it very positively for the first 6 weeks because my expectation matched reality…but during my re-patterning I got impatient and frustrated. I started eating like an asshole because my self-worth was tied to my strength more than I would admit. I ate to ease my feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and lack of confidence. I was in a funk.
Sometimes, I still overeat, and I eat junk. I’m not perfect. But what I’ve realized is that as long as I figure out why I’m feeling these uncomfortable emotions, then I know what to work on. I’ve learned to treat myself with kindness because feeling uncomfortable is simply a sign that I need to focus on my needs for a while. Doing that allows me to find a few potential solutions to work with, and when I can see the light I know I’ll be okay.
Doing deep inner work is uncomfortable, messy, and sometimes makes me want to vomit…but it is damn well worth it. I can ignore/run/hide for as long as I like and suffer from isolation, or I can walk through the Feels and find my authentic self, grounded and at peace.
If you are going through anything remotely similar and looking for a solution, or just need someone to talk to who would understand, please send me a msg. I’d love to talk.