The secret to quitting binging

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What is the single worst ingredient in your food – that you should avoid at all costs? Hint: It’s actually calorie-free, but it can be a lot worse for your health than the most decadent cheesecake. This deadly ingredient is guilt. Guilt makes us feel bad about ourselves and makes us 10 times more likely to binge again and again and again! Guilt’s cousin, shame, is even worse – and for most binge eaters, even a mild feeling of guilt can play into the deep shame that is nearly always lurking within us.

How to get rid of the guilt? You can start by getting rid of your diet rules, especially the good/bad labels you use to describe food and yourself – just get rid of the harsh judgment words. We create our reality in our minds, and if we think that cookies are “bad,” then it’s easy to start thinking WE are “bad” if we eat them (or “good” if we eat broccoli). It’s simply not true that you’re “bad” if you eat one cookie or 100 cookies. Don’t give food the power to make you feel good or bad.

The fact is, your self-worth shouldn’t have anything to do with what you eat. Our eating disorder has convinced us that it does, but this is a lie. Most of the negative stuff you believe about yourself is simply NOT true. But ED is convincing; ED has made you believe these lies for years – making you feel guilty not only for eating, but for existing! The good news is, you don’t have to believe ED anymore. It will take a while for ED to stop influencing your thoughts, but you will get there if you keep challenging these ED beliefs every chance you get!

Note: This is the first post in a new series of blog posts. I’m going to tell you the most important things that helped me stop binging, but I’m going to explain them in small, easily digestible chunks. I wanted to start with the topic of guilt and shame because I think it might be the single most important part of recovering from binge eating. It has been SO crucial to my own recovery. In fact, we’ll probably revisit the topic of shame in a future post, because I find it so important!

What role does guilt play in your eating disorder? Why do you let your eating or your weight determine your worth as a person?

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12 thoughts on “The secret to quitting binging

  1. I used to have the food guilt soooo bad, its a little better now. Its really hard to let go of thinking of everything in black and white. Geenen Roth’s books are really helping though. Check her out if you get a chance. Another great post with good advice, thanks!

    • I have read 4 of Geneen Roth’s books actually! She changed my life. In fact, I’d say much of what I write about on here is inspired by her and the things I’ve learned based on my experiences. So glad her books are helping you too, and glad to hear things are improving for you! 🙂

      • Hi,
        I’ve just found your blog and it is very helpful. Can I ask your advice re Geneen’s books? I was wondering which ones yiu found useful, and in which order you read them.

        Thanks 🙂

      • Hi, Fiona! Thanks for reading. 🙂 I read “Women Food & God” first (if you’re not religious, don’t worry about the “God” part; it’s not about religion at all), and most of my friends in the recovery community would agree that was the most life-changing one. 🙂 Then I read “When Food Is Love,” “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair,” “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating” and “Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating” (that one’s a workbook). The first two books are addressing the emotional, self-worth and dieting aspects of our disordered relationship with food; the third one is a collection of 50 nuggets of Geneen wisdom; and the last two are more practical and “how to.” Good luck, and keep me posted on how you’re doing. 🙂

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