This close to undoing weeks, months, actually years of slowly but surely fighting my way out of the clutches of binge eating.
My background, the short version: I was bulimic and a binge eater off and on (mostly on) for over 10 years. Throughout which time I was also a very successful personal trainer. Successful, perky, happy on the outside. Admired, respected, looked up to.
A mess, falling apart, broken.
You can read some of my story here and then just follow the links at the bottom of that post if you want to read more.
You want to know who the typical binge eater is?
Let me tell you what she is not, firstly.
She’s not usually out of shape in a drastic way. She might have a few to lose (and in her own mind probably more than a few), but the world sees her as someone who is fit and healthy, a positive role model.
She’s not a mess on the outside, or a failure, or someone who trails donut crumbs behind her out of her worn and torn old handbag.
She is successful.
A high achiever.
Often a leader, an entrepreneur, a CEO. (I’m serious, by the way. These are the women I work with. I know)
She has it together.
She is often asked for advice, for help.
Something she hears a lot, is “I don’t know how you do it all”.
And, for the most part, due to the incredible stigma and shame of talking about binge and emotional eaten, she is ridden with secrets, with fear, and despair.
And is therefore so very very alone; alone in her busy and high-speed life.
And here is what she thinks -
“There’s something wrong with me”
“Why can’t I stop? Why can’t I just stop for God’s sakes?!”
“I hate myself”
“I just want to be normal”
And even though the idea of being found out is terrifying, the idea that someone out there could relate, could understand; would see her eating not as shameful but as something that fills a need and therefore simply needs to be investigated and dealt with and CAN be -
Fills her with a hope that she doesn’t even really dare to believe in.
You are not alone
Yesterday I came *this* close to giving in. I was having a great day, actually, and then something happened in my business that shook me quite a bit. It upset me.
And it was just like -
I didn’t think. I was in Coles and somehow alongside my kangaroo fillets and broccoli I ended up with 5 blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk. Yes, 5.
I bought them.
Put my daughter down for a nap.
Dealt with the issue; sat on the computer for an hour.
Was supposed to be doing my backyard circuit.
Got out 3 blocks of chocolate instead. Walked halfway down the hallway.
And thought -
WHAT THE F*&K AM I DOING?
“How do you really want to feel in 20 minutes Katrina?”
So I walked away. I did my circuit, nearly took my punching bag off its hook with my kicks as I was just so ANGRY.
Angry that I’d almost given my power away by reacting to something with self sabotage, angry that after all these years, after finally feeling I’ve won the fight that there is still a hold over me and you know what else?
I was angry that I could get that quick fix with food; angry at myself for not being willing to give in anymore.
What would it mean if you knew you would – or could – never binge again?
You don’t binge eat because you are weak, lazy, undisciplined.
You could say that, and if you didn’t understand the concept; had never experienced it or were simply ignorant enough to not realise that binge and emotional eating is a real and in fact clinical illness then you might really think that.
And depending on how much self-loathing you hold as a binge eater you might also think that.
But here’s the truth -
When you eat emotionally, with urgency, in private, and without feeling like you can possibly stop, there is a reason for it.
And you need something.
And the binge?
It’s serving you, it’s serving a purpose for you.
Escape. Stress release. Taking back control. Pushing down fear of rejection, of not succeeding, of being alone, of unworthiness.
And so much more.
So here’s what I want to ask you -
What would it mean to you if you knew you would never – could never – binge eat again?
You want to stop, right? Maybe you’re getting better at it; the gaps are longer between.
And you’re starting to feel this sense of hope that you can one day be free.
But have you ever really considered your emotions around the possibility that it could really be over?
It’s a bit scary, isn’t it?
For me, even at this point in which my days of binge eating are long behind me and in fact I specialise in Fat Loss Coaching for women who battle an emotional connection to food, I still feel the pull on occasion.
It’s rare, but it’s not fully gone. And when it comes to emotions, old habits die hard.
Fortunately, new desires; a new vision of how I want my life to be and the ability to be outcome-focused rather than react in the moment mean I can walk away. Usually easily, effortlessly. Sometimes just.
But this morning, I feel shaken by what nearly happened yesterday.
And I knew I had to explore it. I’ve never really thought about what it would mean to never ever do it again; to never have it as a fallback.
I’ve become so used to taking it one day, week, maybe month at a time but I think if I’m honest I always thought that there will still be a next binge, even if perhaps it’s years off.
Which may not be a conscious decision to binge but it’s certainly not a conscious decision to decide I am free for life.
Do I want to be free for life?
Yes, of course. What a silly question, right?!
But also -
No, not a silly question at all.
Bingeing was a friend.
It never said no to me, was always there for me.
It provided me with the release or escape I needed in an instant, practically.
Anytime I needed to hide, to drift away from the stress and overwhelm of not quite living the life I knew I should be living, I could do so.
And nobody ever had to know.
I could still be successful, driven, have it all together.
The only consequences were the ones tearing me apart from the inside out, but what did that really matter?
It was only my life.
So now -
I don’t know where you’re at in your journey.
It could be a daily thing.
Or perhaps you’ve reached the point where I was a few years ago, where you’re getting ‘better’ – meaning the binges are fewer and further between.
I thought that for me I’d reached the stage beyond that, where it’s just part of my past.
And perhaps it is, as in writing this I now make the choice that it is.
But I think I wasn’t actually at that stage until today, it’s just that the binges were EVEN fewer and further between; like years.
I think that in the back of my mind I always had it there that it would be there for me if I really really needed it.
The thing about that, is a relapse even after years can instantly turn into a full-blown return to the act. I experienced this first hand in my mid-twenties. My first marriage ended at 26 and I went instantly – that day – back to bulimia even though I’d been free for 4 years at the time; thought I was free for life.
So I urge you
Don’t wait until you are pushed.
Even if you’re used to being pushed and pulled by the urge; the need on a daily basis right now.
Don’t wait until you’re in that moment with the chocolate in your hand and the wrapper half open and you have to make a decision.
Because whilst you can make that decision in that moment I can tell you it’s the hardest thing to have to do.
So don’t wait.
Make it now.
Right now, in this moment, join me -
Let’s make this a conscious commitment of women all around the world, energetically joining together and holding hands and closing our eyes tightly and saying that is IT now.
And I am ready to be free, but to be free for LIFE.
To learn to fill my needs and deal with my s*&t in another way.
Not just until it becomes too much.
Can you join me?
Do you dare?
I know it’s scary.
And you’ll be angry, the next time it pulls you and then you remember you’ve said no more.
You’ll be angry that you feel the pull, angry at yourself for wanting to give in and also angry at yourself for not being willing to give in.
And in some ways perhaps you’ll also be sad, sad that this friend that was so bad for you but oh so good for you in some many ways is now gone.
You have to let it go.
You know that, don’t you?
But do it deliberately.
Don’t hold in the back of your head the notion that maybe there will be ‘one last time’.
Turn your back.
And walk away.
And then let yourself grieve, honey, because you need to do that. Let your whole body convulse and your shoulders shake and the sobs just wrench their way out of you.
Let it out. Let it all out.
It’s your time now, don’t you see?
It’s your time to be free.
To step into your real life, into the you who you want to be.
And to do it wholeheartedly, and joyfully.
And to do it now.
Make the choice.
You are free.
Life is Now. Press Play.
Are You Ready To Break Free of Binge Eating?
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