“I go into a zone where I just say screw the scale, I’m going to eat. And nothing can stop me.”
This feeling of being both IN control (“I’ll do what I want”) and OUT of control (“OMG, what the hell am I doing!?”) at the same time, was the story of my life for twenty years.
It seemed like madness!
At times I felt like I was possessed.
The vast majority of the people I work with have a similar story. “I’m doing well all day and then evening comes and I turn into a binge monster. And once the binge starts nothing can stop me. Once I start it’s too late.'”
I’ve come to understand that binges are not madness at all (but that’s a long story for another email).
Binges are hard-wired though.
Just like driving home to the same house everyday year after year, with enough repetition, you can switch off your conscious mind and your body will drive you home on autopilot. And the good news is that sanity is yours to reclaim.
It starts with learning to be conscious around binges again. Forcing yourself not to “check out” or go unconscious while you’re driving a binge home. Begin by practising non-judgemental curiosity and staying alert while watching for that moment of choice (aka “the fuck it, it’s too late, let’s do this” moment). It may be tiny, almost imperceptible at first, but the moment of choice is always there.
Becoming aware of that moment of choice is critical if you are to choose differently.
Then it takes an abundance of The “3 Ps” to interrupt and rewire these old automated binge patterns:
Practise. Practise, practise, practise and more practise.
Patience. “I didn’t get that quite right, no problem, I’ll try again.”
Perseverance. “I won’t give up until I nail this!”
AND…as always…true recovery requires a commitment to loving yourself unconditionally.
Had a great day? Love yourself.
Binged and purged seven times today? Love yourself.
Look incredible in that new black dress? Love yourself.
Sporting a muffin top? Love yourself.
Unconditional self-love is just that … love without conditions.
It’s not loving yourself when you get better, thinner, sexier, successful.
It’s not loving yourself when you’re diligent, productive, disciplined or amenable, but not when you’re lazy, disorganised, impatient or short tempered.
True recovery requires that you learn to love yourself right now and no…matter…what.
Because life will be better when you’re fully recovered, yes, but it definitely won’t be perfect. As Tony Robbins says, you’ll have “better quality problems”.
There’ll be new challenges.
You’ll have rotten days when you’ve behaved terribly.
You’ll make mistakes.
So best you ramp up the self-love immediately because you’re going to need it now more than ever (and you’ll need it later too).
If you’re wondering how the hell to love yourself when you’ve hated yourself for so long….you are not alone, and here’s the short answer:
1. You make a decision to love yourself unconditionally.
2. Then you practice, practice, practice unconditional self-love.
Self-love, once lost, takes a bit of work. But, as Nelson Mandela said, “love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Yep, self-love may feel weird at first.
Awkward, fake, false, inauthentic.
But thanks to the principle of Confirmation Bias your incredible brain will soon find reasons why you are worthy of your own love.
After a while you’ll delight in it!
And soon you’ll be wondering why it took you soooo long to make this choice to love yourself, because it is soooo much more pleasurable than the quagmire of self-loathing that you were living in.
Belly love, bum-love, chipmunk-cheek love, cellulite-love, freckle-love, frizzy-hair-love – It will be the best thing you ever invest your time and energy into!
Radical, unconditional, shout-it-to-the-roof-tops self-love is at the heart of recovery because you must recover who you truly are.
You MUST remember that you are deserving of love.
That you are enough.
That you are lovable.
Just as you are.
All my love