The one most important thing I have done is beginning to eat clean. I have set my mind, again and again, and reprogrammed it by reinforcement, self-education, and self-respect. I have told myself that I am a healthy person. I read numerous books on healthy eating and clean eating and its importance. I educated myself on the dangers of artificial ingredients and the junk that occurs in commercial foods. Eventually, I became disgusted with commercial foods. I can honestly say I don’t have the pull that I once had towards fattening junk food. There is no way in hell will I put packaged freezer foods in my mouth, with an ingredient list longer than you could imagine. I also refuse to eat anything with any ingredients which I don’t recognize. I have developed an aversion to junk food and fake food. I have learned to respect my body and to love myself enough to want to treat it well by eating REAL nutritious foods. Of course, I’ll have dessert. Heck, and are what I eat every day. Sometimes twice a day. But I have learned how to make my own desserts by combining clean healthy ingredients together to create a delicious treat that not only tastes heavenly, it also is great for my body. I have become an advocate for healthy eating and I simply can’t imagine myself eating empty calories (with exceptions, of course). Why would I eat a brownie from a bakery filled with refined sugar, carbs, and fats; when I could make that same exact brownie by myself – except I can make it healthier by replacing the refined ingredients and making them better quality healthier ingredients and boosting the nutritional content, as well as spending much less money in total by baking them myself. It’s simple. Yes, it might take time getting used to, but it’s not that hard. It’s possible and it most definitely is normal to be picky.
I used to feel uncomfortable when people called me “picky” or “a health freak”. They would give it such a negative connotation. I wanted to be liked so I’d just eat whatever I wanted even if I knew it’s bad for me. Now, I don’t care. I wear the name proudly. I call myself a health freak. You can’t make me feel bad for wanting to treat my body right so that I can feel good about myself. I’d rather feel good about myself and feel healthy instead of acting according to what “my friends” expect me to act like. Sorry, I’m not sorry. I deserve better than McDonald’s. My body’s health is worth more to me than that.
Another major thing I have done that allowed me to break away from the binge cycle is recognizing my trigger foods. This is hugely important because these are the foods that have some kind of special hold over me and no matter how well I’ll be eating, something happens when I eat those foods that just weakens my self control . I have had to give up sprinkling honey on foods because I recognized that the overly sugary foods are the ones that make me want to binge. Especially the combo of nut butter + honey. Wow, that would just make me go crazy – I mean it tastes simply amazing. To the point that enough is never enough. I had to give up using honey as a condiment even though I can easily say I was addicted. I used honey every day on yogurt parfaits, etc but it has helped my self control greatly by eliminating it as a condiment. I still use it in recipes, I just have to make sure I don’t add it as a topping to anything I’m eating as a snack or dessert. Too much sugar does that.
WIAW 6: my trigger combo, almond butter + honey
Third thing that has helped me get away from binging is paying more attention to the food I’m eating. Some call it intuitive eating but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a total intuitive eater. I wish I was. But I have trained myself to focus on the food. I like to look at the food, taste the food, and enjoy it. I try to eat it away from any distractions whenever possible. I’ll prefer to eat with the TV turned off and away from my laptop. Whenever I’m eating and I find myself going through my phone at the same time, just to keep myself more busy, I take a step back and look at the food again and ask myself “did I really taste what I am eating?” the answer is usually “no” because I’ve been too busy paying attention to the phone (or whatever else I was looking at while eating) and I refocus onto the food because I know I love eating and I love food – I want to make the experience the most it can be and the most satisfying so that I don’t end up craving something different an hour later.
Some other things that have helped me get away from the cycle and onto leading a healthier happier lifestyle:
Hope this post can help some of you who are struggling with binge eating disorder or binge eating episodes like I was. These are the tips that have helped me over the past couple of months. I am not done with the disorder but I can easily say I am happier and more carefree than I have been and my binges aren’t nearly as frequent, depressing, long lasting, or extreme as they used to be.
Keeping a diet higher in protein has also helped my sugar cravings which are often a cause for binges. Speaking of, I’m happy to see you guys are still entering in my giveaway for the high protein low-carb diet bars in 6 scrumptious flavors! Keep the entries coming!