This is the second post in a new series, where I discuss my top tips for quitting binging. These are things that have worked for me and for many others in long-term recovery. In the first post, I talked about how CRUCIAL it is to eliminate food-related guilt (click here to read the first tip). This second tip is also very important:
Put weight loss on the backburner.
“Huh? You can’t be serious. I can’t forget about weight loss … I NEED to lose weight. I’m unhealthy, my clothes don’t fit, and I hate my body. I HAVE TO lose weight as soon as possible.”
This is the typical reaction to this tip. And this was MY reaction many, many times … until I finally realized that desperate desire to lose weight was only KEEPING me binging and making me gain more weight. At some point, I realized things simply weren’t getting better with my constant quest to lose weight. If I was going to keep gaining anyway, I might as well try something different. So I stopped trying to lose weight for a while. I focused on listening to my body, rather than to the scale, my jeans size, or calorie trackers. Surprisingly, I stopped gaining weight. And after a while, it became a lot easier to stop binging without the pressure and dire need to lose weight.
So, this is my advice to anyone who is struggling with binging: forget about weight loss goals for now. I know this is hard … believe me, I know. But it will be so worth it. You can always revisit your weight goals after you have been binge-free for a few months, when both your body and mind are in a better place.
What are your experiences with dealing with weight issues and recovery? Did you also find that the goals of quitting binging and losing weight had to be tackled separately?
Self-love: it’s about loving and accepting yourself as a whole person. It does NOT mean you have to like every single aspect of yourself. It’s OK for me to say that I don’t like my tummy that much, but I still love MYSELF as a whole!
Think about how you feel about your family and friends … of course, you don’t like every little thing about them, because they are humans with flaws. Just like you. Yet, you still love them despite their flaws. It’s the same with loving yourself.
Lots of us think there’s no way we can love ourselves because of our flaws or imperfections. I know I used to think that; I couldn’t imagine loving myself just as I am. But who says we have to be perfect to be loved? ED says that. ED is a liar!
Steps to self-love:
- Focus on what your body can DO (rather than how it looks) – and thank your body for everything it does for you, every single day.
- Tell yourself you love your body, even when you don’t. Just keep saying it, even if it feels fake. Fake it ‘til you make it! It really works!
- Focus on what you do like about yourself and your body.
- Challenge your narrow beliefs about what is beautiful and what fat means.
- Realize that “fat” isn’t a feeling – it’s a signal that something else is going on inside you … probably a general feeling of unworthiness or self-doubt.
- Remember that your body CAN have flaws but still be lovable. You don’t have to be perfect. Or, you can think of it like this: you can be perfect in your imperfection.
Why is self-love so important? It’s because you need it to heal. You can’t recover without it. We are far more likely to take care of something we LOVE rather than something we hate. So, spread the love to the person who deserves it most … YOU!
Where are you in your journey to self-love? Do you have any tips to share with others?