You may have heard me confess before, I have struggled with binge eating in the past. It became my full time job trying to solve the problem, I could bore you with all of the tactics, tools and things I tried but why don’t we cut to the fact that the biggest shift happened when I realized:
My overeating was not my fault, it was a habit that I was stuck in.
I placed so much blame on myself and self loathing as to why “I couldn’t control myself”. You see we all have coping mechanisms to life’s emotions, problems and events. There’s a 40 something female stressed at work, who sneaks outside for a coffee and smoke when she needs an escape. There’s a 20 something male hitting the club on a Friday night to drown himself in alcohol because he doesn’t know what the hell he is doing with his life, and the pressure from his parents gets to be too much. There’s a 20 something overweight female, that is so disconnected from her body and any feeling of self love, that she eats to sooth the discomfort.
The actions these people are taking are not their fault, it is what they have found to try and help themselves cope. Only problem is, these coping mechanisms sooth them for a second. How long does a cigarette last? A shot? Polishing off a tub of ice cream? Minutes. And they are left crashing from the high and brought to a low place again. This rollercoaster of highs and lows turns into a cycle of addictive behaviours, that is then engraved as a habit.
If there is something you so badly want to change in your life, instead of trying to change the actual thing: eg. your body. Focus on changing the negative habit that is standing in the way: eg. overeating.
Prepare for moments of self sabotage on your journey to change. We as humans resist change, its uncomfortable. We do everything we can to keep ourselves safe, and that means repeating past behaviour because it is known. If you slip up, do not waste an ounce of energy on blame or self regret, just realize your habits are strongly engraved. This is key, detach your emotions from your behaviours. The more you let emotions run your life, the more you will be stuck making elaborate future plans to change rather than taking action right now. (Read: Why you need to stop focusing on plans)
New results, require a new set of habits. Change only happens when you take a new action right now, where there once was an old habit. Repeat until there is a shift from your negative habit to a positive one!